Table of Contents
- Tell us about your product and what inspired you to start it?
- How long did it take you to acquire your first 50 customers, and what was your growth strategy?
- Which technology stack are you using and what challenges and limitations does it pose?
- What are some of the most essential tools that you use for your business?
- What have been some of the biggest insights you've gained since starting your entrepreneurial journey?
- Your recommended books/podcasts/newsletters etc.:
Faruk Durak is the founder of MonitUp - A tool to measure the productivity of your teams and freelancers.
Tell us about your product and what inspired you to start it?
When Covid-19 started, everyone started working from home. Meanwhile, I was meeting with the executives of the company where I work full time and we were wondering what people were doing at home.
This is where the idea for MonitUp was born, we started with employee monitoring but decided to focus on improving efficiency. Because; I thought not every company would want to monitor their employees, but every company would want to increase their productivity.
• It keeps track of login and exit times and how many hours the computer is on the lock screen during the day.
• It keeps track of how much time the user spends in which application.
• It keeps track of which websites you visit.
• You can define applications as efficient, inefficient and neutral. In this way, you can track which user is spending the day with how efficiently.
• It takes a screenshot every 5 minutes if you wish.• Keeps RAM, CPU, HDD usage history of computers.
• You can determine the working hours of your company. The system will only operate between these hours.
In addition, other data that you can have an idea about your company;
You will have information about the system and employees.
Is your customer data stored or used by your employees at a different location?
Do you have employees who need training?
Do you have employees with low productivity or motivation?
You can have a lot of information about your company, such as the level of your employees using your technology investments.
We are working hard to make MonitUp a useful tool that all employees and companies will want to use.
How long did it take you to acquire your first 50 customers, and what was your growth strategy?
If you have a B2B product, finding customers is not that easy.
MonitUp was my 2nd job, I was able to work in the evenings and on the weekends. That's why it took so long. We started the project in 2020, like 2021 the project reached the MVP level, but of course we could not sell it at all. We had to make a decision here, is this project a failed project? Will we ever sell? Or should we just shut our eyes and move on? I am sure that if you are reading this, you have experienced or will experience this situation.
I had decided that we could not sell at all and thought of selling the entire project for a few thousand dollars or continuing the project with the help of a co-founder. Then I made an announcement on LinkedIn "I am looking for a co-founder with whom I will share 50% of my MonitUp shares" and around 50 applications came. I wasn't expecting that much attention, I talked to some people out there and decided that the idea was right but the product was inadequate.
I found a very interested co-founder, but he wanted to make a total advertising budget of $2K. That didn't sound like a figure worth co-founding to me, and I decided to go it alone. I think the magic sentence that keeps me moving forward at every point I get stuck here is: "Why?". I needed to understand why I was never able to sell, so I asked people, read articles and experimented.
Someone recommended AppSumo.com to me and I added my product there, of course, again I couldn't make any sales. The magic phrase worked again; "Why couldn't I sell?" Then I researched it, asked in Facebook groups, offered suggestions and tried them.
I started selling 4 months after I joined AppSumo, I tried a lot of different things and some of them worked. Now AppSumo is over and I'm trying to sell subscriptions and I can't sell them again :) My magic sentence helps me again and I search why I can't sell and try what I find. I hope to make my first subscription sale soon.
Which technology stack are you using and what challenges and limitations does it pose?
MonitUp consists of two different applications, we have an application you install it on your computer and it collects all the data. Another is the Web page. All collected data is displayed and reported on this web page. The app is actually old technology and we didn't choose to use it, but there was no other way to collect the data. Our application only supports Windows operating systems, we need to write another one for Mac Operating systems and it is quite a costly task.
What are some of the most essential tools that you use for your business?
Google analytics, Google Search console, Semrush, Visual Studio, SQL Server, hotjar
What have been some of the biggest insights you've gained since starting your entrepreneurial journey?
I'm a software developer, so I realized I was thinking too much and unnecessary technical. As if solving technical problems would solve all problems.
I've discovered that selling is more difficult than solving technical problems. Now I think only sales oriented. If I started a new project today, I would first think about how to sell, and after deciding how to sell, I would shape the project accordingly.It's hard to know what works and what doesn't, so you have to be open to innovations and inclined to make quick decisions and implement them quickly.
You have to be social, meet new people and ask "How did you do it?" you should ask. You are most likely going through similar paths and your time is limited, so don't waste time rediscovering it. Find out what has already been discovered and quickly put it into practice.
Your recommended books/podcasts/newsletters etc.:
Books about the lives of Steve Jobs and Elon Musk, Think And Grow Rich (Napoleon Hill), Rich Dad Poor Dad (robert kiyosaki), and of course Twitter, indie hackers, reddit