Deal Platform Saleduck Is Expecting Rapid Growth In 2017

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A great product doesn't equal viral success. Still the online deal platform Saleduck experienced an explosion in visitor numbers within just three weeks. CEO Domingo Karsten shares the biggest learning points:

Describe Saleduck in 50 words or less.

Saleduck is an online shopping platform with all deals and coupons available. Consumers visit our platforms to discover interesting discounts to save money on the products they love.

How did you discover the need for the deal platform? What problem are you solving?

In the summer of 2012 I founded and went on a 3 week trip to Cuba, with no internet available. When I got back from the holiday, visitor numbers were exploding, I knew something great had started. It was the start of a new company; later to be called Saleduck.

During a typical online consumer journey people visit multiple websites and webshops to find the best offer for the product they want. It’s our goal to be the one-stop-shop for all of this, to easily discover the best deal available.

What were the biggest challenges you faced building Saleduck?

For me and my team members it’s always a challenge to continuously add new creativity to the company. Next to that it’s inspiring new team members to learn, explore what they are good at, and then contribute their creativity, dedication and hard work into the company.

In order to grow rapidly for years in a row, you have to be willing to take a couple of well calculated risks with your company every year. After such a decision you have to convince your team to work hard to make it a success.

Speaking of succes: In what ways do you measure it and how do you make sure you don’t lose track?

Internet and technology businesses have to move fast and be agile, and so are we. We make plans 3, 6 and 12 months ahead, but we are willing to change them at every given moment.

But success is much more than an ever increasing turnover and visitors number. Being able to offer a workplace that is inspiring, interesting, where you can learn and have fun, gives great return from employees. This results in real team work, one of the most important things you need if you want to be successful.

Bootstrapped or financed: What fuels your startup now and what will in the future?

We are proud to say that we have always been bootstrapped, previous financial achievements are reinvested into the company. This gives us lots of freedom, flexibility and saves us time. But now for the first time in our history we are talking with multiple investors to provide us with growth capital for our expected rapid growth in 2017.

With ferocious competition and a booming trend to build new companies: How do you make sure you don’t get lost in the shuffle?

It’s a myth to think that a great product will go viral instantly. An earlier written article by me (‘You Won’t Start Up Without Proper Distribution‘) explains all about this. A successful startup comes with great marketing. But not all types of (online) marketing fit every startup. Figure out the types that fit your startup the best, master it, teach it to your team and then scale it.

What do you look for in team members?

The main ingredients we look for at Saleduck in every employee are ambition, dedication and fun. If people are smart and hungry for success and have these main ingredients we will help them with the knowledge, responsibility and tools to contribute and grow to new levels with the team they are joining.

Why would a talent join your team?

  1. Development: Weekly knowledge sessions. Daily mentoring by experienced professionals.
  2. Lunch: Like a family we eat together, we provide the meals, offer daily snacks and coffee.
  3. Dress Code: No formal dress code, wear what makes you comfortable.
  4. Multicultural: Meet great and friendly people from around the world.
  5. Flexible Hours: Are you an early duck or late riser? Come in between 7.30-9.30am and check out accordingly.
  6. Tools: We are an Apple-centric office where we use latest Apple products.
  7. Company Events: Friday drinks together. We also have special events where we go some place nice to spend the day.

What was your most memorable moment so far?

After building up the company for years it’s nearly impossible to name only one most memorable moment. But there are a couple of moments we will never forget. One happend when an intern approached us with tears in his eyes, telling us the last months working for us where among the best in his life. He was certainly flourishing in his role as an intern, and found lots of new friends on this way – the world had openend up for him.

After our launch and office opening in Asia we are experiencing lots of moments that are very memorable and special.

7 years from now: How did your startup change the world?

Seven years from now Saleduck members will never have to pay too much for any product they love. On top of that they will get notifications for products they like before they actually know they like them, based on AI. This could happen in their house projected on their bathroom mirror while they brush their teeth, or on their way to work with the Google glass alike lenses that they are wearing. This, among hundreds of other options, could be possible, we will be fast and agile to change the way the consumer wants us to.

What advice would you give fellow founders for their startup?

There is no supplier or employee in the world that wants to get paid with Facebook likes, app installs or small pitch contest awards.

At the end every startup needs to have good business model designed to make revenue. So build a product in a market where you think you can beat the competition, master the right marketing skills and see if it works. If it doesn’t work? Change your tactic. If it does work? Scale it till you are satisfied and you reach some stability.



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