Hitesh Chawla, co-founder of SilverPush, is a serial entrepreneur, having cofounded Wisetouch earlier. SilverPush is a mobile analytics platform for increasing engagement for mobile apps with their users. SilverPush is targeted at solving the pain of mobile app product & business owners, who suffer from post-download dormancy & churn of their installed user base.
SilverPush has been very fortunate to be selected for the first batch of the GSF Accelerator in Delhi (how we got selected is a story for another day). What Rajesh Sawhney has set up is truly amazing for startups like SilverPush. Besides being an incredibly energetic, yet calm individual, Rajesh motivates us, without criticizing us for our mistakes and often lack of direction at this early stage. He has carefully selected talented Entrepreneurs in Residence (EIRs), and together, they are revolutionizing India’s startup ecosystem. The way they have implemented the accelerator program will go a long way in producing more global companies from India.
SilverPush was an idea which we thought was going to fulfill a need in the market. At this point, we had not spoken to any of our customers, but believed that if we put our head down and built the product, the customers would definitely buy it. While we were aware of our global competition, we were not clear what our key differentiator was. On top of all this, we could not explain our product to an investor or a customer in 30 minutes, let alone the sacred 30-second standard.
After one week at GSF:
We met CXOs of 5-6 of our potential customers in the first three days of the program. As we spoke to them, we realized that their pain point was actually very different from our assumptions. I am not exaggerating by saying that if we had gone on to build the product based on our initial idea, we would have wasted at least 3 months before getting to a point where we were actually fulfilling our customers needs.
Having given a platform to meet our prospective clients directly, we have a better view of what they are looking for and are building accordingly. Believe it or not, by the end of the first week, we already signed up 3 customers.
Further, we have been practicing our pitch every single day, twice a day, with the single goal of explaining our product in 30 seconds. We have pitched it to ourselves, to investors, to EIRs at GSF and to potential customers. From not being able to explain our product in even 30 minutes, we can now explain our product in 30 seconds, without confusing our audience!!
What we learnt:
a) Talk to your customers before you start building – we could have wasted 3 months learning our customer needs what took 3 intense days at GSF
b) The art of story telling – tell the story of your product, and how it is going to change your customers life, so they can connect with it
Role of GSF
a) We are learning each building block that is required for building a global business
b) Everyday, we meet people who have been there and done that, to make sure we do not repeat their mistakes
c) Experienced Entrepreneurs in Residence (EIRs) have been helping us everyday, on our pitch, on our presentations and wherever we are struggling.
Finally, before I close this post, I want to mention that if SilverPush makes it big someday (which I am pretty sure it will), GSF’s mentoring and support at this stage will have been instrumental to our success.