How to launch a successful startup - story of POLTRAX (part 1)
As some of you may know, around 1,5 years ago I made a decision to pass my responsibilities as CEO to Michał Krochecki and Mariusz Kozieł. Since that time I’m slowly withdrawing my engagement in day to day business at Visuality - which gives me a lot of free time. At one time, around one year ago one of my friends and co-workers from Visuality approached me with an idea that rapidly transformed into a successful business/startup which burns most of my free time currently. We had not expected to have that many clients in just the first few months. To understand the idea I need to give you a small background information about us.
Me, Staszek (the guy mentioned above) and Mateusz are heavily involved in running/walking ultra marathons - all because of Staszek. And in the ultra-marathons world there is one problem - it’s hard to follow the athletes, since they run/walk in mountains/forests on very long distances. Staszek came to me and said that he was observing one biking event and saw that the event organisers are renting the devices from abroad and he feels that:
- There are many races that do not have GPS-tracking
- Current solutions are either very expensive or were created many years ago and it’s clear that they could be done way better if they were created now.
At this point you may ask what GPS-tracking for races actually is? The concept is pretty simple. Each participant is equipped with a small device that is connected to the internet and transmits its current GPS position to the backend server that shows all those positions on a map.
So where’s the catch, why did I instantly agree to dive into it? There are actually at least few reasons:
- As I mentioned, the software created by our competitors is mostly old. The business itself is not a “cash-cow” so those companies usually do not have the budget to rewrite it from scratch or redesign to follow current design principles.
- In my opinion the market for services tailored for long-distance races (be it running or biking) is expanding. Only in Poland we have a growing amount of races, but also the people that are willing to take part in those pretty crazy events.
- It’s my passion:) And I decided that being almost forty it’s time to finally do something that I love with every part of my soul:)
- Together with Staszek and Mateusz we have all the skills necessary to make this project work. Staszek is a talented software engineer, Mateusz knows a lot about project management and UX/UI design and I have full-blown ADHD which helps to manage all business aspects and sales:)
So now that you know the whole background let’s take a look at the steps we had to take to make it happen. This is just the first article of a series. In the next ones we will take you through technical aspects of Poltrax (Staszek will do that), UX/UI design and user flow experience (Mateusz will handle that) and in the end we will show you how the business actually works, what are the future plans and opportunities. This may give you a very good insight into how MVP approach actually works and what is a proven way to launch software without the need of raising millions of dollars.