Schedulista – The Google Guys Who Just Made Your (Spa) Day
If you’re an entrepreneur in Seattle than you’re probably a Lean Startup activist. If you haven’t heard of this philosophy (though, I suspect you have), take a look. It’s revolutionizing the way startups are built, and serious profits are being turned in a shorter amount of time.
That’s certainly the case for Felix Livni and Lowell Manners, the ex-Google engineers who, after only 6-months, are seeing a profit on their Seattle startup Schedulista, an online tool for small, service-oriented businesses, allowing clients to schedule their own appointments 24-hours a day.
So, what’s the story behind these Seattle entrepreneurs, and how are they making our hair-, accountant- and massage-scheduling lives more efficient?
Felix: XBOX, Google and Go Karts
Felix Livni is a rock star software engineer. If you’re a Go Kart business, you’ll thank him for OSKAR Systems. If you’re XBOX, you’ll definitely thank him for his years as Lead Software Engineer, and his multiple patents. And if you’re Google, you might ask him why he didn’t stick around.
The answer? Felix had his sights set on world domination through (lean) startup success.
And, when he’s not taking over the world? He’s painting, cooking and “armchair theorizing” with friends.
Lowell: College Schmolege
If you’re a polymath like Lowell Manners, you may not see the point in attending college, especially if you’re busy building videogames for Microsoft. If you don’t know what a polymath is, you actually may want to consider the college advantage.
But even Microsoft couldn’t tame this software smarty. And, when he teamed up with his colleague and buddy Felix after their short Google gigs, startup domination was in order.
And, when he’s not plotting world domination with Felix? He’s kicking around a soccer ball or reading, of course, as any self-taught polymath must.
The Backyard Birth Of Schedulista
When the the two ex-Google engineers sat down in Felix’s backyard with a list of startup ideas (and probably a couple of cold beverages), they were hoping for a business plan breakthrough. They found it in the belief that everyone will eventually schedule all their appointments online and the certainty that:
“Online scheduling will change the way that millions of businesses perform their most fundamental transaction”
Thus, our online appointment-making prayers were answered and Schedulista was born.
Penciling In the Profits
Now, the 6-month old Seattle startup is feeling the lean model love, and already turning a profit.
So, what do the guys attribute to the company’s rapid success?
- Their willingness to try anything – Felix believes in the power of failure. That is to say, “Fail often and fail fast,” and you will quickly see what is going to work for your company and be able to build and improve accordingly.
- Acquiring paying customers from the start – The guys put effort into getting paying customers early on and opting out of having an alpha product. This has allowed them to filter feedback from free riders that could have potentially been inaccurate.
- Knowing every detail of the company – Felix believes that understanding and performing every detail of your company, and NOT delegating anything in the beginning, is the key to knowing and running a successful startup.
I would love to tell you more about the guys, but I’ve got to book my spa appointment… online… with Schedulista, of course.