How I Started an App To Share
All Your Social Media Profiles Using a Single Link
Hi! Who are you and what business did you start?
Hi! My name is Andrey Mitko, I am about to start my second year at Hult International Business School in London, and I am the founder of a small startup called Card. Card is an app that allows you to share all of your social media profiles in a matter of seconds using a single link or QR code. So, forget the lengthy awkward contact exchange when you meet new people – it can all be done in one click.
What is your personal story and how did you come up with the idea?
I believe it took me several months to come up with the idea of Card. In the beginning of 2019, NFC business cards and stickers became really popular. Their promo videos were something straight from the future – you just put the NFC tag near another device and all of your social media pop up!
I started researching the market and realized that these NFC solutions are not really pocket-friendly. Around 15 – 25$ per card and 10 – 15$ for a sticker, sometimes even more. They also have their limitations – they are no use for people with a big audience, for example at an in-person or, more importantly nowadays, online presentation.
I realized that there is a huge opportunity on this market, and with heaps of time during quarantine I set a goal of creating something amazing, for free. This is how Card was born.
I did not know much about Swift (the iOS programming language) before I started this project. I had taken some programming courses in the past, but my skills were rather rusty. It also took me a while to get ahead as I lacked the expertise in design, marketing or project managing.
The first version of Card was laggy, slow and not interesting. After 3 months of 3-4 hours of programming every day, Card finally started to take the desired form. It has been a huge challenge for me, but my personal growth along with the final product has made it extremely rewarding.
What challenges did you face when creating your product/service?
One of the biggest challenges was the budget. I was not sure if there would be any demand for my product, and with my student resources I could not spend more than around 100$ on the whole project. It is challenging to find a way to create something awesome for almost nothing.
While many of my competitors have big teams employed to create something similar, I was doing everything by myself. Yet, Card gives customers so many more features that nobody else from the competitors is offering.
For example, I have built my website using a free website builder. It took a lot of texting with different programmers to find various workarounds for my app to be as efficient as possible, yet cheap in development. Of course, it is still not the best solution, but I was able to find out if people would want to download my app. This allows me to improve Card as efficiently as possible, step by step.
Who is your target market?
There are several groups of people as Card’s target market. Firstly, students – Card is an amazing app which can be used for networking. With students being more open minded in terms of using new technologies in their daily life, they will play a crucial role in implementing Card more broadly into everyone’s lives.
Second group of people we are targeting is professional individuals. Card is a perfect solution for conferences, business meetings and events which extend beyond one-to-one interaction. And last but not least, Card works great for businesses like restaurants and cafes. Card gives them a way to increase their online presence and develop better client relationships.
How do you market your business and which approaches have been the most successful?
Nevertheless, the best way to gain customers was Product Hunt. I was able to double the number of active users and received a lot of helpful suggestions and advice from the audience.
Since you launched, what has worked in not only attracting but retaining customers?
It is difficult to retain customers, especially with the one-person team which I am. I believe that the best way to do so is to think beyond the uniqueness of the app and more into it being user-friendly and accessible. That is why I make sure to listen carefully to the feedback and all of the suggestions and just keep improving with the goal of making Card an app of everyday use.
What software, services or tools do you use within your business?
As I am working alone, I like to keep myself on track by creating a simple plan for every two weeks. There are so many websites to do so, like Trello or Monday.com. As for the product statistics, I use default services such as Appstore Connect and Google Analytics.
What are the most important lessons have you learned on your business journey?
Keep brainstorming. I would try to write down every single idea which comes to my mind and take a couple hours a week just figuring out how to make it work. Also, I have learned it is a must to have at least some programming knowledge, no matter what are of business you plan to go into. However, if you do not have any, do not get discouraged and keep an open mind – there are so many resources out there that you simply need time and persistence.
I have also learned that everything, especially setbacks or gaps in my programming or marketing knowledge, were a part of the process and opportunities to learn and challenge myself.
What books, podcasts or other resources have inspired and influenced your business journey?
I cannot recall any specific resources which inspired me on creation of Card, however I must say that keeping up with the latest startup ideas as well as tech releases really helps you be aware of things and trends happening around you. Medium, Product Hunt and other similar resources have helped me a lot in this case.
Where do you see your business 2-3 years from now?
I have high hopes for Card, and I believe that in 2 years from now we will definitely have a bigger team and a more advanced product. We have a long way ahead of us, but we are just getting started.
For now, the next steps are looking into an Android version of the app and listening to the user feedback on the iOS version. Which brings me to asking you, Readers, for a favour – if any of you know something about Android development and would like to help me out with the project don’t hesitate to contact me on [email protected]!