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. We help developers to understand why they’re experiencing problems with their production environment. R:. What kinds of incidents were there where you said: Oh, this is over. Now. And how did you get out of it? IRIS: Let me share a story about the second company was more of a B2C game, and move to developers, which is a whole different audience. And it was so easy for me working with B2C, mobile apps and so on, and then I had to face a totally different market. And I had like two or three months where I felt like I can’t contribute to the company and I’m not sure what I’m going to do. I had all these expectations that I’m in charge of bringing all the users and so on. And for me it was just like building it one step at a time, and learning about the new market, and I was thinking about changing my role in the company and doing just product and not doing marketing. But I believe that I came from a totally different market and a different background, it brought something entirely different to the company. Our entire branding is we are using cartoons and monsters to attract users. And it’s something that came from the dark point of “I can’t market to developers and I’m not sure how to work with them. And we decided to focus on very specific parts of the market, which made a huge difference and it was because I was not sure of how to target the entire market, and I had to choose these small islands and we now have great users coming from this strategy. So I believe these break points and dark points always bring something else to the table. That’s how you make unique startups and successful ones. REBECCA: So next time I am having problems, I should bring some monsters? IRIS: Absolutely, it’s a great marketing tool. REBECCA: It’s unbelievable, I mean it’s so bizarre. Nobody would have thought that would work. Does that happen a lot? I mean, do you come up with crazy ideas and they work? IRIS: Yeah, but they don’t seem crazy to me. For me, it’s like, the most obvious idea. Like, let’s use cartoons instead of screen shots or video. REBECCA: It’s one thing to have a failure and to know that, oh, well, I tried this marketing campaign and nobody listened and nobody looked. It’s another thing to actually be in a meeting with a user and have something not work. What do you say to a user or an investor or anybody that you’re right in front of them when it doesn’t work? IRIS: I use a couple of different techniques to face these challenges because it’s not easy to hear no, and it’s not easy to fail. I would have to say that the first thing is just about a numbers game. I usually try to decide how many users or bloggers or prospects to approach before I start, because I know that it’s very likely that the first blogger is not going to answer or the first user is going to say no. So I decided I am going to schedule meetings with 10 different users, for example. So before I complete this batch I am concentrating on the 10 users. So it’s much easier. It’s not like “OMG, I met this huge company and they said no, and I’m not sure what to do now.” I’m meeting 10 different customers, if all of them are going to say no, I am going to understand that something is wrong with the product. If two or three of them are going to say yes, that’s a good outcome. And I try to keep being very positive, so if someone said no, I can learn about the product, or I can understand why he said no. That’s a very important part. It’s not a failure. It’s a way to understand better what to do now. I know that with my first company, after like 3 or 4 month we tried to raise money fr om 8 or 9 different VCs and all of them said no. A year later, when we came back to fundraising, it was so much easier. The first angel we met said yes, but this was just because of the 8 different “nos”, and we knew exactly what to do during this year and what not to do. So that’s how we try to look at it. And one other thing that I try to do is to keep things in perspective. So it’s not like I am meeting Facebook. It’s not that I am Iris meeting the entire Facebook. I’m meeting someone called Jason, and it’s just a meeting and he doesn’t represent the entire Facebook, and if I’m going to fail, it’s not like I’m going to ruin the company. It’s just like: it’s a meeting. I am meeting someone. It’s just a person, it’s not a company. REBECCA: How soon should someone look for a partner? IRIS: Soon, but I know a lot of entrepreneurs who are waiting for the right co-founder to come, and don’t start the company in the meanwhile. So I would say it’s something that should be parallel to building the company. Start by yourself, look for a co-founder, but don’t rely on someone else. REBECCA: But what do you do about people giving you that funny look or saying “that’s never going to work”. I think it’s easy to see let’s just test it, but that first reaction that people have is very off-putting for some people. IRIS: Maybe that’s one of the most challenging parts about startup. Because you need to invent something new. Even if you’re not super creative, you’re doing something different than things that you know. And I would say that for me, that’s kind of the essence of the startup. Doing something different and going with your intuition and being brave, and doing something which is not similar to anything else. Maybe that’s the meaning of being an entrepreneur. Doing different stuff.