We started Welder (a tool to easily record the remote interview in high-quality) because we thought it's going to be the fastest way to build a sustainable living out of our own product.
We want to be our own boss. We want things to be how we feel they are right. We want to have the freedom to work day and night on things that we find interesting and to delegate things that we don't like doing.
After the validation phase that took us a month to gather enough data and insights from users that signed up we started developing the MVP.
2 months later the MVP was ready to be released to the public for early access.
Boom, the demand was huge and we were rich enough to go to the beach and take a drink. Haha, I wish.
The demand was actually pretty cold. To make it short, the biggest feedback was that Welder needs to be in the browser.
We spent another month on rewriting Welder to be browser-based.
Boom, the customers started coming in. Not that many though. The financials were not in our favor and we recognized we couldn't make a living out of it.
Just like that we decided to look for funding so we could spend another full year deeply focused on finding the right product-market fit that could be scaled like hell.
I’ve done so many investor calls in just a few weeks. Even THE Sequoia capital got in touch with us.
But we had an issue closing the pre-seed round.
Investors loved our team and its past experience. They loved the idea of Welder, but they were not sure about our intentions of what we actually want to build.
And that's because our intention was never to build the next unicorn (a company that reaches a valuation of over $1billion).
We started because we wanted to create a sustainable way of living. And it was impossible to transfer that intention into something that we don't believe in.
And investors noticed it, of course. They were hesitant. They need that a lot, it's how the math works. 1 unicorn to cover all those other 100 companies in their portfolio costs.
And even if those 99 companies (probably even more) fail they need the intention and commitment to become a unicorn and build a world-changing product from every one of them.
So we stopped the fundraising attempt. And believe me, I don't judge the "VC way" of doing business. It's just not for us. Not right now.
Welder ended up in a challenging spot. We don't have enough resources or time to develop the broad tool that will allow everyone to record remote interviews from anywhere in the most reliable and efficient way.
But we also don't want to lie to VCs that we will build the unicorn for them and we certainly don't want to lie to ourselves.
Where does that leave us though?
We figured we need to scope Welder a lot. To find a niche in which we are going to solve a big problem from start to end. In which Welder becomes absolutely essential. The niche may be smaller than every podcaster who needs to record remotely. But it’s a niche we can connect with deeply to understand the problem well, to know how to target the audience, and to become a game-changer in people's lives.