You always hear the same story about successful startup entrepreneurs and their million dollar ideas. We all have ideas we believe in, but way too often we don't follow them, thinking that these don't matter or won't work. Well, that's precisely the difference that makes entrepreneurs so special.
They don't just dream!
They are not afraid to risk it all or make mistakes, as they know that there is no chance without risk, as well as no innovation without change. And I am proud to say I am one of them.
So, my name is Alex and as you might have guessed, I am a Romanian entrepreneur, the co-founder and owner of PixTeller.
Before PixTeller, I launched one of the first web templates store in the world: GecoTemplates (2006). I also had some ambitious projects like Niuzer.com and Sunlize.com. Although not successful in all their details, these opened new pathways for my future ideas.
Now let's go back in 2013, in Iasi.
Located in the eastern part of Romania (Moldavia), Iasi has traditionally been one of the leading centers of the country social, cultural, academic and artistic life. It is a thriving university city and was, before Bucharest, Romania's cultural and economic capital.
It was just a normal day at home, a day like any other. While navigating through the web on a social platform, I got impressed by people's increasing wish to express themselves through images. Suddenly, all the pieces fit together in one moment of inspiration: developing an app that will make design easier for everyone.
After launching the first version of PixTeller in September 2014, I was amazed by the large number of people around the globe, who were using my app, creating thousands of quote pictures every day.
As a startup entrepreneur, I am always searching for new and innovative methods to engage with the users and customers of my product. Their impressions about the service I deliver on a real-time basis are crucial and help me improve my strategy and constantly grow.
Therefore, my new PixTeller's idea is quite simple: to improve and simplify the design process from start to end, so that our service can be used by any marketer from the digital industry, any blogger or website owner, as well as anyone who needs designs for personal or commercial use.
While developing the new PixTeller platform, we had to overcome many challenges. There were fun, as well as hard and exhausting moments, when we burned our brains on getting the best results.
The lack of finance was the biggest challenge we had to face. Romania is not a country with a strong economy and doesn't have an infrastructure for shared resources, support and guidance for struggling entrepreneurs to start their business. Besides the lack of resources, the government doesn't understand the specific challenges that the entrepreneurs are facing.
Another key challenge was trying to source talented people to join the team. I had to face many difficulties, as the idea of a startup, with no external funding or guarantee of expected results, is not that appealing to many.
If you live in an emergent country where the IT industry is growing every year, you will face the competition of multinationals, that have financial power and offer many benefits to their employees, from bonuses to health insurances. As a startup with no external funding, you cannot offer the benefits, business environment, or salary level as multinationals.
Also, when working on a startup, you don't usually have a daily 8 hours work schedule. There are times when you need to work even more than 12 hours per day. Therefore, it is essential to have the right people by your side, who understand the concept of your project and believe in your idea and on whom you can count every day.
One of the best things startups can offer to their team members is the freedom to express their creativity, to develop their ideas and to learn new things from different areas of their interest. We don't necessarily believe in office jobs and work schedules.
You can work anytime and from anywhere, as long as you are doing your job. For example, we have a team member who is always traveling and working from his laptop, from different continents.
For years, I've been struggling to find the right people and worked with many developers. From my experience, I think that only a few have the strength and patience to work on a startup.
I came to the conclusion that the best team relationships are the ones built on trust and loyalty. Encouraging communication and cooperation between the members of your team, value their ideas and performance is one of the best approach for startups.
I am happy to say that in the end it was all worth it. We at PixTeller, crave friendship and positive interactions, as the better our team relationship is, the happier and more productive we are going to be.
Even though we do have giant competitors as Adobe or Autodesk, as well as a few startups like Canva, Fotor or BeFunky, our app is distinguished by our different approach.
Anyway, we do like to think that in a world where thousands of new images are created every day, there is room for every great product on the market.
Actually, the technology we used for PixTeller Editor makes our product a major player in the design field, allowing us to move fast in different areas of step by step products, like SaaS business, B2B for printing companies, B2B for site builder services, mobile devices and more.
To provide an overall picture of our product, we can compare it to a human being.
The Body is represented by all the users and customers and as we all know, this can only function with a Heart - the Editor. The heart also needs air to beat, as people need ideas to design. Yes, you got it right! The templates represent the Lungs.
You can use the graphic images designed with PixTeller for social media to impress the audience, create photo albums, banners, posters or anything you can imagine and save it as PDF, JPEG, PNG.
Why choosing PixTeller instead of other design app? Here are some specific benefits of using our product:
What I wanted to point out in this article was a clear picture and better insight of a startup, considering my experience on PixTeller.
Of course the new PixTeller version could have been finished in less than a year, but we had to overcome the challenges mentioned above, as well as many other obstacles. The idea is that I never gave up on my dream, even if it took me around 2 long years to finish it.
Therefore, as a friendly piece of advice, I would encourage any entrepreneur to fight for their beliefs and not be discouraged by the obstacles waiting around the corner. PixTeller, like many other startups around the globe, proved it's possible!
To end my "speech", here are some of the plans I have for PixTeller in the near future.
If I had to draw a picture of PixTeller five years from now, I would be elusive and say that the best way to succeed in business is to stay in business.
Grow your business and go viral! It can be surprising, as things in startups can move fast.
Until next time, Be creative! - Pix'sTory made by Alex