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Startup Radius interviewed guys from Pixpie – a SaaS platform, that easily speeds up web site loading by 30-50%. Learn why products should be as simple as possible, why Adwords and SMM doesn’t work for them (and how they prefer working with influencers instead), and how Team and Delegation are their two biggest challenges. Enjoy!

Can you tell us about what you are working on? What is Pixpie?

Pixpie is a SaaS platform, which speeds up web site loading by 30-50%. This is achieved by compressing images in the web page. We have WordPress plugin (https://wordpress.org/plugins/wp-pixpie/) and REST API. You can use our product for free, if you need less than 500 compressions per month. If you need more, prices starts from $8.99.

Why are you building this? Was there a particular source of inspiration or money-making idea?

Initially I was working in a startup, which had similar problem. Later we took the 3rd place in the Garage48 Hackathon in Odessa, Ukraine. So we decided to develop the idea.

Time for bragging! How big you are – traffic, users, anything else?

It’s just a beginning, we have a few hundreds registrations and couple hundreds of monthly active users.

Who are your main competitors, and how good/bad they are?

We have multiple competitors in this area, such as Optimus, TinyPNG, Ewww, etc. Our compression is better in several cases and price is lower.

Who uses your services/sites? What is your perfect buyer persona?

Pixpie is used by webmasters, who want to improve loading speed of their web site. Likely they use WordPress.

Pixpie image compression comparison

Were there any early ‘growth hacks’ or tactics that have contributed to your current success?

I can’t say that our growth speed is a success. But I learned many lessons during the period we working on the SaaS Startup. Here are a few of them:

  1. Complex products are hard to sell. Product should be as simple as possible.
  2. AdWords doesn’t work for SaaS,
  3. SMM does not work for SaaS,
  4. If you spent on customer acquisition more, than his recurring revenue for three months, your sales process cost you way too much money.
  5. You should always build the product landing pages in the constructors. Programming costs way too much money.

What were some of the biggest challenges while building the product early on and how did you solve them?

  • Delegation. I’m a programmer, so I always believe that I can do better than others. It was hard to delegate tasks to other people and control how the execute them. I can’t say that even now I’m good at this. To fix this, every time I want to say “I’ll do this”, I rethink and ask myself to whom I can assign this task and what input information I should give this person, so he or she can successfully execute it.
  • Team. It’s hard to find and motivate a strong team when you budget is super low. Fortunately I as a programmer had many friends, who were ready to leave their jobs and work on their own product. But we still didn’t solve this problem in marketing. Which is even worse.

If you could give a marketing advice to other companies, what could it be based on your experience?

Marketing is the first thing to consider, when you’re building a startup. So if you’re not marketer, find a rockstar marketer first, motivate him or her and let the marketer make some key decisions on the product.

Which marketing channels you prefer and why?

I personally prefer to work with influencers, or with platforms such as ProductHunt. PH allows to get a lot of registrations with zero marketing budget. influencer’s post is not cheap, but gives great conversion.

Is Pixpie integrated or partnered with other products or companies?

Not yet. We’re launching the Affiliate Program. Personally I expect, that it will help us to speed up our growth. We’re going to share the recurring revenue with referring partners. We will give 50% for the first paid month to the partner and later will give 20% of the recurring revenue. If you’re interested, please contact me at dmitry@pixpie.co.

Image compression example, ratio

What are the top 5-10 products/services you use in your company (marketing, development, business) and why do you like them?

  1. Telegram for chats. It’s cheap, works way much faster than Slack, and it’s free 🙂
  2. Jira for tickets.
  3. Confluence for project documentation. Honestly, I don’t like both of these products, because they are way too complex and slow. But they allow us to keep the project under control.
  4. Google Analytics + Growthboard.io. I’m not a marketer, so Google Analytics itself is too complex for me. So Growthboard allows me to easily plan marketing sprints, experiments and set growth goals per channel.
  5. Github and Bitbucket. We host all open source projects on the Github, private sources are historically hosted on Bitbucket.
  6. G Suite from Google. We migrated there from Yandex Mail for Domain, and very excited about it.
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