StartUs Presents: dvel

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We talked to Peter Buch from dvel, an app that lets you outsource your decisions to a community. Now you've got two choices: read this article or don't. We suggest you do - you definitely don't want to miss it!

Describe dvel in 50 words or less.

Photo sharing meets voting. Our app users let their friends or our community vote between two photos they’ve shared. You can ask people what to wear or where to go on vacation. Anything is possible. It’s about getting an instant opinion or feedback from your friends in a fun, easy way. Dvel helps you make quick decisions.

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

During a trip to L.A. I spent a lot of time at Talenthouse and talking to mentors and talents from Silicon Valley. That’s where the idea for dvel materialized. We immediately knew we had something special. People love to help each other out. We make it quick and fun. That’s what motivated me to pursue the project. Having a great team by my side helped too. It’s feels good to build something from scratch and see it through.

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

We want to change the way people approach daily decision-making. Asking your friends for advice or a bigger community for feedback shouldn’t be complicated or time-consuming. It should be quick, fun and save you endless conversations. We have all been there before: you’re in a store trying on t-shirts and you take pictures to show them to your friends later. With dvel there is no ‘later’, your friends reactions are available right away. You get quick help when you need it the most.

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

We are amazed at the response we’ve had with dvel. We have users who surprise us all the time by making the most creative dvels and that challenge us to be better. It’s great to see people, who are passionate about our app. It motivates us to offer the best user experience possible. Product development continues to be very important for us.

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

It’s difficult to map out a typical working day at a startup. Every day has different challenges and you have to be able to adapt quickly to what is needed that day. That makes working at a startup exciting. It also means that you have to take responsibility very early on in the process. We usually have a weekly founders meeting, where we set goals for ourselves and then it’s off to making those goals happen. Our work sort of accompanies us when we leave the office too, because we catch ourselves talking or thinking about dvel quite often.

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

We deliberately give dvel users as much freedom as possible, so they can experiment and figure out what fits them. What surprised us was the motivational factor. Creative dvelers adapt the app to their needs. If they need motivation to go out for a run or take a tennis lesson, they’ll use it exactly for that.

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

Dvel is a young startup. At the moment we are focused on product development and growth. We are very unique in what we do and what we offer. We’re simplifying daily decision-making by reducing the unnecessary noise surrounding the process. Dvel allows you to concentrate on the essentials, while having fun with your friends. We want to turn decision-making into an intuitive, fun and interactive experience without the struggle.

What do you look for in team members?

We are looking for people who can support our amazing team, but can also take the lead when it’s necessary. Showing initiative and being a ‘doer’ are qualities that are important to us. We want to offer a great experience to our app users. We are also spending a lot of time together, so contributing to a positive work environment is important too.

Why would a talent join your team?

If you want to be part of the dvel team and experience one of the fastest growing startups at the moment, then you should apply.

What was your most memorable moment so far?

The decision to give users as much freedom as possible was not without risks. And then you stumble upon a dveler who uses dvels to make artwork and you’re instantly blown away by the idea. It’s great to see the creativity that dvel inspires. We recently had a big milestone: We reached one million votes. That was certainly one of the most memorable moments so far.

What advice would you give fellow founders for their startup?

Start by approaching people and pitching your idea for a startup. This step is important, because it helps you pinpoint your strengths and challenges. It will also save you a lot of legwork down the line. You’ll know what to really focus on during those first months. Don’t worry about making mistakes. When you’re trying something new, making mistakes is inevitable. Your priority should be having a minimum viable product as fast as possible.



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