A Real Startup Founder Pt 4 of 4


How was that switch with your co founders from going from a colleagues at the university to now kind of being their boss.


So my co founders, I think that's that. And everybody says that co founders are key. And getting along with your co founders is life or death. Okay? Is everything and I love my co founders. We were doing the advice and some point that we're doing a yc videos. Yeah. And we found ourselves having somewhere so much fun doing it that we almost put in bloopers. So this there is nothing more important than just fundamentally getting along with them. Okay. And is there any problems, any disagreements treated like, like a marriage, solve the problems talk it out, cuz you want to get back to smooth as quickly as you possibly can? Yeah, yeah. So that's, that's Central. The fact that my co founders and are such a great team. We're great as a as a three people. And we're also great in Paris. Okay,


that really helps what happens when you want to add people to your team? How have you gone about doing that? Because I'm a three person teams not going to make a billion dollar business, I may come close. But I mean, how have you gone about adding new people was thought process been to add new people to the team. So hiring is is very, very complicated.


It definitely, definitely much easier when you have more resources, been noticing, it's no surprise for anybody. But you really can get some good people before you have resources to work for equity, happily, what does that look like when you talk to them. So it's not it's a process. So for example, we're very, very fortunate to have a producer sound designer Dustin Morag there who joined very early and what I did what I felt comfortable doing, and it's actually something that I learned as a professor trial periods. Yeah. So even though we had hardly any money, okay, we gave him a little bit of money to do a one month contract to see how we get along before giving equity. Yeah,


and that was a very, very smart way to go. Yeah, that is trial period. Money than equity.


Yeah. Because if you can afford money, or thrive, by all means, why don't you know, until then, he's been fantastic. He's just there, you know, really there with us, really, one of us really wanting to see the company succeed in any way, help in any way possible. And those are the kind of people you want, people are gonna be like, I'm doing x, y, z, period, because that's because it's a startup. And if you guys are, you know, we stay up to three o'clock in the morning regularly. This is just this just a regular life. Somebody asked us recently, actually a really good friend. So what are your soft hours? Like, we plan time off? We don't plan time on Yeah, look like, okay, we're getting burnt out. We need an hour off. Okay. How does that look for, for the team to come together and say, guys, we need to just rest a little bit or does that not even happen? People always go, go, go. I mean, when do you see that burnout? Well, if we are, you know, getting very tired with a lot of time, all three of us were starting to get migraines. Oh, we were right.


I get migraines all the time. And my co founders don't say it was very kind of, I thought, Okay, guys, let's, I think, you know, next weekend, let's take it easier, not working as much. Okay, just so we can reset. You know, we need ourselves to be healthy. So that kind of moderation, but also we really care about each other. So we don't want to push each other to, you know, too far either. We know that we care so much. We're going to do whatever we can anyway. So would you say once you do a startup, like truly do a start, there's really no work life balance or


work life balance? That's hilarious.


I think that says it all.


What type of time commitment is a startup? I mean, for people that think it's all glory,


glory, somebody thinks it's all glory. I think a lot of people do. Awesome. Yeah,


I should have a nice, yeah, I live on a boat. There you go


live on a boat. I think if your goal is to live on a boat, they're much better ways to get


easier ways to make money, Silicon Valley much easier ways. But it's not. It's not about it's not about the money because money is part of it. It's a package deal. Because you can't succeed with a startup. You don't care about money, fundamentally, right? But if you just care about the money, there are better ways.


Okay, let's go back. So right now, finding investors where the next steps for you, what are you working on your finishing up our round? Okay, that's, that's really, really exciting. Did you go I know, you can't go into too much detail. But can you talk about that, that that process of presented pitch decks, getting that together meet investors that a little bit more detail.


Honestly, I've never given the same talk so many times in my life. What's really amazing is that when I look at you, and I'm about to tell you about my company, I forget everything ever said about it. And I just want to explain to Sean what I've done. Oh, gotta keep it fresh. Otherwise, you're gonna die from board. But Ok. Ok. More seriously. Um, we had a lot to learn pitching is I mean, I've done academic talks for such a long time, you know, I've been in the media talking as part of what I do, you know, I'm also a singer. So, like, I live on stage, but it's a is very, very specific. You want to effectively communicate, and that's really important, your business, not your product. Okay. That was a big learning curve for me. Okay. So your product, wasn't it? So your business, right? It's about the team. It's about how are you going to make money, it's about your competitive landscape. And I'm the founder, you know, I know that this is unique, there's nothing like it. It's amazing. It's the best thing since sliced bread, in fact, quite a bit better.


But other people don't know that. And you have to be patient and careful and explain to them why your business is the most amazing thing in a way that they can understand. So are you adjusting this pitch based on the investor you're talking to them


a little bit about a lot of it has come off from feedback, tell me about the feedback.


So at first,


at first, it was difficult at first, it was your professor now someone's telling them professor, they could be wrong or change


as professors, you get used to accepting criticism. In fact, the professor is our one of the few people who readily say, okay, you're right, if you give them a good argument, but what I wasn't used to it was more the culture of it, I supposed to go. There's a lot to the culture of startups a lot of how you're supposed to behave when you talk to investors, just so that it fits what they're expecting,


will say one or two things of how very a beer because we're running a little bit at a time, what information do you wish someone had given you at the beginning of your journey that you know now, but you wish you had known at the beginning? Um,


yeah, there's a lot,


I'm going to even start. So we're pivoting for example. Okay. So that was something you know, I mean, I suppose everybody would have liked to know, their final pivot all the way in the beginning. But that came out of a long list of meetings with investors were finally we had an outstanding meeting or felt like somebody somebody was able to explain to us why our market was too small. Finally, they could explain it. Well, we were going to make plugins and somebody explained to us that the most success successful plugin of all time was very far from a billion dollar company. And we felt from the beginning the different products because it could work for everybody. And so we made a massive pivots remade our whole product from scratch. Wow. And created something so that anybody can write a song and five minutes so you don't have to, you have to have like, really zero expertise. Maya, can you tell everyone how they can reach you and your beta test one more time? Absolutely. So you can reach me at what actually all the information is on our website at with elisa.com A li si K. That's the spelling of Elisa, the with elisa.com. You can sign up for the beta, my contact information is there happy to hear from you. Oh,


so Maya, I really want to thank you for coming on Silicon Valley successes. And for anyone at home that wants more information on the Silicon Valley startup ecosystem. get in contact with any of our guests writing, please visit our website. Silicon Valley successes, calm our next interview is fascinating. We have two people that are going to talk about startups, leases, office space do's and don'ts and things to be careful of. So it's a very important meeting and I look to see you there. All right. Take care.


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