Hi Guys, Hope you enjoy this interview with an interesting and exciting entrepreneur Emil Hajric, I say interesting and exciting because he managed to keep on Skype for a long time talking about his companies, his drive, plans for the future, Let’s just say we got carried before finally getting back into doing the interview.
Emil Hajric is a 17 years old entrepreneur based in Bosnia, doing some pretty cool things with his start-up, Questionify.
Hope you enjoy the interview!
Hello Emil, How are you doing? Nice to have you on YHP
Hi. Thanks for having me. I'm doing pretty well right now, doing UI consulting, running questionify and launching another start-up, I think you could say I've been busy.
Can you quickly give us some background information on yourself?
Sure, so I'm Emil, I've been programming and designing for about 5-6 years now, 3 of which have been spent on start-up attempts. Some have been pretty successful and some have simply failed.
So how did you get into the whole entrepreneurial lifestyle?
Ever since I was a kid I was hungry for money. I remember when I was 8 years old, my dad used to run a large Bosnian supermarket in the US, I used to sell lemonade inside the store, I remember making 20 bucks a day (a lot for a 8 year old). It was fun. Then when I was around 13-14 I decided to start my first business, it failed. Second one failed too, third was pretty successful. Fourth one is going well.
How do you balance school work and working on a start-up?
I usually sleep 5-6 hours MAX. I attend a prestigious high school in Sarajevo so it's really hard. I manage to balance school and work basically by organizing my time to the point where I have all of my hours planned out. It's pretty tough.
Who is your role model/Inspiration?
I think Sergey Brin is a terrific role model. In 10 years, he built a company that's so damn powerful. In terms of lifestyle, I like Roman Abramovich. He's a badass
What do you like the most about the entrepreneurial lifestyle?
I love the fact that you can define what you see as valuable and practically create a culture that you feel is appropriate and run the entire company so that it breathes a culture. Besides, who doesn’t like money?
So tell us about your latest Project, Questionify?
Questionify is basically a customer support platform for any business. Your customer goes to your support page, type in the question, if there's an answer for it, the customer sees it, if not, your support team gets an email with that question, they answer it and all the customers that had the question get notified.
In one sentence, questionify manages your help page by collecting all the questions from customers and displaying it on your support page so that it's easy for customers to search through and browse the questions.
What inspired the idea?
I was initially building a Q&A community for businesses but Derek Johnson of Tatango.com talked to me about this idea and it slowly transformed.
How long did it take you to build?
Well, I've been through a lot of iterations, a lot of feature add-ons and changes. It's been two and a half months though.
Did you have any problems building the product, and what kept you going?
Oh problems? I remember there was a period where the only thing I did have was a set of problems and I had to come up with the solution! Yeah there were a lot of problems like how to get the first customers, etc. I'm not sure what kept me going, but I think I loved doing Questionify so it wasn’t a problem. I'd hate to quit after I started development.
When will you be releasing officially?
1 month from now. Till then all the interested beta testers can email me and I'll setup a free account while we're in beta. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org
how are you looking to make money from this product?
Charging on a monthly bases - subscription based.
What have the key lessons you’ve learnt along the way?
I just release a simple version but have a signup form so that people can easily get started with your service.
- Release that buggy version and get some feedback. If your target customers’ don’t want it AT ALL, it's time you changed the idea a little.
- Always design it first, then code it(it gives you a clear vision of how it's going to work)
- Don’t talk about what you're going to make, *make it*
What has been your best moment so far to this day?
I'm really not sure.
What do you enjoy to relax?
I LOVE to watch The Office and The Cleveland show. I also like walking, beaches, and go karts seem to be fun even though I haven’t rode on one in ages.
What should we be expecting from you in the future?
A LOT. I see myself running an awesome company with a great culture!
What advices do you have to say for teenagers your age, looking to start their own businesses?
- Dream a lot
- Find what you like
- Figure out which problem you're really solving and for who.
- Find the people you're solving a problem for and make them whip out their wallets.
- Rinse and repeat.
Thank you for your time Emil
Don’t forget to Join the YHP FanPage and Follow us on twitter.