Test4startup a platform for automated validation of startup projects
Please introduce yourself and your startup test4startup to our readers!
Hello everyone! My name is Artem, I am one of the founders of test4startup.com – a platform for automated validation of startup projects. Before this, I took part in the development of several products, such as http://talentboard.me/ and wozme.ru. The second one doesn’t work now, in 2014, Yandex got interested in it but the deal wasn’t made.
Test4startup allows you to conduct a comprehensive market research even if the product is at the idea stage. All you need to do is to write the pitch and a short description of the product. As the result of the research, users get such data as:
– Information about the market of the project, including the trend, the average check, market volume, and other useful information.
– Existence of similar companies/services on the market, in other words, a list of potential competitors.
– A list of potential investors.
– A list of sites of similar topic with potential clients.
– Summary assessment of the project with the analysis of strong and weak aspects.
Now we are actively working on functionality that will allow you to follow changes in trends in the most efficient way and ideally forming the new ones.
How did you get the idea to Test4startup?
Before launching Test4startup, we were working on a couple of projects. There have always been many ideas, but not always enough time for validation and analysis. In the beginning we made a simple algorithm for ourselves that could allow us to quickly find similar companies (in case someone else had found something similar) and monitor trends. It is a really time-consuming task to do it manually. We had to look through a great amount of blogs and startup sites like producthunt, angel.co and other.
As I worked with the algorithm we had created, I realized that with some modifications it could become a good solution that would be in demand. I asked my friend Evgeny Gaev for help. At that time he was already working on something similar in his University work.
How difficult was the start and what challenges you had to overcome?
As you develop your own product, you face different kinds of difficulties every day. It is a kind of daily struggle. There are several large-scale problems:
– The project was funded from personal funds and in the middle of the development we faced our biggest problem: money were depleted and the product wasn’t ready. This period proved to be one of the most difficult ones. It was necessary to find other sources of income and to work 14-16 hours a day without days-off. There wasn’t time for anything else but work. It was difficult even to find time for sleep and meals.
– Crysis in Russia led to the decline of venture market volume by 13 times. This sharp decrease in investment activity happened under the influence of uncertainty about key economic parameters, the following general decline in business, and significant collapse of the rouble. All of this had great influence on IT sector.
– The situation with foreign policy between Russia and the USA has complicated the process of obtaining a visa. Obtaining or extending American visa for some members of our team took several months and ended with a negative result.
Who is your target audience?
The main audience of our project are young entrepreneurs in IT sphere, as well as any other spheres, ready to launch their business or just at the stage of researching the market for the final choice of an idea.
I can’t say that any kind of average mass is suitable for us, for example, big data analysts or smart house experts or experts in cryptocurrency. No, they are all different people with different ideas in all spheres of life. I think that it is more an advantage, because the service is useful to all creative people in general, not only those in IT.
What is the USP of your startup?
Unique Selling Proposition (USP) of Test4startup lies in the fact that market research can be done even at the stage of creating an idea. A user just needs to input minimal amount of information and gets solid data (cases) as the result. Usually such products only give bare statistics to the users and a barrage of scattered data that need sorting and analyzing.
Test4startup gives a clear result and a personalized forecast that doesn’t require any additional analytical work.
In the world where we constantly need to solve complicated tasks and quickly detect appearing trends, we need a higher speed of decision-making, which our product can provide.
Can you describe a typical workday of you?
My typical working day starts with getting up at 6 a.m., a quick breakfast and a journey to work. I spend a lot more time in the office than standard 8 hours, I usually stay late. In the first part of the day I reply to emails that come during the night and complete tasks left from the previous evening. I devote the second part of the day to working on the project. After work I always visit the gym and go for a jog. Before going to sleep I usually devote some more time to work: solving current tasks or planing.
Where do you see yourself and your startup test4startup in five years?
After analysing the market, we’ve decided to lean towards the development of marketing tools in the sector of small companies, because the poll showed that our service is mostly used for developing advertising campaigns.
We are working on the functionality that could allow people to track changes in trends in the most efficient way and ideally forming new ones. And to create advertising campaigns basin on these data.
We are also planning to work on integrating our algorithms into the work of large companies. We have several candidates for test launches.
We would like to turn to predictive analytics. Companies have accumulated a lot of data, but nobody knows how to work with it. In 5 years we would like to become one of the leaders on the market of developing solutions of predictive analytics and machine learning.
What 3 tips would you give other Start-up founders on the way?
– Stop reflecting and go till the end no matter what. Smart people are prone to overanalysing and underacting, it is important to keep the balance.
– Don’t try to do everything at the same time, solve all tasks consistently and individually. It is important to set priorities in tasks, especially if there are many of them. If you need to choose whether to start earning from the product today or add another feature, it is better to choose what is more important.
– Stop predicting. Most predictions will fail to meet expectations and won’t come true, it is better to live for today.
More information you will find here
Thank you Artem Gladkikh for the Interview
Statements of the author and the interviewee do not necessarily represent the editors and the publisher opinion again.