Inside onoff HQ: Taïg Khris about the onoff App and Tech EntrepreneurshipAn extreme sports champion, a winner of the X-Games and a Guinness World Record holder. This is our CEO and Founder Taïg Khris! After more than 20 years in the world of sports, he has decided to make his vision of the telecommunication industry evolution come true and started his tech entrepreneurship journey. In 2012, Taïg founded onoff Telecom and together with our team set out to build a mobile phone technology that would give people the freedom to communicate in a way never before seen.
During his 5 years as a tech entrepreneur, Taïg has created an inspiring working environment for more than 50 people that are working every day to make the onoff App better. But how has this journey been for him so far? What are the lessons he has learned from it? This week we asked our users on social media to share their questions about Taïg’s experience with onoff. Here’s what he replied to them.
Question from Delphine: How does your typical day at onoff look like?
Taïg: Oh, my typical day at onoff... I come to our office in Estonia from time to time, mostly to work with the engineers that are behind the whole development process. I try to better understand where my team members stand with their work on the product, from the technical side as well as marketing. I use my time in the office to read my emails, make my calls and think more about our general strategy. Apart from that, the rest of the time I travel around the world meeting investors and media in order to promote the product or negotiating with different telecom operators.
Question from Louis: What is your advice for startup founders who don't have a lot of money for starting a company?
Taïg: Well, at the moment we are in a similar situation since we have limited resources to develop onoff to the extent we would want to. I was quite fortunate to have my sports career behind me that made it possible to get a lot of media coverage in France in the beginning. However, it’s not the case in other countries.
So I would advise you to develop the best product possible, to create the best user experience for people, and work on the issues that can result in losing your users. I think the first stages are the most important. But of course, it takes a few years to work all this out. Then I would recommend using various communications techniques such working with bloggers, Media for Equity, creating buzz on the internet so that people would find out about you. It’s all about imagination.
What’s your top 3 pieces of advice for entrepreneurs?
Firstly, find an out-of-the-box idea that really brings something to the market. Because there are always new ideas out there but limited places, so it is important to find a good one. An uberized solution, perhaps? Of course, budget is still the key. If you have no budget to build a team, you are stuck.
Secondly, create a prototype that allows you to find funding. That is to say that usually, even a single person is able to create a business plan, a presentation and a prototype of the product. Even if it is not the final design, it can be used to explain your idea and how it is possible to make it happen to your investors and the future team.
Thirdly, be really flexible in regards to your initial idea. For example, Instagram was known for its filters that is not the heart of the product any longer. Snapchat was known as the place where young people share their pictures. Today it is more about its animated filters and stories. This means that an entrepreneur must always remain flexible in order to move their product forward.
If you would create a new revolutionary application tomorrow, what would it be?
Taïg: I assure you that I would not immediately tell everyone what it is, I would keep it to myself for now. I already have a lot of ideas in my head but I will reveal them when the right time comes.
What do you look for in the members of the onoff Team?
Taïg: Of course a positive mindset and motivation. They are a young team but everybody gets along well with each other. We are searching for even more coders since we are still at the beginning of technological development and need guys who are experts in coding to help us develop the best product on the market and they are hard to find. When we get through this initial stage, it will be possible to focus more on marketing, sales, etc.
Some final notes.
Taïg: Do not hesitate to subscribe to our social channels and follow our progress. Test our application regularly because we will be adding some new features shortly. I hope that you like the product! The onoff Team are very enthusiastic about it and try to do the best we can! Thank you! See you soon!
Watch the full video interview in French here:
We want to thank our users who posted their questions as well as Taïg for finding time to answer them. If you would like to find out more about Taïg, our team, or anything that is happening inside onoff HQ, let us know!
Marta @ onoff