So this week we have something a little bit different....
Twitter has undoubtedly changed, if not revolutionized, communication in the last 5 years. By restricting messages to 140 characters, Twitter forces you to be concise and precise, thus making conversations rapid and focused.
We have all struggled with composing the perfect twitter message, however it can be actually quite surprising how much information you can squeeze into such a limited space!
Now imagine trying to communicate using only 10 characters and a symbol. Because this is what Chill, a "game changing" new start up want you to do.
Personally, I'm skeptical about how much information you can usefully get across in SUCH a limited message. However the rise and ubiquitous use of emojis is conclusive evidence that there is the demand and appreciation for rapid fire and short character messaging, especially among millennials!
This, coupled with the growing use of wearables in the next few years, actually makes Chill's basic value proposition pretty solid. The real test will be whether consumers can intuitively use and read such a limited method of information transfer.
To find out more about how the messaging aspect works I spoke to it's founder, Kirill Chekanov!
Name: Kirill Chekanov
Business Name: Chill
Age of business: 3 years since idea appeared, 1 year since development started, 1 month since incorporation.
Communication is getting shorter, right?
My granny uses email, my mom uses Twitter, what is next?
We've developed a stripped down communication experience for the new way Millennials communicate
Here are a few cases:
You are restricted to sending an icon and a 10 symbol hashtag which is a surprisingly effective way to communicate over wearable devices.
So, what makes this different to other messaging apps?
Mobile is not sexy anymore. We are at a stage where the wearable generation is being raised. Just imagine- there will soon be people who had wearables since day 1 of their lives. It’ll be nothing new for them, no science fiction.
We see wearables as the next big personal accessory and this is what we are super focused on.
Chill is the fastest way to communicate without text or voice and the first messaging experience truly optimised for wearables.
What were you doing before you set up your business and what made you take the leap into starting your own venture?
I had some experience in building businesses before. Had my first business built at the age of 14, it was an HR startup where I helped local startups find teammates, employees. By the age of 17 I was already heavily involved in the community and this was the time I’ve created Hippflow- my first venture funded company. Raised $100k with a $1m valuation (might sound like not much but: pre revenue, pre product, VC fund, IN RUSSIA. That was like… cool, haha).
We were the first team in Russia to build a Google Glass app which gave us an opportunity to be first to talk to a meaningful amount of wearable users and understand their real pains.
Unfortunately we failed to raise enough funds during the next round. The mistake was we were raising from Russian investors who were more into funding e-commerce than something focused on user growth.
I took some time to get rest and inspiration on what my next steps are. Luckily got an offer to work at Chinacceelrator for a few months so my next stop was Shanghai which was a breath of fresh air for me.
On return after a 3 month trip I got back to uni to get a team together. This is where I met Greg and Ilia. Since then we never stopped Chilling :)
Have you had any setbacks? What have you learnt from them?
There is no entrepreneurial journey without setbacks.
It is naive for a first time entrepreneur to be a single founder. People are key. Analysing my time between Hippflow and Chill - I was always in a search for the right people.
A lot ask: is there an actual way to find a cofounder? Are there any websites
Asking that - ask yourself: are there websites to find a perfect wife/ husband? Yeah, exactly, that’s almost same except you spending much more time with your team than with your beloved one.
You know it when you find it!
Getting press and building a successful business are two different things. As a first time entrepreneur each publication feels like you are on the top of the world. That’s fake. You get press when you deserve it. Getting press early is more of a bad than a good thing.
It’s business, don’t take press personal.
What is the single achievement that you are most proud of and how did you manage it?
Bringing together a killer team.
With my guys I am sure we can build whatever we want whenever we need it. Being sure in the people surrounding you is a luxury not everyone could afford.
If you could start again, what would you do differently as a young entrepreneur?
Start following my intuition much earlier in life.
You sometimes have this voice inside. Don’t hesitate listening to it. It would be normally super damn accurate.
Learn to trust yourself.
What would be your number one tip for someone thinking about starting their own business?
Just go do it. I know people waiting to graduate school, university and whatever else to start building a business. You need none of this to go out there and start doing things.
What are your plans for 2016
The main focus for us is bringing Chill across as many platforms as we can. By the end of 2016 there will be no wearable platform Chill is not present on.
Find out more:
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