June 20, 2013
The Inboard app Team
What’s Inboard App and how does it work? How did you come up with the idea?
Inboard is a Mac application that helps designers organize their inspiration. In my work I clip various UI elements or take full-page screenshots from sites that I like, to serve as inspiration later on when I’m working on a new project. Some people refer to this as creating mood boards. Often these screenshots get lost in your Finder and it’s hard to later find the screenshots you want – there are no tags or URLs attached to images. Clearly Apple’s Finder is not the best tool for this kind of work.
We figured there must be a better way and created Inboard where you can tag images, take full-page screenshots with URL information and organize them in folders. Inboard has a Pinterest-like interface and makes effective use of precious screen real estate. It even integrates with the popular designer social network Dribbble. Currently we’re in beta, you can apply for invite at http://inboardapp.com.
Who’s behind the startup? How did you guys find/meet each other?
We’re two friends who knew each other from middle-school and ended up working together at a Latvian company Draugiem Group (http://draugiemgroup.com) in Riga. I’m Davis Siksnans, and I’m the product-focused project manager who helped such startup ideas from Draugiem Group as desktime.com, behappy.me and startupvitamins.com, as well as worked on the Draugiem.lv (the leading social network in Latvia) mobile team. Gustavs is the lead designer for the whole Draugiem Group and its 16 companies. We’re really passionate about great UX and creating products we use ourselves, that is scratching your own itch.
Why did you decide to go down the startup-route instead of getting a (or keeping your) 9-5 job, perhaps in a large corporate?
In the Silicon Valley there’s this notion that the only true way of doing a startup is burning all the bridges and leaving your 9-5 position. Well, that may be true in some organizations, but Draugiem Group is actually very different. All employees can pitch their 20% idea to the company founders – if they like the idea and believe in you, you’re given team members (in our case we needed a Objective-C guru), time and money to develop the MVP. If the MVP has traction, you’re allowed to make it a full time thing, form a company and get equity.
One our colleague was working in advertising sales department, had an idea for a social management platform that included all the popular social networks + Latvian national social network Draugiem.lv and made Prodesk.com. During the first though months of Prodesk, the backing of Draugiem Group and all the perks you get by working here (free lunch, awesome office etc.) it really helped to keep him and the team going. You see in Latvia people are much more risk-averse than in the U.S. so convincing a world class developer or designer to take a plunge and leave his safe position is much harder. We probably would not have pursued this idea if it wasn’t for the backing of the Draugiem Group. The company founders are really supporting and promote entrepreneurship within the group. You always have the option to completely severe the ties with Draugiem Group, but I think the scheme we have at Draugiem Group really promotes intrinsic motivation and autonomy so you really don’t want to leave.
Are you guys angel funded or VC backed already? If not, are you looking to raise money and what expertise would you require from an investor?
At the moment we aren’t raising money, but looking for early beta users and influencers who could push our product so we achieve a product-market fit. If you’re a designer or know one, check out our product.
What piece of advice would you give to 9-5ers who are dreaming to startup their own web venture?
Talk to your management first. If you’re good, they might be ok with you doing your venture part-time. You don’t necessarily have to burn all the bridges to do your own thing and make it happen.