Hello Yaro, hello Vlad – thanks for agreeing for this interview! You have just closed a round of investment from Antler VC – congratulations! Before we start talking about your startup can you tell us a few words about yourselves and your background?
Y: Thank you for having us! I am an ex-McKinsey consultant that at some point decided to make a career U-turn and dive into the startup world – at the end of 2020 I joined a Silicon Valley based startup Cherry Labs as a Business Development manager, and 1.5 years later I decided to quit in order to focus on my own startup – not8.
V: I have a technical background, I worked at Yandex – one of the largest IT companies in Eastern Europe, and, ARRIVAL – “British Tesla”. Same as Yaro, in summer 2022 I left the company in order to focus on building not8.
Interesting! Tell us a bit more about not8
Y: Sure, happy to. Not8 is a startup that Vlad & I created (at least the very early version of it) during the 10-week acceleration program at Antler Amsterdam. We aim to revolutionize the way product teams in IT companies work.
Any IT product (website or app, for example) is constantly reviewed and improved, and the process of feedback exchange is typically broken – product managers, web designers, frontend developers, and QAs waste about a month per year on making unnecessary calls, marking up screenshots, and sending long explanatory messages.
not8 streamlines and optimizes the process of product review for teams. With not8 the conversation is happening directly “inside” the reviewed website or web app, making it clear what elements comments refer to. It is as simple as leaving virtual “sticky notes” on your screen.
How did you come up with the idea for the company?
V: I learned first-hand when I was working as a frontend developer that product teams are often not very efficient in communicating what changes they want to make in a website. I told Yaro about it, and we started brainstorming about how this problem could be solved.
At some point we thought that it would be great if you could use the product under review as a whiteboard or a pinboard where you could have all the conversations. So that’s how the idea of not8 was born. No more ambiguous messages – you just pin a “sticky note” exactly to the place where the issue is and send a link to it.
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How has the company evolved over the last few months?
Y: We registered a company only in September, so we’re still quite early in our journey. Right now we have our Chrome extension published in the Chrome Web Store (it already got a couple of badges from Google, they say it means that our product meets their high quality standards), got over 500 users and some great reviews! We are still pre-revenue though, we need a few months to make our product more mature and start selling.
What can we hope to see from not8 in the future?
V: We are planning to add integrations with tools like Jira, ClickUp and Loom – something our users have been requesting for a long time already. Also, happy to share that we are already developing a back office where our users will be able to access all their notes, manage their team, and their subscription (once we add premium features). Stay tuned for the updates!