The other day a friend of mine from elementary school randomly popped into my head. Like most people do these days, I went to Facebook to see if I could figure out where she was at and what she was doing, but there about 342,235 people with her name. Searching through all of those was not worth my time (or my attention span) so I gave up.
If this had happened today, maybe I would have had different results. That’s because on August 8, Dmitry Oreshko launched the Social Buzz app on his website Social Searcher, which allows you to easily filter search results for Facebook, Twitter, and Google +.
No more trolling through profile after profile trying to match a grown up face with the one you remember from when you were 5.
Dmitry is also a DJ signed to New York record label AV8 and thinks that running a startup is a lot like producing music: in both fields, he takes parts of things already made and mixes them up with his own ideas and inspirations. Keep reading to find out more about what makes Dmitry tick.
How’d you come up with the name for your company?
Social Searcher name was an easy decision for me since designing different technologies mashups around searching information in social networks is my passion.
What’s the very first thing you do at work everyday?
Generally, I find myself adding new features in the middle of the night, just because it came in to my mind and woke me up. In this case, it’s hard to say if it’s the first thing of the new day or the last one of the previous!
To be serious, usually in the morning I am checking up recent IT and Dev news on the russian popular source Habrahabr.
It’s like doing morning-exercises, but for your brain.
I am imagining where can I apply new technology in my projects or how can I mix up good ideas in to the brand new web product.
How many people did you start the company with and how many people work for you now?
Two years ago I started a simple Facebook search service alone and got millions of page views in the first months. A bit later my schoolmate Anton Beydulaev joined me as a web developer and now I am glad to see two more people in the team:
Francois-Michel Schumaker – Android application developer and Dmitry Novikov – web developer. It’s also planned to invite [an] iOS app developer in the nearest future.
Remember the early days starting up? Maybe you can share one anecdote that describe the struggle you went through?
Yeah I remember our final testing of the Social Searcher Android app with a good friend of mine, Francois-Michel. He moved to Canada a few years ago, so we had a 10 hour time difference and only one android smartphone in my hands for testing… It was a late night in St-Petersburg when we started pair programming with a shared desktop and from time to time I had to face the smartphone screen into the webcamera for showing how it worked on the device, it was really crazy and fun! I am still smiling while remembering this.
Finally, Social Searcher for Android became the “App of the week for journalists” – Journalism UK, and “Best New Mashup” of the March on Programmableweb.
How do you handle frustration? When/how was the last time you dealt with frustration?
Music is the source of inspiration and excellent frustration treatment for me. A year ago it was a hard time when Google changed its webmaster guidelines and kicked off our first site facebook-search.com from the SERP because of having word “facebook” in the domain name. I had to make a decision if we finish the project or start from the absolute zero and a new domain.
I accepted the challenge and took efforts for designing a new concept of the up-to-date web service for searching social networks and similar mobile application. The Social Searcher was born.
What’s your office environment like? Is it the kind of place where everyone is bumpin’ away to house music or is it more traditional?
We are still working on our projects from home and looking forward to get our own office after the lauching of the commercial product for monitoring the social networks.
How do you picture your company in 5 years?
Social Searcher should become a single point of real time searching for the most popular social networks, and we are planning to release a premium tool for professional social marketing.
Who or what inspires YOU? Role models? Quotes? Running? Video games? Snack food? Give us the deets, dude!
I am always glad while reading news about successful startups, based on the fresh up ideas and smart guys, that’s the best motivation for me to move on and never give up. And if we talk about that unique inspiring feeling, then it’s listening or producing new music. Such kind of switching up activities helps me to keep my mind not blurred.
How’d you fund this venture? VC? Self-funding? Crowd-funded? Where’d you get the money, man?
For now it’s self-funding.
Got any great bootstrapping tips for the lean startups out there?
Years of experience in IT development showed me that the team is the key part of any project. Developers effectiveness may vary even in 10 times, and I am not even mentioning cost of the early architecture mistakes. [Because a] startup has a small team in the start most of times, inviting the wrong people in your team may be a crucial decision for your project even if the business idea is perfect. I like the way of the Google company in hiring people: strong professionals with the positive way of thinking won’t invite unmotivated and lazy people to join their own team. So at the end of the job interview it’s better to reject person if you are not 100% sure, even if he (or she) has tons of recommendations and certificates.
And here we come to my second point: trust to your own experience and intuition, thinking out of bounds will always contradict with someones opinion or advices. Words like “…ohhh No! It’s already implemented by…” shouldn’t stop you from digging the area deeper until you find the gold idea.
What would you be doing if you had one year off and $500,000 to spend (and you couldn’t spend it on your current startup / projects)
My dreams of travelling all around the world will become true! But one year it’s too much and I’ll be also happy to spend a half of the time on creating hi-end recording studio for my own CD production.
Do you consider yourself a successful entrepreneur right now? If not, what’s it gonna take to make you feel successful?
I’ve always got the same feeling that there is something that can be done better or new features to be added, may be this “totally successful” feeling will never come to me and, actually, I like being a bit “hungry” at work for setting up more and more ambitious goals.
Website you couldn’t live without and why?
Google, for sure.
Mobile App you’re in love with and why?
I Love Angry Birds, it’s pretty cool sometimes to have a beer and kick some pigs.
Dogs or cats?
Dogs, but only when living in your own house in the country side.
iOS or Android?
Both. I like iOS for usability and Android for the spirit.
Number 1 country you’ve always wanted to visit but haven’t yet?
For me it was always interesting to visit Australia, which is located on the opposite side of the World from my home.
What’s the greatest thing about your company/website/idea?
Constant improvement is our passion, to stop means to lose, which our team cannot afford. Our users can be sure that on using the Social Searcher tools they are on the top of the cutting edge technologies and trends in social media.
Where can our readers get ahold of you? Facebook? Twitter? Google+? Personal blog? Any other projects you’re working on that we should check out?