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How The Respona Startup Began with Farzad Rashidi
Sean: Do you lead by position, by persuasion, by your productivity, by what you’ve been able to do before, and how were you able to influence them to say, “Hey, this is a new idea of mine, super risky, but it’s worth it and you should invest.”
Farzad: Yeah. So one thing, Sean, that I always prided myself in is my work ethic. And when I joined the company, Visme was the first company I had joined and still was involved in. I still I’m involved with them up to this day. So I’m a person who worked their tail off and that’s something that’s quite apparent. And when I tell them I’m going to do something gets done. So over the course of years of working with the team and kind of put that customer acquisition strategy in place, obviously Visme has got a very smart team. I’m just a small part. I can’t take credit for their success. These guys are doing phenomenally well and I was very lucky and honored to really be part of it.
But obviously when you work with someone long-term, you kind of get a sense of, okay, what these guys are playing or they actually mean what they say. So when I presented the idea to the founder of Visme – Payman, who is my co-founder around the response side, obviously there was some hesitation and I’m like, I don’t know what this is going to help us, but in the end of the day, it was something that was going to help Visme move forward faster, like, “Hey, we’re going to build this as a side project for ourselves.” And it was sort of gradual over time, that proposition wasn’t like, Hey, I have a new software idea, let’s invest in it. It wasn’t like that. It was more so, as I said, an internal tool that we would decide to build first. And then we were like, okay, well, you know, we already have the infrastructure. Let’s put a login page on it and see if other people are going to be able to use it as well.
And so that sort of gradually turned into a business where it was quite clear for us, okay, there is some sign of life there. There is a proof of concept. We already have a bunch of paying customers, so now it makes more sense to start investing more resources. Considering that Visme is still up to today is a bootstrap company. So every dollar we put in is our own money. It’s not just some investors’ cash. So we had to be very mindful and be pretty scrappy.