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Lessons we learnt during our 3 months startup journey

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by Startacus Admin

Chanty

New Startup Chanty, is an AI powered business messenger & single notification center for
all the software people use at work. Olga Mykhoparkina, CMO at Chanty shares their journey since launching only a few months ago...

"Our startup journey has just begun. 

We started working on Chanty several months ago. In a nutshell, our product is AI-powered business messenger and single notification centre for all the software people use at work.

What’s our goal? We want to help teams and businesses become more productive – to work smarter, not harder. 

The “Aha!” moment

It all started with a digital agency, and like every other team those days we used a business messenger for internal communication. As time passed, we noticed that the tools for business communication were getting more and more complicated. The business chat we were using kept adding new features and finally shifted its focus to the enterprise sector.

The idea of Chanty

As a small team, we felt the need for a simple, more affordable and fast communication tool that would not only allow us to chat, but also become a single notification center for all the software that we used at work. This was the moment the idea of Chanty was born.    

Our product isn’t inventing team communication software. Messaging platforms for business existed long before we started even thinking of entering the market. The reason Chanty was started is because our team felt confident that we can build a better messaging platform.

Chanty - AI powered business messenger

Technology

Chanty is, like most of our competitors, a cloud-based messaging platform, protected over the internet security protocols and privacy settings, set individually for every team. What makes us different is the approach to simplify communication and humanize business processes.

Challenges along the way

Challenge is the constant companion for someone who decides to work on a startup. Our team wasn’t an exception – we have even started a blog on our startup journey. Every article in it is inspired by a new challenge we face.

AI powered business messenger

Validating your idea

It’s hard to overestimate the power of business idea validation. There is no way around it, you need to make sure there is a demand – people will use and what’s more important, will buy your product. Unfortunately, many startups fall short of validation before they start spending money on the product itself.

To validate our idea, we’ve put up a survey for more than 500 companies. We saw a genuine interest and a high demand for the type of product we are working on.

Want our advice? Don’t move forward until you validate your business idea. Remember the 5P rule that prior preparation prevents poor performance.

The team behind Chanty

Our team wakes up and goes to bed with Chanty in mind. Driven by the idea of improving team communication and collaboration, we truly love what we are doing and believe our product will become a success. That’s why building up a strong close-knit team is a top priority for our startup. Proactivity, passion, enthusiasm and creativity – these are the qualities we are looking for during the hiring process.

AI powered business messenger

First traction

Chanty is in beta right now and we are happy to invite you join our beta community. Once our team got together and our developers started building the product, it was the marketing team who started the hunt for beta testers. We have tried several ways of acquisition:

-        Beta platforms. We submitted our website for free at Betapage and Betabound. You can see the results we received were not inspiring – the first column is the traffic volume and the last is the number of signups Chanty(although conversion rates are great, aren’t they?). We are still going to try Betalist platform which sounds promising and this time it will be a paid submission for a change. (You can also see their profile page on Startacus too). 

-        Twitter. By working with this social network we have killed two birds – expanded our Twitter community and got beta testers. It took an individual approach and, therefore, loads of time.

-        LinkedIn. Although I put it last in this list, it was the biggest channel of beta testers for us. Many of our LinkedIn connections were excited to sign up for Chanty beta. We started scaling and expanded our network to several thousands of contacts. LinkedIn channel gifted us with more than 200 people who signed up for the beta test.

The process of turning people we didn’t know into early adopters was new to us and it was challenging enough to write an article on how to find beta testers for our Startup Journey blog. 

Networking from Eastern Europe

Even though we have offices in San Francisco and Zurich, it is no secret that our R&D Center is in Kharkiv, Ukraine. Obviously, the more people you know, the more traction you get. If you are a Silicon Valley resident, things are pretty easy for you. Going to meetups and conferences every weekend isn’t a problem. Having lunch with another startup CEO becomes ridiculously simple.

community building

What if you are far away from San Francisco and you don’t know the main players in this tough startup world? Moreover, what if English isn’t your native language? If I were to give an advice based on our own experience, it would be this one:

  • Think of online communities. I’ve been a member of a few and speaking of Facebook,  SaaS Growth Hacks community is one of my favorite. It’s a massive source of helpful information and I’ve learnt a lot from the people out there. The one thing I regret – I wish I joined it earlier;
  • Make friends online.  It works according to the principle of reciprocity. If you are looking for a startup coverage from a journalist, you have to get to know that person first and give away your time, effort or connections by providing value or helping out. After you’ve contributed enough, you can ask for something in return. The more important this person is, the more time you are going to spend making friends and providing value.  

The truth we’ve learnt along the way was simple: start networking and making friends yesterday.

Slowly but surely our brand is growing and becoming popular even without a product ready yet. Thanks to networking and communication we were able to receive a number of online publications as well as grow website traffic and social following.

It’s time to change the process of business communication. On a mission to make the world a better place, we want to simplify your regular day at work by making it more pleasant, productive and saving time for things you enjoy. Our team works hard on the product. Chanty is our baby and the app you will soon be able to access is a reflection of all the love, passion and enthusiasm we put in it. We are confident, the product we are building is worth the effort.

Feel free to join our Chanty community and stay up-to-date with our launch. We can’t wait to hear your feedback."

Bio: Olga Mykhoparkina

Olga Mykhoparkina is a Chief Marketing Officer at Chanty - a simple AI powered business messenger and a single notification center. This powerful and free Slack alternative is aimed to increase team productivity and improve communication at work. Having a 9-year experience in digital marketing field, Olga is responsible for Chanty’s online presence strategy, managing an amazing team of 5 marketing experts and getting things done to change the way teams communicate and collaborate. Follow Olga on Twitter @olmykh or feel free to connect on LinkedIn.

 


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Published on: 25th May 2017

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