Melissa Montalvo | April 3, 2019
We recently sat down with Manuel de la Torre, CTO of Voxfeed, to talk about his experience as an entrepreneur. We wanted to find out what he wished he had known when first starting out with Voxfeed. He shared with us 6 tips for first-time entrepreneurs.
1. Read The Lean Startup, by Eric Ries. “It was our salvation,” says Manuel. He and CEO Gustavo Lopez read the book in 2015 during a difficult time for the company. They immediately began to apply the build-measure-learn methodology to their business. “Our company would have already failed back in 2015 if we hadn’t applied the lessons from this book.”
2. Start with mini experiments and launch them fast. Don’t be married to your initial ideas. Don’t build huge, complex changes to test how they impact your business. Be flexible and willing to change. Start with mini experiments. “We realized that even small innovations or changes to our platform could have enormous impact.”
3. Don’t force your solution on the market. Talk to your potential future customers. Listen to their real pain points. You might have to change your solution, and that’s okay.
“We started with a product called ReTweeti. When we presented the idea to a large client, they weren’t interested. They said they were interested in a way to find influencers in one place. At the time we were so focused on our product, that we didn’t listen to the real market need. They gave us our business idea years before we created Voxfeed.”
4. Keep your teams small. Maybe you’ve received an initial investment. Don’t spend it all on salary. It’s simple math: a high monthly burn rate (how much you spend per month) with limited runway is not a good combination.
5. Don’t be afraid to pivot. Voxfeed has made many pivots – from its business model to its target market. When you feel you are not growing enough or you business is stagnating, it’s usually time to pivot. It’s worse to be stagnant and fail than to not try other solutions.
6. Make sure everything you do is relevant. Everything your team does should align with a business goal. Voxfeed focuses on what is absolutely indispensable to their business goals. “When you are working day to day, stop and ask yourself, does this help my business achieve the goal?’ If the answer is no, you shouldn’t be doing it.”