When a group of likeminded friends come together and brainstorms over a revolutionary idea, then the result is innovation at its best. The same is the case with Elizabeth and six of her friends behind the startup TeslaAmazing. Elizabeth or ‘Liz” has always been a dynamic communicator and public speaker who uses these skills to serve as a liaison between Russia and the West. She thrives on building relationships with people from a variety of cultural backgrounds. Her key strength is her ability to connect with almost anyone of any level and establish immediate trust.
The other key person behind Teslaamazing is Dmitry Samoylovskikh, Co-founder & CEO of Tesla Amazing. He has a master’s degree in Economics from the Higher School of Economics in Moscow. Alex is another key figure in the company and is also considered to be one of the backbones driving the growth. Tesla Amazing is a fast-growing team of seven friends spread across the globe – the USA, Russia, Finland, Estonia, and Ukraine.
Please provide a brief overview of your product/ service.
Tesla Amazing are the creators of Magnetic – reinvented paper that clings to anything. Statically charged Magnetic Notes, Pads, Boards, and Sheets are a 21st-century alternative to sticky notes and whiteboards. Just write, peel off, and cling to almost any surface, including wood, plastic, glass, paper, metal, bricks, cork board, leather, fabric, and more. You can slide Magnetic around without even removing it from the wall!
What inspired you to build the above product/ service?
After years of watching ordinary sticky notes fall off our walls, the Tesla Amazing team came to a realization. We’ve been to the Moon. We’ve generated human organs in 3D printers. We have driverless cars. But when it comes to our homes and offices, where we spend the majority of our time, we still use paper that can’t stick properly. So we made it our mission to give the world a new generation of paper that truly deserves to be called a tool of the 21st century. Inspired by the great inventor Nikola Tesla’s experiments with static electricity, we ran hundreds of experiments of our own. That’s how Magnetic was born.
What is your life mantra?
Everything I do, both in business and in my personal life, is guided by Mark Twain’s famous quote: “Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.”
What was the most challenging part of your journey till now?
The most challenging part of my journey has been that tiny voice in the back of my head (and probably in the backs of all of our heads) that says, “You can’t do it.” It’s been a real challenge to ignore that voice. I’m still working on it!
How did you overcome those challenges?
Over the years, I’ve taught myself to pretend that the word “impossible” doesn’t exist. We all doubt ourselves from time to time, but when it comes down to it, doubt is the one thing that stands between us and achievement. I’ve learned that sometimes I need to ignore that tiny voice in the back of my head and take a risk or two. It may sound cliche, but the old adage is true: With great risk comes great reward.
Share some details about the investments that you have been able to fetch for the business till now.
Tesla Amazing’s only investment is $240,000 we raised on Kickstarter in March 2015. We pride ourselves on the fact that we’ve managed to bootstrap, without begging for investment and giving away equity. If it weren’t for Kickstarter, this wouldn’t have been possible. Kickstarter is an amazing tool.
How do you protect yourself from the problem of Brain Drain?
Tesla Amazing is a very small team of friends who are profoundly passionate about our product. None of us would even dream about leaving this company, which we have invested so much time, effort, and brain waves in. At the end of the day, it’s passion for our product that prevents brain drain.
According to you, what are the three qualities an individual must have to achieve success?
Success comes in lots of different forms, and many different kinds of people have achieved success. But in my personal experience, success of any kind is absolutely impossible without
1) Perseverance, which means getting up and dusting yourself off after you fall down;
2) Self-discipline and
It can be a desire for anything – happiness, to prove yourself, to travel the world – so long as it is a burning need that motivates you to get out of bed in the morning instead of hitting the snooze button.
Which online tools/ services/ apps do you use the most and would like to recommend as well?
I absolutely adore Slack. At any given moment, the Tesla Amazing team is spread across the world. Most of the time, one of us is in Moscow, another traveling Europe, and another in Siberia. But we are constantly in contact via Slack – so much so that it’s as if we see each other everyday.
Customer service and communications would be totally impossible without Zendesk. Regular old gmail just doesn’t cut it when it comes to answering customer queries.
I’m also a big fan of Toggl. Toggl is a time tracking app that helps you monitor what you’re spending your time doing. It keeps me focused and productive. If you’re a start upper who works remotely, Toggl is a must-have.
Since I’m in charge of communications, I constantly have to have my ear to social media. For that I use the free version of Hootsuite, which is a social media publisher and listening tool. It is a one-stop-shop that lets you read what people are saying about you all over the Internet.
I use Wunderlist to keep track of to-dos.
Share any one habit which you think makes you more productive.
Remote work requires immense self-discipline. In order to hold myself accountable, I always spend the last few minutes of my work day writing down my tasks for tomorrow. That way, when I wake up in the morning, I know exactly what’s planned for today and can get right down to business.
Share any one habit which you wish to change in yourself.
I wish I weren’t so hard on myself. I am my own biggest critic. But in a way, I think this has worked in my favor.
Answer in less than 50 words
One tip to success:
Self-discipline, self-discipline, and self-discipline.
One mistake you believe every individual must avoid:
Quit thinking “I can’t!” Quit it right now!
One most important lesson that you have learnt till now:
I am the sole person who is responsible for my happiness. So I’m going to go out there and get it myself. Nobody else will do it for me.
What are your plans for next 3 years?
My plan for the next three years is to help Tesla Amazing grow and conquer the globe. Tesla Amazing is my team’s baby, and we have to raise that baby so that it can become a responsible adult.
If you get a chance to start your career again what would you do differently this time?
I wouldn’t do anything differently. I think everything has happened the way it has for a reason. The stars have aligned. All I had to do was try my best, and the rest fell into place. But my story isn’t finished yet.
What are your top three getaway destinations?
My favorite place in the world is Phuket, Thailand. You can’t beat those beaches or the food. I also love Bosnia & Herzegovina and Istanbul, Turkey. I’m a travel nut, so it’s hard to pick just three.
Share a quote that inspires you the most.
Mark Twain’s quote: “Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.”