How do you spend in the first years of a startup?

Before I dive into the details about spending the $125k from the title of the blog, I’d like to clarify that what I’m about to say is what we’ve done as a company and not what is supposed to be done. This article is by no means a recommendation, it’s just presenting facts about what happened at Kanbanize. Also, it’s quite important to mention that our company grows organically with the goal to be always profitable, which might be different from the strategy of other startups. Continue reading “How do you spend in the first years of a startup?”

Like my posts? Help me spread the word!

A Beginner’s Guide to Inbound Marketing

Boy, am I happy to share the second guest post on my startup blog. Ladies and gentlemen, I present you Alexander Novkov (Sashix), the mean machine of content marketing at Kanbanize. You rock, man!

Establishing a steady flow of generating new leads and eventually turning them into customers is a challenge that might become a real hurdle for startup founders. This is especially true for first-time entrepreneurs with no prior experience in marketing. It could be very confusing when the moment of choosing a strategy arrives.

The typical marketing arsenal is divided into two major methodologies – inbound and outbound. The greatest problem when it comes to marketing is that it is constantly shifting and evolving. Techniques that were extremely effective yesterday might bring less ROI today and even become useless tomorrow. Continue reading “A Beginner’s Guide to Inbound Marketing”

Like my posts? Help me spread the word!

Training the Talent in your Startup for Hell and High Water

Spartans, this is the first guest post on my startup blog. The author is Monica Georgieff, the person who started our marketing team and was an instrumental for the success of the company. Thank you for the awesome post, Mon!

At a Christmas party this year, I met a CEO and founder of a local growing company who wanted some feedback about how to attract a capable project manager to join his team. He described this individual as someone with а background in the field, an interest in the industry in which his company was operating, a vision for the sector his product was trying to disrupt and someone who wouldn’t be motivated by the salary but by the innovation itself. Continue reading “Training the Talent in your Startup for Hell and High Water”

Like my posts? Help me spread the word!

How important is technology for a startup?

If you’ve ever worked with developers born during the 80s or earlier, then you have certainly heard them say that PHP sucks and Javascript is the worst programming language in the world. At Kanbanize, we’re no exception and I have had occasion to have this conversation many times. Somehow, I did not manage to convince any Java/.NET/C/C++ programmers that PHP is just a language like all the rest and a perfectly adequate tool for the development of Kanban Software (what we are building at Kanbanize), but I continue to truly believe this. Thus, we come to the topic of this article – how important is technology to your startup venture? Continue reading “How important is technology for a startup?”

Like my posts? Help me spread the word!

How we built our startup culture

In case you’ve read some of the biography books for the most famous entrepreneurs in the world, you must have asked yourself the question “How the heck did they pull this off?”. What is it that made the difference between them and the others? Was it all just a coincidence or did they know some secret? Do the Masons and the secret government agencies back Facebook, Microsoft and Google? Is there a recipe for success? Continue reading “How we built our startup culture”

Like my posts? Help me spread the word!

The Business Books I Read in 2016

One of the lessons I learned the hard way is that having your own business makes it imperative that you read more books than you would in any other professional undertaking. I used to read a lot about Lean and Kanban, because this is what we do, but there was something more that had to be covered. I found this out relatively late in the game and I’ve taken up filling the gaps in my knowledge of the business world. Considering that I would have read a lot of these books earlier if someone had recommended them to me, my little holiday gift to anyone reading this blog will be to share a shortlist of what I read in 2016. The books are organized in ascending order based on how much I would recommend reading them. Continue reading “The Business Books I Read in 2016”

Like my posts? Help me spread the word!

If you build it, cash will come. Yeah right!

The Beginning

When we launched the company, we were relatively young, inexperienced in starting our own business and dreaming of building an incredibly awesome product. We focused all of our mental energy on figuring out how we would solve the painfully obvious efficiency problem of large companies in which several teams need to collaborate on a single project. In an abstract way, the solution seemed clear – it would need to become possible to use the Kanban system not only on the team level, but also on the product management level. However, the hardest part is turning something abstract into a real product that people love. Continue reading “If you build it, cash will come. Yeah right!”

Like my posts? Help me spread the word!

How to choose which events to attend

When we launched Kanbanize, we financed the company ourselves and kept a small, neat office in a neighbourhood at the outskirts of the city. Due to the fact that we had worked exclusively in large, established companies, we had never heard of the local startup community, we didn’t even know people who were part of such companies, we didn’t go to “Drinkabouts” and we didn’t know what a pitch was. To be frank, we didn’t even know that someone could raise capital to grow their company at a faster rate. In other words, we were complete amateurs, I often wonder how we even got so far. It is ironic that it might have been exactly this unawareness that ended up working in our advantage in the end, but this is more of a speculation rather than a proven fact.

When my peers and friends found out about what we were working on, they shared information about the existing local venture capital funds, from which we could secure an investment in exchange for a share of the company. Since Biso and I had to keep our day jobs in order to finance the new project, there was no way for us to quit without having available capital to draw from. That is exactly why we decided to apply to an investment round and, consequently, received an investment from the VCs of the local fund called Eleven. That is how we ended up in the startup community for the first time, which was a totally new type of experience for me. Continue reading “How to choose which events to attend”

Like my posts? Help me spread the word!

To grow quickly or organically. That is the question.

When we started developing Kanbanize, none of us had ever asked ourselves the question:

How fast are we actually supposed to grow?

Naturally, each of us had preferences, aspirations and hopes but, somehow, we never thought we needed a specific blood pact, sealed during some drunken night (not that there are many of those when you are a startup), regarding this matter. Everything seemed so far into the future that we didn’t think it was necessary to discuss topics like growth so early on. Continue reading “To grow quickly or organically. That is the question.”

Like my posts? Help me spread the word!

MVP – Quantity or Quality?

If we dig a little deeper into the stats about the main reasons why many startups fail, we find that it almost always had something to do with the concept of having “no market”. In other words, we made something that no one wants to buy. At first, it might seem strange but, actually, there is a very logical reasoning behind why this ends up happening in so many cases.

In many ways, entrepreneurs in tech companies are engineers who are mainly motivated by the process of creating products. Engineers rarely think about how the products they are developing will reach the end user, who the end user is or the most important components of the product that need to be highlighted. Unfortunately, development is just the first step of the journey and many startups with high potential die out because they don’t pay enough attention to the rest of the process. Continue reading “MVP – Quantity or Quality?”

Like my posts? Help me spread the word!