Myriad Live 2017 with Holly Cardew, cofounder of Pixc

Holly Cardew, cofounder of Pixc, you can start a startup of a tech cofounder

Posted by BeachCity on Thursday, March 30, 2017

Video Transcription:

Suzzanne: Hi, you want to go and dance?

Holly: Not really.

Suzzanne: Yeah you dance, you did it like [inaudible 00:00:04].

Holly: I'm usually good at this.

Suzzanne: Holly and I actually met at Cause Fest and I'm doing a second round of interviews. You said something that really intrigued me, 'you can start a startup without a technical'.

Holly: Technical.

Suzzanne: Yeah.

Holly: Yep.

Suzzanne: And you've done it before?

Holly: Yeah, definitely.

Suzzanne: Okay, just to give me some background can you introduce yourself?

Holly: Yeah. Hi, I am Holly, and I founded a company called Pixie, which is a content optimization platform for e-commerce stores.

Suzzanne: You can hold this.

Holly: Okay fine, this is easy. I quite like this.

Suzzanne: She wants the power, you can tell that she wants the power. The funny thing is, you said you can do it. How? How do you start without it?

Holly: Well I think that, so the first two websites that I built I went to an agency and then I went to developers. It felt when I was like I'm sick of this, I'm gonna go out and look for tools that I can use that don't require any coding. So I found WordPress, but now there's sites like Typeform, where you can essentially use a form to ask some questions and take a payment.

Suzzanne: But there's an assumption that, a lot of accelerators and incubators that, oh you're not a tech, you don't have any code background.

Holly: Yeah.

Suzzanne: You need to find a technical background person.

Holly: Yeah.

Suzzanne: Why?

Holly: I guess the thing is, at the end of the day, as an investor they want to make sure that the team's right and they're going to create a good product and be able to execute on it. So I understand that they want you to have a technical co-founder, but I, and I think that you do need a technical person later on in the company, once you've validated your product, but before doing any of that, joining the accelerator programme, just go out and build something simple. Start with ...

Suzzanne: Validate the idea.

Holly: Validate the idea. Get a paying customer, whether they pay you like a pre-payment, and then go build what you need to build.

Suzzanne: Which is sometimes, a lot of people are like, you need a group of customers, you need to have a MVP, but sometimes you just need about five paying customers.

Holly: Exactly, and they're willing to pay for your services.

Suzzanne: And then the funny thing is, they pay for you to do shit, so it's like another ...

Holly: Exactly.

Suzzanne: Yeah, yeah.

Holly: You can get money without building anything, and then you can use that money to actually build. The other thing is, everybody wants a tech person, everybody wants a tech co-founder. So ...

Suzzanne: You don't need to know code, you just have to understand the process on how to ...

Holly: Exactly, yes. Use PayPal, send an invoice, create a Facebook group. I mean, look at some of these groups that they created a business out of a Facebook page group, which you can do.

Suzzanne: So then it's essentially building a community, to build up a membership subscription model.

Holly: Exactly, yeah. Or if you're starting e-commerce you could use a platform like Shop Apply. There's all sorts of things now that you can use.

Suzzanne: So you don't need a technical co-founder, just validate the idea, create, have a product.

Holly: Yes. Then after you validate you will need a technical person. They don't need to be a co-founder, you wouldn't need a technical lead. Later on you'll need a CTO to manage the engineers, the team of engineers that you have. The other thing is, having validation also helps you go to the technical person and say, "Hey, we've got validation, this is why you should join our team".

The problem is, everybody's saying 'join my team, join my team, join my team'.

Suzzanne: That's the thing, give me, I'll give you equity, I'll give you equity.

Holly: But you don't have any proof point that it's actually gonna work. So the more proof that you have, the more likelihood they're gonna join you.

Suzzanne: Awesome. What are the, being that it is, what are the tools that you use to create, you know, just something.

Holly: So yeah, back in the day I used WordPress, so just a form with a PayPal button, Dropbox, Excel spreadsheets.

Suzzanne: Just the basics, man.

Holly: Basics yeah. Now I use Upwork a lot because you can hire people to help you do stuff, even if they have to be scrappy.

Suzzanne: To do that virtual assistants, like you know, there is a lot of skill sets outside that's a lot cheaper than Australia.

Holly: Exactly.

Suzzanne: But you have to like ... do you micromanage now?

Holly: No, not now.

Suzzanne: No, no.

Holly: You get over it, you don't have time, you hire the right people, they need to do their job.

Suzzanne: How do you know how, you have to go through a lot of views or practises or a lot of refining and finding the right people, right?

Holly: Yeah, I've actually started writing some blogs and trying to do some videos because everybody else knew about how to hire on Upwork. I've hired over 200 people now and I've worked ...

Suzzanne: I created an accountability system, so ...

Holly: Oh that's good.

Suzzanne: So what I do is, I know my process.

Holly: Yeah.

Suzzanne: Don't fuck up my process. If my process is right ...

Holly: Yeah.

Suzzanne: So I video record it ...

Holly: Yeah.

Suzzanne: ... and explain why you need to do it because then people are driven.

Holly: Why. That's awesome. Let's swap notes.

Suzzanne: Swap notes. I want to swap notes.

Holly: I like this one.

Suzzanne: Then what it is, is they have to double check themselves so they'll be accountable. So it's like rate yourself, do you think you achieved it? And ask them one question, feedback. How can we make this better?

Holly: That's awesome.

Suzzanne: So ...

Holly: I would like to swap notes. Can we do a video on this? We'll do a whole topic on this. That's a whole another conversation. Hiring on Upwork.

Suzzanne: All right.

Holly: Good to see you.

Suzzanne: It's always fun. Right bye.

Holly: Bye.

Suzzanne: Oh if you want to, I will drop the link in Pixies so you can talk to Holly if you want. Bye.

Holly: Bye.