Recently, Indian Nerve had an opportunity to interact with Co-founder of Dysco. The brother-sister duo, Ms. Khrisha Shah, CEO, handles content, strategy, innovation and idea creation along with Mr. Mishal Shah, who is also the COO, takes care of Finance and operations, problem-solving and management, are the core riders of Dysco.
Let’s get deeper in DYSCO,
The genesis of DYSCO. What core issue is the app trying to address?
My brother Mishal and I, decided to create an app with literally no tech experience or background. We needed a web developer, a UI / UX designer, a marketing expert and a photographer to get started. We didn’t know where to start or where to look or where to find the right people to work with and guide us.
I went on LinkedIn, browsed Facebook groups, stalked people on Instagram, did a million Google searches and found a multiple options of people to work with, but I didn’t know how to choose amongst them! I ended up asking friends, and friends of friends and somewhere along the way using a combination of these methods I got a team together. At that point I realized – finding people to work with is a pretty big problem, and it’s not just us who were facing it.
On both an individual level and as an agency, everyone’s looking to connect, discover, network and collaborate. You’re often hiring or looking to be hired. The most reliable source of information today is word of mouth, but that seriously limits your options, despite there being an abundance of talent around you. People rely on using social media platforms (like Facebook and Instagram) for professional purposes, which is inefficient because they weren’t built for professional networking. Similarly, existing professional networks are too corporate and not easy or fun to use everyday. Dysco solves that problem by combining social with professional – it is the place you go to, to view high quality work, connect with interesting people, discover innovative companies, and find new professional opportunities.
Dysco was born out of the desire for a more efficient way to discover and be discovered. Dysco is young, digital and social; it is an endeavor to connect real people, not faceless brands. It reflects how people work in the real world – on a digital platform.
How does DYSCO work?
Dysco is an abbreviation for ‘discover’; for people to discover inspiring people, interesting content, and to be discovered themselves. Anyone can create a profile on the app, upload their work, browse industries that are listed, and view profiles of interesting people. If you’re looking for something specific, you can search for content or people (i.e. minimal UI UX design, or a UI UX designer in Mumbai). You can follow people on the platform, message those who you want to work with, or apply for jobs at companies you find intriguing.
The platform uses advanced and intelligent tools to ensure relevant and efficient search results that are personalized to users’ preferences. People on Dysco can create interactive multimedia profiles that are reflective of their best work, by sharing audio clips, video links, blog posts, photos and articles.
Dysco is for people of all backgrounds: entrepreneurs, developers, designers, freelancers and more. It operates across 20 different industries including Tech & Innovation, Food & Beverage, Architecture and Interiors, Blogging & Styling, Fitness & Health, Photography & Film, Fashion & Jewellery, and Art & Design. As a hybrid platform, it is available on web, iOS and Android.
What are the biggest challenges you’ve had to face while creating this application and how did you tackle them?
- Learning everything at once: being entirely new to the app game, we’ve had to learn while doing, making mistakes along the way. We haven’t just had to learn one thing at one time, but multiple things at once – the tech we’re using to build the app, how to market a product that isn’t publicly available yet, how to build a robust model that can scale, and more. By acknowledging the areas we needed to build our skills in, and learning from other experts was very useful. Focusing on learning from mistakes, and not worrying about what went wrong; also making sure to avoid them the next time around has been our strategy.
- Building a social network is a chicken & egg situation: building a professional network is challenging because you have to convince people about the value of the platform when there’s (almost) no one on it. The most talented people will use Dysco, only if other talented people are on it. But to get the first set on board is really difficult. We focused on building a brand first, since we strongly believed our idea, and used our brand to convince people about the value of the product. By forming personal relationships and delivering actual value to people, we won their trust and are on the way to having a solid initial user base.
- Sticking to simplicity: Dysco is all about simplicity and ease of use. We keep thinking of all the features and services that we could build, to make the platform really useful and customisable for users. It’s easy to get carried away by thinking of building more and more tech. But we won’t know what will really work until people actually use it. Keeping ourselves in check and reminding ourselves to start small and then build what our users ask for, is challenging but really important.
Who do you believe are the key competitors in the market?
Honestly word-of-mouth is what we would consider the closest alternative or solution to the problem we’re trying to solve. You rely on recommendations from friends or people you know, because those are people whose opinion you trust most. If you friend has worked with someone, or recommends an agency to provide whatever you’re looking for, you’re much more likely to work with them than whatever you find by doing an online search. Personalisation doesn’t come from generic digital searches or website listings.
Of course, Facebook groups, Instagram, Behance and LinkedIn are all massive players in the market they’re each being used differently by users to solve the problem of professional discovery and networking.
A message for budding entrepreneurs!
Focus on your immediate market first, and don’t worry about tackling things at a global scale. It’s intimidating to think of your massive competition, but there’s enough value to be provided if you find your niche. I guess take things one step at a time, and don’t let scale overwhelm you.