Team – Hiring product supporters
Anda Gansca – Team – How to source your product team from your biggest startup supporters.
So, one of the biggest challenges for me and Steph, once we found each other, and we decided that we wanted to work together, and we had raised some money, was to hire a team that could rally whenever we needed to push something out, and could believe in the mission, and could kind of just be there with us, as part of this Knotch family that we started.
So the first person we brought on board was Rebecca, who was our chief creative officer. And, she just did all the branding, all the initial designs, all the marketing, initially. She was just, you know, a genius. An incredible addition to the team. She added so much to the company, and, really we could not be here without her, today. And then she decided to pursue her own entrepreneurial path, which was awesome because, to a certain extent, I think the entire experience of Knotch inspired her to try to become an entrepreneur, herself.
Then, the story of how we found our amazing new designer, is just awesome. He saw Knotch in the App Store, in Australia and downloaded it, and then became one of our biggest users. And he was Knotching away. He was one of the funniest users. And I kind of clicked with him. And, you know, I started looking up on this guy, you know, creepily, to figure out who he actually is. And so, I found out that he was actually an amazing designer, and award-winning designer, actually. And, at the time we were kind of starting to look for someone else. And so I said, “Hey Aaron, would you be interested in working for Knotch?” And he was like, “Yeah.” And I remember the Skype call that we had with him, telling us how much he earns, and he used to earn an insane amount of money. Like, I have never made that much in my life. And I was like, “So would you take four x less money to come work for us in the US?” And he was like, “Yeah, I will probably think about that for a bit.” And a few hours after, he said, “Yes, I am totally going to come and do it.” And it was so amazing that we sourced such a big addition to our team from our user base, and it is awesome that we can do that.
Our first engineer we hired is from my hometown, and I first met him when I was 16, almost 17. He is two years older than me, and we met by the seaside in Romania, and I was actually studying for the SAT’s to apply to Stanford. And, I remember we met and we had a very—like a great time for a few days, and I just had this really awesome memory of him being a great guy. And so, when we started looking or our first engineer, we started interviewing people from Stanford, and just Silicon Valley. And then, you know, I accidentally mentioned it to one of my friends in Romania that we were for an engineer, and all of the sudden I get this email from Mihai, who I had not been in touch with. And you know, I am like, “Yeah, let us definitely give it a shot.” And so we interviewed everyone, and he was the best, and we decided to take him, and he worked from afar for five months, and then we brought him over, two months ago, so he is a newbie here.
And then we have Eric, whom is actually, again, one of our biggest users. He actually worked at the Stanford incubator that we were apart of. He just graduated from Stanford Law, and is currently studying to pass the bar. So he is going to be the first duplicate of me, addition to the team. He is not going to code or design, he is just going to help me, kind of, handle all the operations and legal side of the company. So I can focus more on just creative product, industry trends, fundraising, blah, blah.
And then we have our new addition to the team, whose name is Travis. We just stole him from an amazing company called Chartboost. He is going to be our full stack engineer, and he is incredibly excited to join us. He is starting on August first, actually, so I do not know if this is public yet, but it is just really exciting to have him on board. He has so much experience, and he is going to be great helping us scale, which is going to be something that we are doing, starting in September.
We are hiring two more people. I am sure that within the next three weeks we are going to know who those people are, and we are going to be a team of eight or nine, depending. And just going to go forward and make Knotch explode in the next few months.