How We Started a Tool
to Extract Text From Images
Hi! Who are you and what business did you start?
Hi, my name is Valerijs Boguckis and I’m co-founder of TextSniper app. TextSniper is a simple and easy to use text recognition tool for Mac. It extracts any text within the selected portion on screen and turns it into editable text copied to clipboard. Easily recognizes text from graphics, digital documents and videos. Lightning fast and does not require internet connection.
What is your personal story and how did you come up with the idea?
After school, I entered the Faculty of Law, it always seemed to me that I wanted to become a lawyer. After studying for half a year, I realized that this was not mine and could no longer find the motivation in myself to continue studying.
I quit university and started to work. My main job was related to construction. During this time, I tried two more times to get a higher education, but as the first time, could not find the motivation to continue studying. Probably, I would have continued to do what I was doing, if a year ago I had not accidentally opened a programming tutorial on the internet. I was so involved in it that I started to devote all my free time on learning programming.
About three months later, I wrote and sold my first program to a construction company I worked for. It was a small amount of money, but it gave me confidence, and I understood what I want to do in the future.
Now the question arose what kind of application to program to devote my time fully to it and, ideally, quit my job. Any product or program must solve some problem. The idea to write the program came from my trivial use case. I was watching a YouTube video tutorial and on the video was a link I needed to paste into the Terminal application. The link was quite long, and the only option was to retype it. Then I thought, it would not be great, if I just could draw a selection around this link on the video and turn it to typed text and then easily paste it anywhere I need.
I googled if there is a ready solution for this particular problem. To my surprise, I found just one application that does what I was looking for. This application was too expensive and over-bloated with extra features. Questions on the Quora website also showed that there is an enormous interest for such macOS application. All those factors moved me to start building TextSniper.
What challenges did you face when creating your product/service?
Honestly I did not encounter any challenges developing TextSniper. The most complicated was to promote the product.
Who is your target market?
TextSniper is so easy to use that it has something for everyone. I would say anyone who finds himself retyping text from images, documents, videos or any other sources will find a use for it. Currently, TextSniper is available only for macOS users.
How do you market your business and which approaches have been the most successful?
As we did not have money for advertising and our social media presence was equal to zero, we decided to go with Reddit. I think Reddit is the best place to start from. It is one of the most visited websites in the world. First purchases we got from Reddit users. Another great place to get noticed is the Product Hunt.
The most successful moment of our launch was when we got noticed by MacRumors. They featured our application in their August 2020 YouTube video. It made most sales.
Since you launched, what has worked in not only attracting but retaining customers?
We are working hard on customer service. It is our first priority. We are carefully listening to all our users’ suggestions and trying to implement them as soon as we can. We have two main communication channels – Twitter and E-mail.
What software, services or tools do you use within your business?
What is your favourite aspect of being an entrepreneur?
Besides personal freedom, the most rewarding aspect is realizing that our application makes some users’ lives easier and helps them save their valuable time.
What is your LEAST favourite aspect of being an entrepreneur?
Honestly, since I just recently started my business adventure, everything that I do now brings me an only positive and good mood. I hope this will continue in the future too.
What books, podcasts or other resources have inspired and influenced your business journey?
I’m not a big book reader and the only books I have read are fictional. So there were no books or any other source that influenced my journey. But recently I have started to read Dee Blick’s book called The Ultimate Small Business Marketing Book. What I like about this book that is full of real-life examples which I hope to adapt to my personal use cases.
Where do you see your business 2-3 years from now?
Small company of 2-3 employees and $20k-$30k monthly revenue.