REBECCA RACHMANY, CEO, Gangly Sister Productions: So, I’m Rebecca Rachmany, I’m the CEO of Gangly Sister Productions, so why don’t you introduce yourself. Say a little of what you do, what you’ve done.
IRIS SHOOR, Co-Founder, Takipi: So hi, I’m Iris, I’m a co-founder of Takipi. Takipi is a relatively new startup. I founded it with Tal Weiss about one and a half years ago, and we help developers to understand why they’re experiencing problems with their production environment. Prior to Takipi, I co-founded a company called Visual Tao. We built some kind of Autocad for mobile web, and we were acquired by Autodesk about three and a half years ago. I think the main achievement with visual tau was bringing the main product to over 10 million professional users.
REBECCA: 10 million. That’s impressive.
IRIS: They have 15 million now, but yeah.
REBECCA: So how did you decide to make a startup. You don’t originally come from the technology field. It’s not like “Oh, I finished art school. I think I’ll have a startup.” How’d that happen?
For me it was very different. I never planned to have a startup. I studied architecture. And somewhere, towards the end of the degree, I decided I was not going to be an architect. It was my fourth year out of the five years, and I decided to quit school and I just started to work on a project. And I thought it was a good idea but I never thought that it was going to be a startup.
REBECCA: So what would you say to somebody who has an idea and they kind of want to do something, but they don’t know where to start. What would you say to them?
IRIS: I would say that the most important thing is to just start doing it. It’s all about doing stuff. I think that most of the successful entrepreneurs I meet are not the smartest or have the best background or the best network. They are just more brave than other people. They are just doing stuff. They have something that they think of and they do it and they fail and they learn and they do something else. I fail in most of the stuff I’m doing. Most of the meetings with users are not very successful and parts of the products, and lots of stuff I am trying with marketing, but I keep on doing. Even if like 20 or 30 percent of the things I do do succeed, it’s enough to build a successful company. So, don’t think about it too much. Don’t try to plan it. Don’t wait for the right co-founder, don’t wait for the right idea or for the right technology. Just start by doing stuff.
REBECCA: So you’ve in the past given a lot of talks about marketing, which you still do. And recently you’ve started a series of talks about “The Startup of You,” which is more personal, and you said it came out of what people are actually asking. So I’m curious. What have they been asking?
IRIS: So usually, when I give talks or I write posts, I try to answer real questions. It’s not about the thing I know but more about the questions that I’m being asked. And, I have noticed that usually when I meet entrepreneurs, we talk about marketing and product and so on. But after about 30 minutes or so, we start talking about the challenges, the personal challenges of the startup. How to deal with the long hours. How to balance between work and personal life. How to get along with the co-founders. And how to mentally go over all the challenges. It always seems, from Facebook and so on, that all the other startups are so successful and the co-founders get along perfectly. Just to raise this problem is to say, we’re entrepreneurs, but we’re human. There are lots of exciting parts about having a startup, but there are lots of challenging parts.
REBECCA: So, what if I were going to give you a gift, and it is one hour today. Everything else is going to happen but you get one hour.
IRIS: I have to say that one thing that I’m always, and that’s something that I’m hoping that if you interview me a year from now I would be able to change, but I always put on my calendar an hour just to re-think the product. To go back to the design, to go back to the web site and try to see how to change things. I feel like a startup is kind of like an emergency room where you get all the tasks. This user is having some kind of a problem and you solve this problem and you should complete this design and so on. So I’m always looking for some time just to reflect stuff that we’ve done a few months ago and to see how to change it and to think about where the company’s going to be one year from now. So just to get out of the emergency room mode and to go back to reflecting all the stuff we have.
REBECCA: Perfect, time for reflection.