Our first steps as entrepreneurs were developing our own software product: Wolfy. This experience helped us understand first-hand what a founder goes through at every project stage and acquire the needed knowledge to help startups grow.
We decided to use all that experience, and in 2015, Eagerworks was born with the aim of helping other startups achieve their goals. Now, we strive to work on each project as technical and strategic partners, not only by providing development services but also by sharing our experience as entrepreneurs.
Here are the 5 main lessons we’ve learned developing our product that help us support other startups to succeed today.
Wolfy helped us better understand customer needs. It was a tech product that eased the entire process of getting in touch with targeted prospects. Our product gave users the power to easily and quickly find contact information from their targeted prospects by just letting the product know their customer profile. Once they completed that, they received verified emails to fuel their email campaign. To get a better idea of what Wolfy was like, you can take a look at what the sales platform Apollo does today, as it was pretty similar.
We created a massive scraper powerful enough to process all the information. That scraper had to run smoothly while also running periodically in a cost-efficient way, so all the information was up-to-date.
Note that Wolfy used all the public data that was already available on the internet to make their search engine work, so the amount of data wasn’t necessarily small. Users were able to search for more than 200 million people. At the same time, this information needed to be specific: customers needed to be able to find a person’s work email address by just giving their name and the company they worked at.
We implemented a top-tier product, of which we were very proud of its code quality and performance. It was an exciting challenge as developers, and we were happy to have met it. Nonetheless, achieving the traction we expected was not that easy. At that time, customers didn’t use email marketing as much as we’re seeing it nowadays, so we couldn’t find the perfect product/market fit. Our customers and target users mainly used traditional tools such as buying outdated databases and making phone calls. So it was pretty hard to convince them that they should also use new tools or processes in their sales pipeline.
Facing each of those challenges helped us better analyze and understand our client’s needs. The entire process put us through what our clients experience with their own startups and even helped us succeed when we were building Eagerworks.
Why? Because we had to overcome the obstacles of creating a product from scratch and dealing with the questions and issues that arise on the go. It helped us understand how creating a software product is much more than just writing code.
There are lessons that we’ve learned in this process. Some are connected to the tech world, but others are mainly about the entrepreneurial world and creating a startup. Let’s explore each of them.
Developing our own product while we were building Eagerworks helped us be in our clients’ shoes and better understand what they’re going through when they’re starting to create their startups. This boosted our interest in supporting entrepreneurs and enhancing the tech collaborative environment.
This experience helped us strengthen our focus from the early stages. It taught us how to deal with unexpected issues, like users not wanting to use mailing. At that point, we created a marketing strategy that offered users a free trial so they proved that our product was worth the change.
Wolfy was our very first try to raise capital. We acknowledged the differences between raising private funding and public capital, how to make a pitch that makes investors choose you, and learned what’s important to focus on. Now every single piece of knowledge that we have embraced is being communicated to other entrepreneurs and startups as a way to help them take our experience to create their own.
Startups must handle uncertainty as they develop innovative solutions. In that path, testing and being able to pivot is critical. Wolfy taught us how hard it is to define a new direction when the results aren’t meeting the business expectations and which aspects to consider. It is crucial to understand the root of the problem and determine which area of the startup to tackle first: development, sales, marketing, etc.
With Wolfy, we understood how important it is to define the key objectives and metrics to measure them in order to monitor the evolution of a startup. It also helped us understand that sometimes, startups don’t have the necessary data, and they have to trust their intuition to make some decisions.
When starting a new project, we’ll go beyond a software solution: we’ll help project owners make accurate technical decisions and guide their products in the right direction. We work on each startup as if they were our own, sharing our know-how and expertise in every stage of the project.
Our team members will always embrace the full vision of the project. We believe there’s nothing like seeing entrepreneurs looking to make a significant change in the world, and we are eager to make our contribution. If you’re one of those, check out what we do at Eagerworks.