There are so many innovative, amazing startups here at thinkspace. This week I had the chance to meet and chat with Damon Danieli of Appuri, one of the residents of thinkspace, to learn a little more about what they’re up to.
What is Appuri, and what do you do?
Appuri is a stealth startup.
We have a big vision for the future, but we use lean startup techniques to learn as quickly as possible and adjust our road map accordingly.
For example, this month we are leveraging the election hype and launching a suite of mobile applications at http://www.robamney.com. The lifespan of these apps will be short-lived, but the metrics we collect inform the design and direction for the next product iteration.
With each product launched, we increase our user base, customer engagement capabilities and underlying technologies.
How did Appuri start?
The founders came together as a team first, then we came up with a vision and immediately started moving forward.
Who is on the Appuri team?
There are 4 cofounders and no employees. We use web services and contractors for all of the non-core assets. We keep the trade secrets, know-how and other intellectual property in-house.
How much funding have you raised (if any), and from whom?
We are bootstrapping the company and have not raised money.
What is the most challenging thing about being an entrepreneur?
What is both challenging and energizing about being an entrepreneur is that you are responsible for everything: product vision, customer acquisition, development roadmap, meeting payroll and so on while managing the morale and energy of the team.
If there was one thing you could have done differently, what would it have been?
There is nothing we would have done differently… yet. Which is not to say we’ve been correct, but rather our product is never far away from the last set of real user data and feedback.
What advice do you have for others thinking about building a startup of their own?
Building a company is a lot of hard work and is challenging in ways that you will never experience as an employee. So many things have to come together just right in order to succeed: building the right team, identifying the customer, creating a product, promoting it, growing revenue just to name a few. Successful startups need to execute well across many disciplines.
There is a common misconception of first-time entrepreneurs that raising money is the hard part and the rest is easy.The runway you have plays a big role in the psyche of the team, but there will always be those gut check moments where everyone has to dig deep inside themselves to make the startup successful.
With all of that said, if being an entrepreneur really suites you, it will be impossible to go back to being an employee.
What’s your favorite thing about being part of the thinkspace community?
It is a nice place to work and I’ve run into many other interesting startups and people.
Anything else you’d like to share?
A shout out to all of the Thinkspace crew that welcomed us when we came in and make us feel at home every day: Mieka, Alyssa, Sami, Samantha, Savannah, Jamie, Katie and of course Peter. It has been great working with you.