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9 out of 10 startups fail. This apocryphal statistic is generally accepted as fact because the simple truth is, building a successful business is hard.
There are many obvious factors that have contributed to monday.com’s success as a product and business—hard work, luck, determination—but much of where we’ve arrived today is thanks to the less obvious lessons that our founders learned the hard way.
When launching a new business and looking for a product/market fit, many people ask questions like:
- Do we solve a problem?
- Do people understand our solution?
- Are they able to implement our solution?
- Do we add value?
This is a good start, but it’s not close to enough. In this post, we’ll share some of our co-founders Roy Man and Eran Zinman’s hard-earned insights on how they built a strong business. They’ve both been developing and building products since they were kids and have a lot of successes and failures under their belt.
Beautiful design and excellent code don’t matter (at first)
Roy: “I built two startups that succeeded in some aspects but failed to turn into viable businesses. They were really good looking products with an excellent code base, but that didn’t help. It also didn’t help that people who saw these products were amazed and loved them—something didn’t work and I had no idea what.
So I went to my good friend and mentor Avishai Abrahami, the CEO of Wix, and told him that he had to show me how to get it right. So I joined Wix in 2010 when they were a startup of 80 people.”
Eran: “After I got my degree, I started my own company building a search engine for user reviews, where you could get an aggregated view of all reviews. I rented 15 computers that crawled the web 24/7 and put them on the second floor of my mom’s house. I got a call from our Internet provider who were like, ‘Uh, what are you doing?’
“I made every mistake you can make as an entrepreneur. I thought that you have to build an excellent product before you raise money. We kept improving it and perfecting it for a whole year while I burned through my life’s savings. Finally, my account was frozen, and I had to call it quits.
Working with your intuition is always wrong. You look at other companies and success stories and try to reverse-engineer them. It’s never like that. I thought, ‘I’m going to create the next Google. When I launch, it’s going to be perfect.’ I had no idea that I should have shared it with users and gotten feedback really early on.”
Roy: “When I joined Wix, I couldn’t believe how bad their codebase was. Their product design was pretty childlike, and the UI was horrible. Nothing acted like anything you’d expect. The Head of Product back then was proud of the fact that their ‘color picker’ was designed by a color-blind person.
Continue reading %The Secret Sauce for Creating an Amazing Product%
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