Dan Schultzer Interview
Could you tell us a little about yourself – how you ended up starting gospaces.com?
We saw a need for a quick way to test business ideas, so we decided to build a platform that lets people get their business online in a matter of minutes. We also wanted to make it easy to get started selling subscriptions or digital products online no matter where in the world you are located.
The entire idea behind Spaces is to make the process of launching a business idea, simple, fun and to the point. There’s also a set of 15 free business tools to help inspire people and get their business up and running as fast as possible. These tools include a Logo Maker, Business Name Generator, Domain Name Registration, and more.
How did you know you had found the right name for it?
Our platform works differently than most e-commerce solutions. With Spaces, you don’t create a store. You create a space for your business idea. It’s a canvas that you splash your idea on. You test it out, and iterate or scrap it. That’s why Spaces made sense.
What do you think the most important part of building your brand was, in retrospect?
With Spaces, building for a global audience has always been incredibly important for us. I’m in Mexico, Kasper lives in Thailand, and our Growth Team lives in Toronto. As a company, we’re as international as our audience.
We recently expanded to 38 countries and 20 languages, but that’s just the beginning of our vision. Using social media and Zendesk, we’ve been able to get feedback and empower entrepreneurs who are literally from all over the world.
How do you maintain good relations with your customer base?
Customer support is very important for us. We have a wonderful customer support specialist named Pia who works hard to support customers from across the world and help them succeed online. But I think it’s important that we’re involved in the support too, to get a good understanding of our users and their needs. We frequently help out and read support tickets ourselves.
We also run regular giveaways and actively update our blog to engage our current community as well as reach new audiences.
Which social media sites do you consider the most important?
Facebook has been a great way to reach new audiences and Twitter helps us stay in the loop with what our customers are saying while also offering support and solutions when necessary.
Which processes, such as social media, do you automate?
Our growth team uses Buffer for scheduling tweets and have tested out Instagram scheduling tools like Schedugram and Later.
Which processes do you believe shouldn’t be automated and why?
Everything else we try to do manually because we want to stay engaged with our audience as much as possible. After all, it really isn’t social media if one side of the conversation is automated. We’re still growing and want to be as close to our customers as possible. Their feedback on social media is incredibly valuable to us as we continue to expand our platform
Do you believe there’s a formula for success on the internet?
As with anything in business; it’s a mix of hard work, and luck. There was one thing we did with Spaces to see if it would be worthwhile.
Would you be willing to share it?
We started out with a small landing page to see if there was any interest in Spaces. The only thing we did was to present the visitor the idea we had for Spaces and ask them for USD $10 to sign up for the beta invite. We hadn’t actually built anything. Needless to say, when we saw that people actually paid for this product we had in mind (without a single line of code written), we knew it was time to work.
We spent half a year building Spaces. A lot of care was put into making the user interface as simple and fun as possible. It was tough. We worked from when we woke up till we went to bed. About a month after our release, Spaces was featured on ProductHunt, and it was like a floodgate had opened.
This is the mix of hard work and luck. We identified a need and went to work. With a bit of luck, we got the publicity to get Spaces to take off.
We don’t expect you to spill any trade secrets (unless you want to, then by all means. . . ), but what’s the next big thing for you?
We’re excited to build the next version of Spaces. The first step was to make the process of starting out as neat as possible, the next step is to make it into the digital sales force that you need for your business to take off.
Let’s assume we’re not omniscient . . . what’s the one question you have an awesome answer for, but we didn’t think to ask?
Here’s one: What have you launched recently that you’re excited about?
We constantly release new things. Recently we’ve added premium accounts to the platform. Spaces is free to use, but we now offer a premium package to kickstart your business with a custom domain and email. It’ll give your business a complete identity.
Photos ©: GoSpaces