Stathis Kassios is a long time Music Industry Professional, has Co-founded 3 technology startups, he's rebranding Greece with Zorba The Entrepreneur, business consulting SMEs around the world, blogging, networking & writing about: Entrepreneurship, Cloud Computing, Music Business, Business Strategies, Economics, Intellectual Property, Digital Marketing, Media, Greek Crisis, Singularity, Punk Capitalism, Piracy, Gambling, Silicon Valley, Digital Music Customers - IT'S ALL HERE!
X-clusive presentation of dozeo in Greece / Interview with Mark Egert (COO)
S.K. - Please introduce yourself to the readers of this blog and tell us a bit about the background story of dozeo.
M.E. - My name is Mark Egert and I’m one of the founders and COO of dozeo. Back in 2009 my brother in law had the idea during a boring advanced education of his former employer. Everybody sat in a room in front of big screens. Just in short breaks you got to actually see each other. "Why not do that from home, saving time and money and have more fun", he wondered. In the online market, there existed some solutions, but none was easy to handle, cost transparent and looked well. So he decided - let’s start a project ourselves. That’s were I and another guy stepped in and we started our trip, gladly not knowing what way lays before us...
S.K. - How you identified a market problem and seized the opportunity to solve it? How dozeo differentiates from other established video communication software like Skype for example?
M.E. - Back in 2010, when we started, the bandwidth, the CPU of the computers and Flash were ready that you can build a hassle free browser based solution. Videoconferencing is an old theme from enterprise business, but in 2010 it became an enormous exciting market because everybody could participate now with their normal equipment. One study says that till 2020 67% of all business will use web-videoconferencing. Facial expression and body language is so important for communication. It was just a question of time that people want to see each other more often, even in business.You think Skype is older, you are right, but it’s a nice video chat tool and no real conferencing solution as we and some others are. A lot more people can participate. Ad hoc and planned meetings are possible. Neither a contact before the meeting nor a download is needed. Just a klick on the email-link and you are in. A lot more opportunities like file upload and marking or youtube watching is possible. The most important difference between Skype and all the others is our Rest-API. You can embed us in every software, platform or website in a very easy way. That’s how we are able to pimp match making websites, social enterprise software or social network platforms. Our latest project is with www.mybod-e.de. Here you can book your personal fitness coach and do some workout on the internet - live and interactive. You see, lot’s of opportunities.
S.K. - Greek entrepreneurs search for valuable resources to start rolling with their startups. What would you advise? Bootstrapping or submitting a business plan to a VC and give some equity away?
M.E. - No general answer on this, but I would try to do it without money first. Stay lean if you can. If you have success in the first place you are in much better position to negotiate your position. I never met someone who told me, we had more revenue as expected. I met more people telling me it took longer and it was much harder than expected. There are the big names and their success stories are nice to read and dream. Everybody has to decide himself if he wants to face reality and that means it’s really hard out there. There are a lot of other success stories out there of smaller and globally unknown names, but they are still successful. Everybody reached his goals by working hard and if they are really honest, everybody had a real portion of luck. Don’t believe the self motivators you can reach everything by striving enough. Yes, you will have to bring great effort, but success depends on more and there are parts which you cannot control. If you are a control freak, forget about the entrepreneurial stuff.
S.K. - Your future plans and goals with Dozeo? How will you conquer global markets?
M.E. - Our growth strategy is connected with our API. We want to pimp established websites and platforms with our service. There is no marketing budget to battle the big guys, so that seems to be the smartest way to reach our goals. I think there is a money free growth strategy out there for every tool - just think about cooperations and partnerships - they can open up complete new perspectives. We also think about starting a second solution just for webinars. Check it out www.getgrasp.io.
S.K. - Please close this interview the way you see fit. Thank you for your time!
M.E. - I want to encourage everyone who thinks about starting a business. It will be hard, harder than you can imagine - but it’s worth every second you are in. Even if you fail the first time(s), learn from it, get up and try again.