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Bootstrapping Using Services From Sweden: Dapresy Founder Tobi Andersson and CEO Rudy Nadilo (Part 4)

Posted on Sunday, Aug 21st 2016

Tobi Andersson: I spent many hours meeting customers telling them about my efforts. We were able to launch our platform which was called Dapresy Pro. That is the platform that we are offering to the market today. The first version of Dapresy Pro was made to address each customer’s needs.

I told them, “I’m going to ask you to stop using this customized solution from us and I need you to transition to this new software. There is no middle ground here. We need to stop working with the customized solutions.” I didn’t have the money to keep the generic platform and, at the same time, maintain these unique platforms. This was the tough part in my life because I basically spend my days on the phone getting complaints from customers. I was doing this day and night. I told them, “I told you that this was going to be the case, but you need to stay with me. I won’t be able to make it unless you stay with me and make sure that we get through this together”

I’m not sure why but my transparency and reliability with the customers and my efforts to build trust made the customers stay with me. Sometimes, they pay the bill without receiving anything. Sometimes, I ask them to pay the bills in advance because I needed the money. They really stood up for me. After three years, we have transitioned all customers and received reasonable level of deliverables from this platform. I had lost very few customers.

My lesson learned here is that no matter what phase you are in the company, as long as you stay close to your customers and as long as you are building trust with them, they will go to war with you because they think that, together, you will be able to solve the challenges. The minute you start to hide information and the minute they feel that you are not trustworthy, they will leave you and you will get complaints. This is something that I still practice today. I try to tell my employees to be humble in all situations and make the customer feel that they can trust you and that you’ll live up to that.

I also have a fun story about this tough three years. As you can understand, this was really tough because I had invested everything I own. If something were going to go wrong during this phase, I would have to leave home and everything that I work for. I can tell you that I was very close to giving up several times. I was a few days from being forced to liquidate the company because we didn’t have the cash flow. The problems seem just to come one after another, and they seem never ending.

I have this old computer with a monitor. I wrote one thing, “Never give up.” on a Post It note and put it on my monitor. Every time I have this challenging call, I look at the note. I got through them one by one. At the end of the day, I managed to get through this. This is what differentiates an entrepreneur from a regular human being. As long as you never give up, believe in your vision, you love to work with people, this is where you can create the future.

This segment is part 4 in the series : Bootstrapping Using Services From Sweden: Dapresy Founder Tobi Andersson and CEO Rudy Nadilo
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