Ihor Stefurak is based out of Ukraine and the founder of Workcelerator, a web service to find a job in creative industries. In 2019, he sold Workcelerator and started growing email verification add-on because of traction it got by that moment.
His current venture is Cof1 started very recently in Sep, 2019.
Ihor also does startup consulting and gives seminars on topics related to the early stages of web project development.
In an exclusive interview with AsiaTechDaily, Ihor says:
First of all, you should know who your customers are, what they try to achieve as professionals, what media they read, and what communities they participate in. Once you figure this out, you will find places to promote (the launch stage) and other insights (the growth stage).
Read on to know more about Ihor Stefurak and his journey.
Please tell me about your personal background, and what are you working on currently?
Ihor Stefurak: I was working for a Ukrainian startup accelerator GrowthUP for 6 years since 2011 as a market analyst, project manager, dealflow manager, and then director. In 2015 I launched Workcelerator.com, a local startup job board, as a response to demand from our portfolio companies. In 2017 I quit the job to work on my own projects. There were a lot of experiments since that time, but in 90% of cases, I did them by myself, starting with automation and optimization as a core principle. In 2019 I sold Workcelerator and started growing Email Verification Add-on because of traction it got by that moment. There are also a few volunteer tech projects I participate in.
How have you attracted users and grown your product from the start till now?
Ihor Stefurak: The first traction Email Verification Add-on received was from Product Hunt and Reddit. A few months later, I noticed some organic traffic from Google Search Engine. Right now, I run SEO experiments and 4 Google Ads campaigns for 2 markets.
What’s your business model, and how have you grown your revenue? What strategy worked best?
Ihor Stefurak: In the beginning, Email Verification Add-on was designed as SaaS-business, but it didn’t perform well, so I pivoted it to the prepaid business model. The most useful advice almost anyone can follow is «charge more.»
What are some marketing tips to help maximize the success of a product launch?
Ihor Stefurak: First of all, you should know who your customers are, what they try to achieve as professionals, what media they read, and what communities they participate in. Once you figure this out, you will find places to promote (the launch stage) and other insights (the growth stage).
How do you plan to expand globally?
Ihor Stefurak: I’m running a few SEO and Google Ads experiments. Once I get enough data, I will translate the add-on interface, site, and campaigns to 5 languages and reach the next level of growth.
How do you handle this COVID-19 outbreak situation for your company’s survival in the future?
Ihor Stefurak: Because of constant automation and optimization, I keep my expenses very low, which prevents me from hiring when I don’t need to. That allowed me to invest even more in marketing in the current situation.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? And What advice do you have for someone who is interested in doing similar things like yours or in a similar direction?
1. Launch with a half-baked product, iterate weekly.
2. Charge more.
3. Keep your expenses low — automate everything from the beginning.
4. Keep talking to customers forever.
What are the one or two things that you would do differently if you could go back to 10 years ago?
Ihor Stefurak: I didn’t realize Paul Grahm’s quote, «Do things that don’t scale» is a real thing but it is.
You can follow Ihor Stefurak here.
Are you looking to secure investment for your startup or a keen startup enthusiast, keep an eye on our interview section.
Follow Asia Tech Daily to know about the innovative startups and how they are revolutionizing the ecosystem.