Creativity beats Capital. So I would summarize the history and philosophy behind my start-up.
Everything started two years ago: I was looking for a point of sales software product for my dear wife. Because she had decided to open her own boutique to sell exclusive accessories for dogs and cats. At that time, I knew of great tools to be able to support such a shop, but they were only in the USA. In Switzerland and throughout German-speaking Europe, these US tools could not be used: on the one hand, there was the language of the country, and on the other hand, the tools were oriented only to the US market.
So I had to search through the Internet – I started Google and read the keyboard glow. What did I want? Actually, nothing complicated, I was looking for software that:
- Functioned in any normal browser
- Also runs as an app, e.g. for iPad users
- Easy to use
- Includes a customer database
- That comes with simple product on boarding
- Provides sales analytics
And of course, we wanted to create an e-commerce web shop that automatically synchronizes with the POS software.
My wife also wanted to be able to design her own bills and price tags herself – corporate branding is always an advantage.
So, nothing really spectacular. But to my surprise there was no such tool in Europe. Each alternative had some drawback. So I thought about buying different products and connecting all their functions via APIs (interfaces) – but the cost of this idea greatly overran my budget.
So I gave up at first and made compromises!
We simply bought the best product from the leading Swiss provider, often used in the pet sector, and paid a monthly fee for the cloud service. We got about 70% of what we really wanted and had to order 6 different modules and paid the monthly fees of CHF 380, a one-off acquisition fee of CHF 800 – and support was not even included with all that.
Developing the software myself
In September 2016 we finally had enough. I just decided to create my own software.
However, there was still a problem: I am not a software developer.
I have always been a fan of the start-up community, and I always invested in ideas and companies. In 2000, I even started my own start-up with two friends (https://www.junisphere.ch). Even then, I was convinced that everyone could start their own
business as long as they wanted to. After all, creativity beats capital! This is also the opinion of the outstanding author, professor, and entrepreneur Prof. Dr. Günter Faltin.
One year ago, I read an article about the CEO of Cisco Systems, John Chambers, who said, “I believe in a future where there are more one-man companies than we can ever imagine. Industry 4.0 will create more and more one-man businesses that can compete with traditional firms, with their automation, advances in artificial intelligence, machine-based learning, and out-tasking.”
That’s what I believe. And with my company Yaddoo, I wanted to do exactly that. If I were to do everything by myself, I could keep costs low and offer my customers a high-quality solution at a fair price. So I went forth!
On the Freelancing page Fiverr, I found experts who created my logo, helped me with legal matters, software licenses and contracts for software developers. Other professionals created web content, video clips, and much more for me.
Normally, entrepreneurs have to pay all of this to an expensive company or hire the necessary specialized staff. At Fiverr, I got it for a low price – again, costs saved – however, the quality remained high. The result: A professional product at a low price!
Of course, the software itself was the most important part of my project … and initially it was hard for me to find good developers. With some luck I found a team in India; only 24 employees, but all young, enthusiastic entrepreneurs, who thought just as I did. I told them what I needed to create the software that is able to develop the perfect shop for my wife.
Yaddoo came to life.
I gave the team in India a detailed description of the software, almost 50 pages of it. Of course, most importantly, my Yaddoo Cloud Service should be hosted in Europe, on the Amazon Web Service (AWS). Everything should fall under the European Data Protection Act.
The next big challenge, of course, was support. My budget was not enough to pay an army of call center agents, so the team from India offered me chat support for the startup. So I can bring Yaddoo to the market as soon as possible and use input from future customers to improve the user experience.
For the beginning, chat (initially only in English) is offered. This will provide an interactive and intuitive experience for customers and the support team themselves. This is only possible because Yaddoo itself is so intuitive and easy to use. Training is not required, Learning by Doing!
As soon as Yaddoo is used by a lot of people and I have the necessary resources, I will expand the support offering. In addition to telephone support, German support will also be implemented. And this is how my software, my start-up, my company is growing. Yaddoo will make life easier for countless people and help companies reach customers in Europe.
For the future, I hope that through the company strategy, we can not only find thousands of friends and users, but we can also use their feedback to develop an ever-improving Yaddoo.
With the creativity behind Yaddoo, we have already capitalized several times. And we will continue along this path together.