WHODOYOU - YOAV SCHWARTZ
Yoav and his team are here to solve an ancient problem – how to find a trusted service provider. The wonderful solution they offer is finding and aggregating your friends’ recommendations on local service provider from all over the web and bringing it to you. I know… how come YOU didn’t think about it, right?
Yoav says that he was fascinated by the people at Amazon.com who where writing the reviews on products they purchased. This led him at some point to the idea of getting reviews about local service providers. Later he found the solution to this problem by using the information people post on Facebook in order to help locate those who are trustworthy.
The birth of WhoDoYou
Yoav started working on his prototype for WhoDoYou whilst working at Microsoft. This is another case of a lean start up – build your product while still employed, leave when you feel you have to in order to make another advancement. In fact – in many cases it is possible to make a decent amount of progress before you leave your safe work place.
Another thing Yoav mentioned is that everything takes longer then you think! Take this into account. It will take you longer then you expect to raise equity, to find the suitable co-founders, to get hire the best programmer or sales person, to build a presentation etc.
No Stealth Mode
Millions of people everyday have ideas – but most of them are not doing anything about it. That’s why you shouldn’t be afraid of exposing your ideas to others. In most cases the benefit you can get from the feedback users provide is much greater then the danger of someone stealing your idea. Keep in mind that people who are in the state of mind of starting a company are probably doing something of their own.
A big challenge according to Yoav is to get a real feedback from family and friends about your product. While those people are usually the firs we approach when are searching for an honest opinion, sometimes they are afraid to make you feel bad, and their feedback might be less brutal then feedback from people who are not related to you. That’s why Yoav thinks it’s a good idea to have your product tested by family and friends, but also by their friends, for a less biased result.
Yoav told us that his darkest hour was when he got less then 30 days from the point where they will have to shut the company. That happened when the company wasn’t getting the results they were expecting several month before. They decided that they should try a different direction and eventually got to a point where they were a month away from shutting down. Eventually the change they have made paid off, and they got the results they were looking for. That’s the reason Yoav says that the he believes the factor that correlate with success most is perseverance.
Yoav finds inspiration through difficult times by remembering the value of the product and the fact that WhoDoYou is really solving a genuine problem, making sure that noteworthy service providers and local business will get the attention and appreciation they deserve.
Have the best week!
Startup Camel Team