from Shubha A T.
Speaker – Yunha Kim, Co-founder & CEO at Locket
What happens when 5 people and 3 dogs, move into a house to build a startup? They build Locket.
The idea came when she was thinking about how often people check their mobiles, a staggering 8.9 billion times in a day. Started thinking about it in March 2013, while thinking about starting up, and the same time Yunha switched from an iPhone to a Galaxy S3.
She realized she looked at the lock screen several times, and got interested in how it can be changed. She approached a friend, now her cofounder, who was more technical, and found out it can be done. She eventually convinced her friend to join her. Finally 5 people and 3 dogs moved in together to build Locket. Bought furniture from IKEA, shopped at Costco every 2 weeks for food, surviving under $2 a day.
But what was great about not having much is, it makes you humble, grounded, and you can iterate really fast. They had the product out in little less than 3 months.
Some interesting things came on early, launched the product in July 2013 last year and got featured in Techcrunch, acquiring more than 25,000 users on that day. Got hacked on the first day, and the engineer who hacked them joined them as their second engineer. Got funded in August, and moved to the valley.
What did they do right?
“We were so hungry, we really hustled”
- Execute fully and fail fast – one of the biggest fears was a fear of failing slowly and painfully.
- Decide on a clear division of labor- clear division of labor and responsibility between sales, technology, pitching was very helpful. Utilizing time well was key.
- Get some good advisors
What we learned?
- Saying No – When we first launched, there were no leaders in the space of Locked Screen space. Loads of ideas and opportunities existed in that space. We ended up trying to build everything, but the key is to say this is a great idea, but we are not going to be building this. Lot of big companies showed interest, but nothing concrete was coming out of it, Saying no to big companies was really important
- When unsure, roll the dice and just execute it – Sometimes you need to take a decision, put it out and come back to the decision later based on data.
- Attitude is everything
- Game – I am playing this game. Certain amount of money, and certain resources, I need to make a decision on how to utilize it to the most.
- Uncertainty – Some of the team members would talk about how they were uncertain about the pivot, but startups are always about uncertainty. But if you are creating something new, uncertainty is part of the game. Startups are a roller coaster, enjoy the ride.