Eli David: Startupblink.com helps start-ups to connect with each other and create relevant alliances or partnerships
Startupblink is a "social-info network" for the global start-up ecosystem trying to put into the light start-ups from all parts of the world.
Hi my name is Jasom Dotnet and in this another episode of the Yellow Hat podcast. I spoke with Eli David form Startupblink.com. This is our conversation
Hi, how are you?
My very first question is always which activity do you wish to promote?
Okey, so basically I think it would be Startupblink.com. It's the global map of the startup ecosystem. We want startup co-founders to put themselves on the map.
We build the site, basically, to stay little bit away from Silicon Valley and dotcom and start-up ecosystem of another places as well.
It will be good to bring people's attention that the site exist. They go on the site, see all the start-ups that are relevant to them by industry, by location. Then can communicate with that start-ups and connect to the global start up ecosystem.
I have already registered Ynterview.com and I also found some new start-ups near me. It's really nice database.
Actually it's good, because when we start a start-up, we usually don't pay that much attention to the competition or to people doing the same stuff that we are doing less of competition but more like cooperation.
What can you do if you have a start-up, how can you boost it by working with other start-ups as well. It's a very isolated thing, we [in Startupblink.com] think.
And actually, one of the good way of doing it is try to figure out who is doing kind of what we are doing, connecting with them and try to building alliances. Chances are against you statistically when you have a start-up.
When you don't work with others they're even more against you. That's what we are trying to build – place where you can find things that will help you.
Also when you are working within a group, motivation is nice added value, because you keep each other motivated.
Totally agree. One of the biggest problem in start-ups is people dropping out, people stopping before they should stop. I have seen a lot of co-founders quitting way to early. And one of the reasons why people quit is because they feel very lonely.
You are building your thing, and you aren't getting enough feedback and you feel like you are building it for yourself in a way. And in some point you just break.
So, I think, each of us, regardless of Startupblink, Startupblink can be nice way of doing it, but each of us can, has to while building their startup, you have to connect yourself to the ecosystem. You have to do it.
Basically if not, this loneliness is make you close the start-up a lot of earlier then before. We are social animals.
We have to find ways while building our start-ups how to connect with other entrepreneurs or it will be very boring, lonely and sometimes depressing journey where on the low points you have nobody to talk to. Trying to find ways to connect with others is really important.
I would say, that it's important to stay between people with same culture, with same way of thinking. It's not good when you socialize only with “employed people” because they cannot help you with their feedback, or can feedback you just a little.
Yeah, I totally agree. They will also question the rationally of you working on the start-up.
Yes, because they have a different mindset.
They have a different mindset and they receive the salary. They are the first ones whose say “why are you doing it, you don't even know it's gonna work”. If you gonna hang-out with those guys too much, the doubts are gonna cripple.
Not only that doubts will cripple you but you became “the salary man”.
Yeah, you will go to the “9to5”. If you have friends and they work in companies and you start entrepreneurship it doesn't mean that you will never beer with them, but you have to be in the situation when you surround yourself also with entrepreneurs.
For the mindset, motivation and also for the advises and the emotional support. Others will simply try to looking for your best interest, try to get you away from the path you taking.
Not only for the best interest, but also because their own assumptions about life. They would also like to get out of the “9to5” support. If your bet gonna be successful, it's kind of the challenge on what they're doing, anyway.
Surround yourself with entrepreneurs – this is really important
So yeah, surround yourself with fellow entrepreneurs. It's really important finding the ways how to do it. I recommend for example Meetup.com.
It's a great site for going out, for meet-ups and meeting up like-me-minded entrepreneurs. Surround yourself with entrepreneurs – this is really important.
Who is behind Startupblink.com?
Who's behind? Co-founder and me. Co-founder Roderick Warren, he's in Switzerland, and myself Eli David, I'm from Israel.
We love start-ups and we decided that we wanna work on this about one year and half ago. We started really really seriously a year ago. It's quite a big challenge for 2 people to map entire global start-up ecosystem.
We don't have a lot of investors, we have very small investors that believe in the idea, in the vision. Professional investors are currently our of this project.
What keeps you going?
What keeps us going? It's basically the feedback. BTW, we have a new tab on Startupblink called “reporters”. We added only one week ago. Did you see it?
I saw it and I'm already in.
You singed up for a reporter tab?
Yes, I did.
That's great. I hope that very soon you gonna receive some approaches from start-ups, because we haven't announce it yet. I think this feature is a great way for start-ups to approach reporters in a direct way.
One of the thinks that we are inserting slowly on Startupblink is not only have the start-ups adding themselves to the description but also... That's why we call the site “Startupblink”, the startups are also putting “Blinks” out there.
That's my next question. What is the “Blink” about. It something like status on Twitter?
It's interesting – we have to figure our what is the Blink about, what are the Blinks about. When people using them, then we'll understand it ourselves. But basically, idea is that it's a communication system within Startupblink.
Start-ups and other ecosystem players like co-working spaces, accelerators, ambassadors, investors, freelancers to announce... and reporters as well by the way... to announce their recent updates.
We wanna create situation when you don't only sing-up, put your profile out there, but you keep on updating about things that you need, about recent development. Unlike Twitter, I lot of thing that go on Twitter are kind of spammy.
Not really interesting like “hey, let's go for lunch”. We are trying for the Blinks to be more like “hey, I achieved a huge milestone”. We want Blinks to become something a little bit more relevant.
Something that showcases the latest news from your start-up in a way you becoming a journalist of your own start-up. You write only about important thing that happened. And by doing that, you can get traction, because people like you.
Reporters can see latest news from the start-up and then say: “Wow, it's actually really interesting latest news”. You just signed contract with big client or you just developed this specific product last month and then you can approach them as a reporter or as an investor.
It's basically communication system that we are working very hard on to create a value, to not be in a situation that Startupblink is a static page, only description. We want something else. We wanna little bit more... like we said – the connecting with each other. It's something that we are trying to constantly develop.
So I see Startupblink as a social network for start-ups.
Startupblink is first of all an information network where you can find information about stuff you care about and also the social network in the sense of that it keeps on being updated.
Something like that. Yeah that's a nice how to finish it. I may use it from now, I will steal it from you :-)
What are your other activities aside of Startupblink?
I get my money from Lingoelearn.com which is a site for learning languages. This is a start-up which I started 5 years ago. We have few hundred students and about 60 teachers from around the world teaching various languages. So that's what I do when I don't work on Startupblink.
Other than that I have a nomadic blog called Becomenomad.com which is basically discussing the life style of traveling and working on the same time. In the last 5 years I lived in about 30 countries. I keep on changing countries as a lifestyle, as a decision.
So, let's say that I have to many activities. It's something that I always recommend to people. In retrospective, try working on one project only. I push myself to situations because I always wanted to create something new...
I work on too many projects and then you lost a focus. Basically I'm doing Startupblink, Lingoelearn, I'm doing the blog, I used to do a lot of business consulting as well which I stop and I travel a lot... so a lots of activities.
This what you said, “do more than one project in one time” it's what I call diversification. Like, try to diversify your income. Don't put all eggs into one basket, but there is a problem. When you work on more then one project you lost your focus.
I agree. I figured out after years of doing this diversification, that you shouldn't diversify.
You shouldn't, right?
Right. Basically you have to... I think what everyone has to do is very simple. First of all say, what is your main project? And you have to make very very clear answer: WHAT IS YOUR MAIN PROJECT? THE MAIN ASSET YOU ARE WORKING ON? There is only one.
Now, the only thing that you can do and should do is subsidizing. What do I mean? I mean that if your main project is something that's probably only gonna generate revenue in one year from now, It doesn't mean that you're gonna do it full-time, because I will be little bit crazy – you gonna be left without money.
So basically pick your main project and then pick a subsidizing channel, that will allow you to give oxygen to your main project. Don't only focus on one, focus on the main project or the main asset you're building and also focus on the revenue channel that will sustain you while building this project.
And I think this is the best way how to do it. This is what I basically do right now.
It make sense.
I'll give you little bit of my history. When I started the Lingoelearn, 5 years ago, it was my main project. And how did I subsidize it? By freelancing and preparing business plans for the people.
Now, I'm working on Startupblink. It's my main project. How do I subside it? I use Lingoelearn as something what gives me an oxygen because Lingoelearn is already making a little bit of profit and I left business-plannig and freelancing. Sometimes your main project is gonna be what subsidizes your next big project.
The thing is DO NOT MIX 2 MAIN PROJECT ON THE SAME TIME THAT ARE ASSEST On THE LONG TERM. That's something that I have learned as an advise and I think, it's a good advise.
So continue with source of income and continue with something what push you forward.
This is a time of the last question. What is you basic startup tactic?
I think that my basic tactic is NEVER QUIT.
Never quit, yeah, that's very important position.
The only thing I have learned so far by doing this 5 years is basically – never quit.
And this was Eli David from Startupblink.com. Thank you for your time.
Thank you very much. Talk to you soon, bye bye.
Interviewee: Eli David