Shunsuke Yamada is a remote worker. He lives in San Francisco and sometimes travels in the States.
His clients are in Tokyo, so he starts working for them every evening. He is a full-stack engineer, but recently operates a developer team in Vietnam. So a time zone is a critical problem for him.
Remotehour is an interesting app that allows for open-door-policy via webcam while working from home to make it easier for employees to talk to you. It allows your coworkers/customers to call you anytime you’re available while working. You don’t have to schedule or request a call. Open the room and share this with them.
In an exclusive interview with AsiaTechDaily, Shunsuke says:
Be relentlessly resourceful. I love the essay by Paul Graham. We should find the obstacles externally. We should adapt our plans on going every moment.
But you should launch as fast as possible. Some of my friends have been working on the product for more than years, but it’s still beta. Launch is the most valuable lesson to improve your product. And if not successful, you can launch it again. Don’t hesitate.
Read on to know more about Shunsuke Yamada and his journey.
Please tell me about your personal background, and what are you working on currently?
Shunsuke Yamada: I live in San Francisco, but some of my clients were in Tokyo. So, I’m a freelancer working entirely remotely. My skill set is software engineering, but in the job, I manage some developing team and talk to clients during the day. But it’s hard to communicate because we’re in different time zones. This issue brought me to build a product called Remotehour. It allows your coworkers/customers to call you anytime you’re available while working. You don’t have to schedule or request a call. Open the room and share this with them.
How have you attracted users and grown your product from the start till now?
Shunsuke Yamada: Initially, I have DMed those who join in the freelance communities like Nomad List. Hard to acquire new users, but fortunately, I have found 2 active users in the first month. And then, I improved the product with their feedback. After this, I launched it on Hacker News and Product Hunt. Thousands of people visited and tried it out.
What’s your business model, and how have you grown your revenue? What strategy worked best?
Shunsuke Yamada: Remotehour is currently all free. But we’re planning to add options on a room setting like payment. Anyway, we’re now focusing on generating and keeping active users.
What are some marketing tips to help maximize the success of a product launch?
Shunsuke Yamada: Landing page. I have updated the top design again and again. You should get some feedback from ordinary people and ask them whether they can make sense at all. My product concept is wholly new, so it was hard to understand at all at a glance. But I tried to improve this by tons of feedback.
What’s the hardest thing about product launches? And What is a good product launch checklist to be well prepared?
Shunsuke Yamada: It depends on the type of product. But you should launch as fast as possible. Some of my friends have been working on the product for more than years, but it’s still beta. Launch is the most valuable lesson to improve your product. And if not successful, you can launch it again. Don’t hesitate.
How do you plan to expand globally?
Shunsuke Yamada: San Francisco is the key ingredient to expand globally. My first goal is to get funding from angel investors or venture capitals based here. They have resources, including networking, knowledge, and experiences that access the global market.
What are the most common mistakes companies make with global marketing?
Shunsuke Yamada: DON’T LAUNCH NATIONALLY. I’m from Japan, and I know so many startups that hope to market globally in the future. But you should launch globally at first if you seriously start a business in the world. If you start it in Japan, your business ends there. The global standard is different from the national standard.
How do you handle this COVID-19 outbreak situation for your company’s survival in the future?
Shunsuke Yamada: I’m so sad to hear this pandemic news every time. But my business works well in the future of human beings in the post of COVID-19. A lot of people would work from home. And Remotehour helps them to communicate with their clients/customers more seamlessly.
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?
Shunsuke Yamada: Be relentlessly resourceful. I love the essay by Paul Graham. We should find the obstacles externally. We should adapt our plans on going every moment.
What are the one or two things that you would do differently if you could go back to 10 years ago?
Shunsuke Yamada: Be relentlessly resourceful.
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