What do you do in 2 years in a startup?
Adok celebrated 2 years of official existence last week. I’m not talking about the idea, the project, but the existence of the company. In 2 years, we have had highs, very lows, and achievements of which we can be proud. Small summary of 2 years in the life of a startup:
From 2 very optimistic founders to 16 people focused on a common goal:
When we created Adok with Jimmy, we were told repeatedly that doing hardware is hell. It is true, and it has been verified at every step. But we still embarked on the adventure, then we were joined by Renan, and then by a great team, which has grown and evolved. Today we are proud to have crazy talents around us, both technically and Sales / market, driven by the same goal: Putting tactile projections in place of screens, EVERYWHERE!
POCs to generate income, and validate hypotheses
How many startups around us have trouble generating income, how many forget that a POC (Proof of Concept) free does not confirm anything except that the “client” has time to waste? With Adok, when the situation forced us to turn to our market, we were able to find clients and invoice them, because what we are developing has real value in their eyes. We went to look for them outside our direct network, some came to see us directly! This is an essential point of which we are very proud. Because generating turnover to finance our development is neither easy nor obvious for a Hardware startup. Delivering a product, and receiving real user feedback, sometimes very harsh, is also difficult, sometimes painful, but it is the only solution to understand its added value!
This allowed us to generate 320k € of turnover.
Ultra-solid technology that does better than a giant in the sector:
In 2 years, we have gone from a concept to a product that does better than anything on the market. 2 years ago, when I first spoke about the project to Carlos Diaz, ON THE SAME DAY (True story) Sony was showing its prototype Xperia Touch projector for the first time at MWC Barcelona. Today, this product is a commercial failure, does not meet the needs of users and ALL of our customers who have tested their product preferred ours. Why?
Because we have developed incredible technology that really works for professional use! We made strong choices, sometimes we struggled to release the product we wanted because we did not take the easy way out.
But today our technology is unique. Finally, it is satisfactory for the end user. Above all, we keep improving it continuously because the end goal is to do much better than touch screens as they exist today.
Our approach has been validated by researchers from CNRS, INRIA and industry leaders!
Other startups focus on show-offs to raise millions faster, and behind are struggling to deliver. We have chosen the more difficult path, but the most relevant in the long run.
A commercial pipe to fetch 3M € of turnover:
In addition to generating a significant turnover last year, today we are industrializing our product to distribute it on a larger scale. And with a minimal budget and a small team (2.5 people in sales only) we have succeeded in creating tangible commercial traction. We have the commercial pipe at the moment to reach more than 3M € of turnover in 2018. This represents 1000+ units sold, spread over approximately 50 customers.
Above all, a point that we regularly remind our interlocutors and of which we can be proud, 1 year later, is our resilience. 1 years ago, we almost filed for bankruptcy. We had less than a month of cash in the bank and no solution. But we went to find the customers, the Business Angels who allowed us not only to survive, but also to grow, to progress, to learn.
We have several times stranded on deadlines that we had set ourselves or that customers had given us. We had sleepless nights delivering products, we thought it was the end of the game several times. But every time the team got up, we continued and we progressed! This resilience is our greatest strength ! Because at the end of the day, being a startup also means holding on long enough to succeed.
A vision to change the world:
But above all Adok, it is a strong ambition. A common ambition to achieveUbiquitous Computing. That is, the next phase of interactions with technology. Personalized, contextualized interfaces, available everywhere, all the time, but not intrusive. A technology that is present but which disappears in the background when you stop using it. And not a smartphone that bombards us with unwanted notifications without taking into account our environment, our need for concentration, our human interactions in the real world.
We don’t get up in the morning to start an SME. We are here to change the future of technology. To create a global giant with a positive impact on the Human-Machine interfaces of tomorrow.
This is our mission, it is what drives the whole team and all the people who believe in us and who accompany us. I would like to sincerely thank them! So after 2 years, as Supreme NTM would say, we are still here ! And we still have plenty of great things to do. 🙂
Paul Pérétié, co-founder and CEO of Adok, a solution using touchscreen projection technology that allows you to work alone or with several people on any table or wall.