In high school I was soldering little electronic devices and then learnt my first programming language - Delphi. I wanted to be able to create websites, so I decided to study computer science. After one and a half years of learning C++, MATLAB, algorithms, electronics and mathematics I realised that I was on a good path to becoming a programmer and this was not my goal. I wanted to do something more creative in my life.
I learnt Flash, ActionScript and Photoshop in my spare time and got an internship at a mobile startup. A year later I started a graphic design course, where I practiced idea generation techniques, typography, branding and copywriting. While studying I started freelancing as a graphic designer and I enjoyed it so much that I almost didn’t start my masters degree.
User Experience Design
The final major project at university inspired me and a fellow graduate Nicolas Holzapfel to start up Yoomoot - an innovative discussion platform. During this project I studied and practiced lean product development, marketing, social media, PR, recruitment, pitching and selling. I have never learnt so much in such a short space of time.
I was working full time as a User Experience Consultant when we launched Yoomoot. It was really exciting, but soon after the launch a similar service was announced: Quora. We didn’t feel we could compete with a well funded startup ($11mln), so we have decided to pivot, but sadly that took a lot more time than expected and we never finished it as we run out of money.
You can read more about our challenges of launching a bootstrapped startup.
Yoomoot has received quite a bit of recognition:
- In 2009 and 2010 Yoomoot has been shortlisted for two Creative Enterprise Awards: "Most Enterprising Project" and "Outstanding New Business”. It was a semifinalist for The Next Web & Techcrunch 50, a finalist for Springboard and took 5th place at Techcrunch London event.
- In 2011 Yoomoot won Smarta 100 Awards and was named one of the most resourceful, original, exciting and disruptive small businesses in the UK.
- In 2012 I was selected as one of 12 entrepreneurs from around the world to participate in Blackbox Connect in Silicon Valley, where we learnt about Silicon Valley ecosystem, raising an investment, pitching, creating pitch decks, choosing advisors, lean UX and customer development.
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Speaking and mentoring
I have shared my entrepreneurship and product development experience at Startup Weekend, Dreamstake, Productcamp, OpenReaktor, Working Knowledge, London School of Economics and University of the Arts London.
I use my experience of running my own startup to help companies build better products faster and cheaper. I also like to create more efficient processes and cost effective user acquisition campaigns. I enjoy challenges and always strive for simplicity.