What if you are told to look at things from a personal prospective? Some of you might look at the things, which have been done, while other would look at things, which can be done. If you belong to the latter category, then you think alike Vipul Mishra who has been busy trying to make people’s lives easier by building a sustainable business. Ever since, he completed his BE in Information Technology, he has been on his toes, delivering stellar performance across various domains.
As a serial entrepreneur, he has envisioned several ideas and brought many of them to reality. He holds expertise in Marketing, PR, Business Development, Client relations and New Market Segment Strategy. FBviralvideos.com, Yougle.in and CanvasFlip.com are some of the web properties brought to reality by Vipul. Currently he is busy expanding the reach of CanvasFlip, A SAAS base cloud platform offering Quick Flip (TM) to businesses for creating their Explainer, Marketing and promotional videos.
Please provide a brief overview of your product/ service.
CanvasFlip is a cloud-based prototyping and usability testing platform allowing Product Managers, UX teams and Non-Tech Entrepreneurs to validate their idea and user experience without writing a single line of code. Users can create prototype (clickable demo of apps) from design and share it with other stakeholders to get actionable analytics on these prototypes. Validating flow and user experience at the design stage helps companies to save significant amount of time and development iterations.
What inspired you to build the above product/ service?
We build CanvasFlip to address UI/UX challenges faced by in our own previous endeavors. Before CanvasFlip, we had couple of other innovations including Yougle, FbViralVideos, Slurrp, Monkey Warrior, My Way App and many others. The functionality of these apps were flawless, yet they couldn’t get adopted by mass because of poor UI/UX. And, I think that’s the case with many other fellow Indian entrepreneurs. They can build awesome logics but when it comes to design experience of the apps, there are very few which can compete with their global counterparts.
What is your life mantra?
I’m mostly driven by challenges as they come. While trying to minimize the gap between what-can-be-done and what-is-being-done in order to make life easier. Regardless of whether it will translate into a profitable business but it is the challenging myself “Can I do i t” is the key of why I do whatever I do it. Very often, I challenge myself out of comfort zone. That’s a reason I quit my very well paying corporate job in Singapore and returned to India to try my neck at startups.
What was the most challenging part of your journey till now?
Most challenging part came after 8 months with CanvasFlip when we (me and Manish) decided to move from Hyderabad to Noida. We didn’t have right Product-Market fit after 5-6 pivotal experiments. We came to join accelerator program at TLABS with no idea of how CanvasFlip is going to shape up, no business model, no clientele and no money of course. All of our saving were invested in CanvasFlip and we were completely broke. We were chasing every client, investor and business for demo without any success. Every night before going to sleep I used to think why am I doing this? Maybe we should take a break and hit it again after an year or so. I used to feel very bad for Manish,other family & friends for giving them a false hope everyday. But then things changed.
How did you overcome those challenges?
During TLABS mentoring, we observed that between co-founders (me and Manish) priority focus was defined. We both were working on product, marketing & sales at the same time. So First of all, we decided that Manish will take care of the product and I will be responsible for sales, marketing and investment.
We started speaking to product managers and designers at Times and figured out challenges faced by them. We observed them at work and over lunch and tea-breaks. We pivoted CanvasFlip one final time to challenges faced by them specifically. With the marketing mentorship of Abhimanyu bisht within few weeks we had 20+ teams at Times Internet who were regularly using to improve usability of their apps.
I am glad to have Rahul Saini and Dushyant Arora as my design mentors who helped us a lot to evolve CanvasFlip. I’d recommend every startup to reach to them for guidance.
Share some details about the investments that you have been able to fetch for the business till now.
We have received $1.2 Mn USD from a silicon valley based Bessemer Venture Partners.
How do you protect yourself from the problem of Brain Drain?
“Teach people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough so they don’t” – I was fortunate enough to work with Hari T – CPO, TechM who practiced the phrase very closely.
We at CanvasFlip don’t just hire anybody. Those who think can add significant value to our mission come and work with us. Most of people who have been helping us have joined us for full-time.
For team CanvasFlip, life is NOT measured in thousands per month or lacs per annum but it’s the flexibility and willingness to create something awesome that keeps them going. Challenging people and helping them achieve those challenge is best way to retain them.
According to you, what are the three qualities an individual must have to achieve success?
Foreseer: Able to see what are the impact of action. Don’t assume anything. Gather data and do lots of math & planning.
Persistence: Once decided, stay on the course. Don’t get distracted by other’s success or failures. 3. Open to explore: Nobody knows how good product is. Search and meet people relevant to you. Write emails, pick up the phone and call them.
Which online tools/ services/ apps do you use the most and would like to recommend as well?
- I extensively use Google Office suite – Gmail, Drive, Doc, Sheet, Presentation etc.
- I also use Twitter, LinkedIn for finding relevant people, rapportive – a gmail extension for LinkedIn.
Share any one habit which you think makes you more productive.
Plan your day in advance. That’s the most effective way to make most of your hours productive.
Share any one habit which you wish to change in yourself.
I should learn to say no especially when people ask for my help. I’m working on it and now I go by a priority meter which basically validate how much of committed efforts is in-line of our vision.
Answer in less than 50 words
One tip to success:
“Focus” on target market, customer pain points, product & competition.
One mistake you believe every individual must avoid:
Don’t exaggerate before customers or investors. They know it when you do.
One most important lesson that you have learnt till now:
Quality of your code doesn’t mean anything unless it doesn’t add value for your customer.
What are your plans for next 3 years?
- Expansion of the tech, marketing and sales team
- Acquire users from non-india market
- Observe more pain points in application designing & development process and address them
If you get a chance to start your career again what would you do differently this time?
I’d work for a product company preferably a startup.
What are your top three getaway destinations?
- Tioman Islands (Malaysia)
Share a quote that inspires you the most.
“You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. So do it.”