LingoHub: “Users Will Buy Your Product Only If They See Value.”

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Founder of the translation startup LingoHub, Helmut Juskewycz, explains what benefits it brings to your company to make your services available in more languages than just English.

Describe LingoHub in 50 words or less.

LingoHub is an incredible, amazing, awesome translation service that helps companies go global with their products. – Applestyle pitch. Translation workflow optimization to increase quality, lower costs and turnaround time.

Why did you decide to pursue your own dreams rather than someone else’s?

The question already holds the answer. Why should I? Life is short, so pursue your own dreams. Live the life you want, not how others want you to be. You need to be happy with what you’re doing, that’s the most important thing.

Why LingoHub is one of my goals: I always wanted to work with great people and create something big that brings real value. Our customers love LingoHub and I love my team. I wouldn’t say the dream is already fulfilled, but we are already on the right track.

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

Simple, LingoHub allows every digital content to be available in the user’s native language. English is the de facto standard in the startup & development scene. However, the vast majority of Internet users are not fluent in English and still the best content is English only. We are going to change that allowing our customers to conquer the world with their products!

By the way, localizing is also a business decision. If a product is available in the customer’s native language, sales increase up to 60%. So it is a win-win, for the providers and consumers.

In what ways do you measure your success and how do you make sure you don’t lose track?

Customer satisfaction and value proposition. If customers want to use LingoHub because A) it helps their business and B) they are happy with it, that is what I call success. Both are reflected on how willing customers are to pay for your product. If they don’t want to buy it, they either don’t see your value or you don’t have value to them. When they see the value and like your product, they will buy it.

Describe your typical working day from coming to the office to leaving it.

I normally arrive at the office at 9ish. First I do a short talk with all the team members about today’s goals. Afterwards email time! Sadly, I now belong also to the group where emails dictate most of my day. To work against this time thief, I create a to-do list every day based on my weekly goals. This means I don’t have a typical working day and this is how I like it. We have company goals, I have my personal to-dos, but how the day will be at the end, I never know. This is challenging, since I still have to do my tasks, but also exciting since every day can hold a surprise.

Already pivoted? Did customers use the translation service like you imagined it in the beginning?

We haven’t pivoted that much. Over time the vision of LingoHub became more and more clear since we got the customers’ feedback. That meant we had to drop and change functionality, but we try to keep the feedback loop short.

Long story short, the core functionality and the value LingoHub provides stayed the same, the ways it is provided changed.

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

Markus and I started bootstrapping LingoHub. No salary for us, our money was used for the first employees and everything else. However, very soon we entered the tech2b incubator and got some public funding, but we already had income at this point.

Although we bootstrapped, I don’t think that bootstrapping is better than being financed. It is just different, you have different restrictions. They help you focus and at the same time, well, restrict your opportunities. Currently, we are thinking about getting an investment and boosting LingoHub. The next startup I would probably start financed, but the reason maybe is that now I have a family to support.

What were the biggest challenges you faced building your startup?

  1. Getting the right people. Negative people will kill your startup.
  2. Getting the right customers. No product is for everyone, find the people your product serves and who are willing to pay.
  3. Getting the right advice/mentors. There is so much advice floating around, you can read all day every day startup advice, metrics etc. Some is bullshit, some works for you, some doesn’t. You have to challenge everything.

Understanding that your time is limited (not only for your startup) and that advice alone doesn’t get you anywhere, were important learnings for me. Sounds simple, is simple, but sometimes hard to understand.

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

I stopped reading casual stuff on the Internet. Honestly, most of it doesn’t affect me, LingoHub or our customers. So why bother with it?

Again, time is limited, use it to make your product and life better, otherwise at least admit you are wasting it. There are many great companies out there and I hope they succeed, but I love to completely focus on LingoHub and to boost it with great innovation. There is no time for me to concentrate on others.

What do you look for in team members?

Passion, courage, imagination and talent mixed with drive to build. We are a small team, we are working hard and the team spirit is amazing. For me it is important that new team members capture this spirit and are willing to work on something great. It is just awesome to collaborate with passionate people.

Why would a talent join your team?

Because they will work with a team that has passion, courage, imagination, talent and builds something great. It is great to see the product and company growing and knowing you are part of it. We just moved to our new office several months ago and it’s great to work in this new collaborative environment.

What was your most memorable moment so far?

Personally, the birth of my son. I know this is the usual answer, but when it’s true, it’s true. I love having him around and spending time with my family.

LingoHub, it is just getting better and better. So what I would tell you today, would be obsolete in a couple of months. Right now, I am very much looking forward to our new web translation solution which will be fantastic. We are all working hard and are enthusiastic about the upcoming product launch.

What advice would you give fellow founders for their startup?

Don’t get caught up in the whole startup show that is going on. If you are building a B2B product, chances are good you don’t need all the startup conferences and shows. What you need is sales. By the way, other startups as customers are not the best idea. They don’t have money, same as you. Focus on organizations which can pay you as long as you provide them with value.

A B2C product on the other hand needs publicity and virality. A startup is nothing else than a company, it has expenses and it needs income. Your goal should always be that your income is or will get be higher than your expenses. The next financial round is not your goal!

StartUs Presents: LingoHub

Helmut Juskewycz & Markus Merzinger


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