Startup Tech Challenges – Interview with ZenCard

Care to share?

2015 is coming to an end and we’d love to finish it on a good note. One thing that makes us happy here at Divante are Startups, but more importantly startups which beat the odds and overcome the challenges in the tech world. We’ve had the great pleasure to interview some great startups this year and we’ve decided to share these interviews with you.

In this interview we spoke with the CMO and Co-founder of ZenCard. ZenCard is a rising startup which aims to solve the loyalty and rewards program problems and helps us clean our wallets from coupons and client cards. They simplify the whole process, while at the same time, making life easier for the customers (by keeping all your discounts and promotions in one place) and retailers (by turning the payment terminal into a smart marketing machine).

So let’s see what ZenCard has to say about the technological challenges they encountered.

Could you tell us how important technology is for your startup?

We are a technology startup, so as you can imagine sales & customer development is most important to us, but technology is number 2 priority at all times.

What technologies do you use for developing your project and why have you chosen them?

We are using Java as our main programming language for backend systems and C/C++ for our payment front-end terminals.

Do you use Lean Startup in your project?

Yes. We define and test our product hypothesis with MVPs and follow the Customer Development process.

What was your main challenge when building your MVP?

There is this great picture showing a typical challenge when building an MVP

It is crucial to understand what makes your product VIABLE for the customer from day one.

Do you think that UX is important for startups?

Yes. We focus on UX all the time. For us product design is all about how it works, not how it looks.

What is important in tech when scaling your startup?

Performance monitoring & constant thinking about technology scaling is a key to success.

Tell us about your biggest tech failure and what you’ve learned from it?

Believe it or not, we haven’t had anything major. Our initial tech choices proved to be both scalable and flexible enough for us to provide new features and functions to the clients in a timely manner.

How to find talented developers to work in your startup?

We have a great technical team thanks to our network. Building and scaling your network is important but is not enough. We use recruiters as well to help us find and attract great talent that will bring value to our team.

What are the features of a good technical co-founder/CTO?

Except for the strong technical skills, a good CTO must understand business implications of their decisions and be a good partner for the rest of the founding team.

Could you give 3 pieces of advice for tech people building a startup?

  1. Think about your users and their problems first and talk with them as much as possible.
  2. Never build features for people saying “I’ll buy/use your product if you had this …” – sell first or sign agreement first and then implement missing features.
  3. Measure what your users do and confront that with what they say they do. 

Thanks ZendCard for the interview. We wish you luck in your future endeavors and thanks for making our wallets thinner! 

Published December 2, 2015