Have you ever wondered what it is like to create your own start up? Steve Lazaridis, co – founder of Phonism , gave us a glance into the start up community and what it takes to make your dreams come true.
Phonism began back when Steve and his brother, Niko, found a problem with his former employer. Niko was the IT director and realized there was a constant hassle with the phone system because it needed to be upgraded. As a result, he found a problem and began looking for a solution. They solved this problem through founding Phonism, a cloud based service that helps you manage all of your VoIP phones so the need for onsite technicians is no longer needed.
It was not easy to get to this point for Steve and Niko because they had their start as a mere project that they worked on, during nights and weekends, for four years. The biggest challenge for them was staying motivated throughout the early years considering that they were sacrificing time they could have spent with their families. Their project was bootstrapped, as they were already working full time jobs. They also had daily and weekly goals that Lazaridis set, and every weekend scheduled reviews to keep up with tasks needing to be completed and where improvements could be made. Needless to say, the build phase may have been the most challenging part for their company thus far.
“The biggest thing I prioritized was patience and persistence,” said Lazaridis. He knew with continuous hard work that eventually it would all pay off. With their project being self funded, working from home, and a small set of employees Lazaridis managed to eventually start selling their product. His one regret was he wished he shipped his product sooner. Fear of not being ready potentially cost him early profits, but their later release allowed them to spend more time reconfiguring a more advanced product. At this point, things finally moved forward for Phonism.
As their business continued to advance to the launch phase, Lazaridis debated frequently with his band of employees about what they should do differently, or how they should resolve technical issues. “We managed to resolve our issues quickly, and we never had any serious issues we could not resolve,” said Lazaridis. He has seen his project evolve over the years into a business that is now taking on the market place. He has hired more employees, started selling to customers, and is still continuously adapting to the market.
Patience and persistence was the key to the game. If they had given up on one of those weekends or decided that the business wasn’t worth it, Lazaridis would not be where he is today. Lazaridis shared, “I’m proud of what my team has accomplished thus far, and I look forward to what the future holds for Phonism”. Making your own startup is one of the hardest things a person can do, and Steve Lazaridis’ story is proof of that. This is truly a story that shows anything is possible if you put your mind to it.