Entrepreneur: Vivek Jain
Business Name: FlippAr
Welcome to #eoindia #startupstories Episode 38.
TIMING is an essential element of any business. Every market has three phases. Growth, Maturity, and Decline. As an example – if you started a business building mobile apps in 2008 after the launch of the First iPhone – you would likely have built a very successful business. If you started in 2017 with the same business – your task will be 100x harder. The difference is timing. In 2008 the mobile app market was at the begining of the growth phase, today we would argue that it is nearing the end of that phase and is entering Maturity. That means more competition, established players and less opportunity. So timing is critical. Starting the right business at the right time is a golden opportunity. Today we meet a startup that is hitting a market at the very beginning of it’s growth phase and therefore putting itself in the right place for success. That market is Augmented Reality and the #startup is FlippAR AR is an exciting new area of the app market and will become even more popular int eh coming years as players such as Apple put more emphasis on AR.FlippAR have built an app that helps people unlock stories from real-world objects, using Augmented Reality technology. It’s a mobile app that tourists are using to unlock stories from monuments, millennials are using to “tag” their pictures to a bottle of beer and so on. Today we meet it’s founder Vivek Jain and learn about it’s story. Welcome Vivek to EOIndia #startupstories let’s jump in to your story.
1) How did you get your idea for this business?
I used to be a part of a services business, that I was associated for over 13 years, which a friend of mine from college, Dev and I started. Sometime in 2015, we were looking to find newer technology & that’s when IKEA had launched its Augmented Reality app that helped people visualize furniture. That inspired us to experiment with AR technology. We did a couple of projects using AR at a few museums and that got a lot of interest. In early 2016, I exited the services business to build a product around Augmented Reality and that’s how I got started.
2) Why is “now” a good time for this idea to exist?
Our primary audiences are the millennials, also called the digital native. There are over 300 million of them in India alone. They are going to be the major contributors to the economy. With better internet, affordable smartphones, and how the millennials use mobile phones to make decisions – FlippAR fits in very well with this behavior.
3) What was the reaction from your family when you first decided to become an entrepreneur?
If it weren’t for my family, I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to dabble with startups. This is the 2nd startup that I am associated with and I get as much support as ever from them.
4) What was your biggest mistake in business and what did you learn from it?
A couple of “biggest” mistakes:
- Delaying decision-making, especially the tough ones. It is extremely important to be decisive – one way or the other. It could work in your favour or may not, but delaying it will not help and will cause further damage.
- Managing cash flows is extremely important for a startup – as a matter of fact for any business. That’s what fuels everything for the business to run.
- Trying to focus on multiple things at the same time. As a startup, we are looking to grab any opportunity that comes our way. But it is important to see if that opportunity helps us reach our targets. Important to say ‘No’ to what may seem as opportunities, but could be distractions.
managing cash flows is extremely important for a startup – as a matter of fact for any business. That’s what fuels everything for the business to run.
5) What is your biggest obstacle in the next 12 months and how will you overcome it?
We are in the process of changing how people engage with real-world objects – using Augmented Reality. It isn’t mainstream yet, so, a lot of time has/is being spent with creating awareness. With Facebook, Google & Apple announcing their interests in AR – a lot of awareness is being created and AR is going to be mainstream soon.
6) What habits contribute to your success?
Well, I am not successful yet. But I believe these habits will certainly contribute to success and am working on it.
- Having a purpose.
- Having goals and targets around your purpose.
- Measuring progress and taking corrective action.
- Having a mindset of collaboration.
- Keep giving.
7) If you had the opportunity to start this business again what would you do differently? I would talk to at least a 1000 more target users of the app. 8) What is your favourite inspirational quote?
Think you can. Think you cant’. Either way, you’ll be right – Henry Ford.
9) Where do you find inspiration?
People who don’t believe in our idea inspire me.
10) What is your favourite book?
Rework, by Jason Fried.
11) What advice would you give to someone starting out?
Have a clear value proposition. it may change over time, but do have something when you start. You have to ASK. Learn how to tell your story. There would be highs and lows – very likely more of the lows. Dont give up, its part of the journey.
A big thank you to Vivek for taking the time to be interviewed for this feature. FlippAR we love what you are doing. Getting the timing right is very difficult in business and it always involves RISK. Becuase the truth is you have to place your faith in a new market or technology before the rest of the market takes the plunge. Well done to FippAR for taking the risk and having the vision to take the plunge on AR. Please get out the FlippAR website and Facebook page. But most importantly head over to the Play Store or App Store and DOWNLOAD THEIR APP. Also check out his recommended book below:
What did you learn from this interview? Comment below…