How did the Pinpic adventure start?
Urooj: My co-founder Alen came with the idea while he was in Greece on a holiday with his girlfriend. He couldn’t get a good picture of them and he thought he would be willing to pay a photographer to take some nice photos. He didn’t know how to find a photographer at that time and the only way was to Google search and wait. Still he wouldn’t know who he’s inviting or if he would ever see those pictures or his money again. Since he is a software developer, he thought he could make something out of this and he started doing some research. He told a few friends, including me. I asked him to polish his idea a little bit because the original idea, as I said to him, was “for hundreds but not for the millions of people.
How important is choosing the right team?
Urooj: It’s very important for startup people to have experience working together. It’s important to have the fights before starting a company together and Alen has already worked with everyone on our team.
It’s all about the team. Having the right communication and having everything in place so that it’s easy to communicate and everyone knows what’s their role in the startup because it’s not a job – it’s not a nine to five – you’re in it because you love it or you’re not. The adventure can not start without the right team. At Startup Weekend, you can learn how team dynamics works. The goal is to gain experience and polish ideas and discover that it’s possible.
Why did you put Pinpic on kickstarter? What were the advantages and disadvantages?
Urooj: We wanted to create some buzz. When you want to generate news, you need an event. We didn’t want to wait till the product launch, we needed people already on the platform and be aware of the service. Our purpose wasn’t just to reach the financial goal. The publicity we received is a lot more valuable.
When it comes to Kickstarter, it’s 1 thing to learn, hear, talk about it and it’s a completely different thing to launch it with your specific idea and see what happens. That said, it seems like people and media these days are interested in crowdfunding. It’s an event that gives you reason to write a media release and send it to the media and they have something that is urgent that they can promote. Everyone like stories that have a beginning and an end that they can push.
Can you describe a little bit your experience at StartupSauna?
Urooj: We found out about StartupSauna from one of our fans on Facebook. It was exactly one week before the event and we decided to apply anyways to see what happens. We got accepted. We’ve learned that is was not necessarily the ideal for us because we already have a working product and we’re already on-boarding customer, photographers. Our concern is more customer acquisition now and we wouldn’t necessarily gain a whole lot from the program.
StartupSauna was supposed to pick 3 startups for the next round. They selected 2 for the next round and we received the huge honor of getting recognized as the best pitch of the day. The best thing was to get out of our bubble and go talk to many entrepreneurs and angels investors that were there.”
What do you like to do in your spare time?
Urooj: The most important part of my life is my daughter. She is 2 years and 4 months now. Most of my time is spent with her, even if I’m travelling, she travels with me. She has already been to 10 countries. All my plan revolve around her. We go on hikes, try food from different places, ride horses, and explore nature.
I’ve seen just about every landscape there is to see. Now when I go places it is not to see a building or a monument, I travel to understand people, what motivates them, learn their language, and sample their food. This is my solution for world peace!
What superpower do you have?
Leadership, marketing,and user-centric product design.