Where did you get the idea for your start-up?
Philip Grother.- “Our journey, because Roommate is a family of four, was triggered by us feeling the pain of not being heard by our landlord. In fact, as we, founders, were flatmates, we were confronted with two main issues: coordinating our daily apartment life and have a transparent relationship with our landlord. Living those very same pains triggered us in developing a solution, Roommate, composed by a mobile app for simplifying living together to tenants; and a web platform for the landlord allowing her to communicate with tenants.
Do you have any advice for those who are still hesitant to get started?
“There’s one word, ‘team’. The team is everything. The team is where the founders’ skills are at anyone’s disposal. The team is everything when stuff goes bad, it is everything when you understand you could pop but you keep putting in the work. It is essential to find a team which is diversified, at Roommate we are 2 tech geeks, 1 designer, and 1 businessman.
And a team which is committed, so that you do not stop at the first obstacles (because believe me, there will be obstacles). In a nutshell, the founding team is the essence of the early stage start-up itself. It’s not that your idea may fail, it’s often that your team wrongly executed it.
We often hear that it is essential to make mistakes. What do you think?
“The statement is simple: put in the work. If you wait for things to happen, you will be a follower for life. Get your idea delivered in the most cost-effective way to validate that you are solving a problem. Work on evenings or on Saturdays, that’s not an issue. The thing you want to do with your start-up idea is to validate that there is a market for that and that your business would be sustainable.
Forget about all the rest. Indeed, today there are lots of digital tools helping you: from creating a website with no code to get access to early adopters via social media. And remember, Roommate born as a chat between tenants (the founders), you don’t have to be a tech expert as long as you are willing to constantly learn and challenge yourself.
You can register for the “Start-up Stories: Round 4” on the website of the Paperjam Club .
Discover innovation at Bil here .