1) Tell us something about yourself Marko ? Your background ?
Hey my name is Marko Islamovic and I’m a founder & CEO of GigRove. ☺ I’m a generalist – But I mainly focus on product design & programming.
For the past few years I’ve been trying to figure out how to help small businesses and independent workers with the help of our software, no matter where they are in the world.
2) Tell us about Gigrove and how did you come up with this idea ?
I had this idea for a GigRove for a while, so I decided to start building it in 2015. I was 22 when I started building GigRove.
At that time I’ve noticed how there is a system of global multinational companies, which are able to move around the world and sell products almost wherever they wish, but workers are trapped in one country, they are not able to move freely like companies can, which is then creating a huge disadvantage for startups, small businesses and workers.
Basically a hypothesis for GigRove came from this and then me and my team started developing the idea further. As you can probably guess I was a bit socially awkward. 22 and thinking about this things isn’t common.
3) What was the process of creating the website?
Since we were completely in the lean methodology, at first we tried to build only few things that will actually work great.
During accelerated growth, expenses are rising, so we needed to tweak content that we store on our servers and remove a lot of unnecessary features.
That was one of the issues. There were few more.
We focused only on the essential things that users need – this was basically creating a directory of hosts, directory of freelancers, messaging system, and so on.
It is was challenging because GigRove is basically a talent marketplace, so essentially there are two types of users (hosts and freelancers) who use your product in a different way, so implementing a scaling strategy was hard but essential in the beginning.
4) What technologies is it based on and why did you choose them?
We are running on LEMP stack – mainly because it was the friendliest environment for us.
Each LEMP stack tool has a huge open source community for micro services and this was extremely important factor when deciding on which technology to build GigRove.
For startups, it’s essential to create fast acceleration and move fast and we saved a lot of time by not trying to build internal tools but use some of the existing open source micro services.
5) What were some of the challenges you faced from a business perspective?
We asked hard questions for one of our biggest challenges: whether to accelerate fast without profits or to bootstrap our way slowly to a success? – We decided to go with bootstrapping way.
This is extremely challenging, since we are trying to grow slow but with quality. So we prefer to have few users who actually want to use GigRove frequently instead of having many users who use the product not so frequently.
6) How do you market Gigrove and what’s been your most successful channel?
We try to reach digital nomads and startup communities online, it’s very specific targeting, so we try all the common online instruments to show how GigRove can help them.
7) How do you see the future for Gigrove ?
GigRove was a fun project for me in the beginnings but it turned out that a lot of people find it useful. Hopefully more people will see what we’re trying to achieve.
We want to try to influence the future of work and regulations – to be radically different on how companies and workers collaborate globally.
This requires educating governments, citizens and companies that’s in their best interest to accept and support what we’re trying to do. And that’s hard! So a lot of the future depends on how we are able to influence those things.
At the moment, concept of GigRove is just a base for our slogan “Work Anywhere”. There will be some exciting changes in the future.
8) What Skills do you feel are today higher in demand from business perspective ?
Definitely skills related to IT. This includes programming, design, system administration, etc.
Business perspective is that consumers are becoming more educated about technologies, or at least they expect things to work in certain way.
Consumers are becoming more educated on how technology works, so they expect sophisticated IT knowledge from companies.
It’s not enough to do a good work, it needs to be exceptional.
9) Can you share something interesting with our readers, some interesting story or a great project that was undertaken and completed by this arrangement
For the past few months at GigRove, we’ve been working on making as easiest as possible to send a collaboration request to any member of our community with a feature we call “One-click collaboration”.
Basically with this feature, users are able to send a request for collaboration with one click and the receiving side gets notified about the request which they can accept/ignore.
All in the information about each user is already in the profiles, so there are no CV, cover letters, or something like that. Simply find a user and send a collaboration request.
It’s pretty slick so we encourage your users to check it out.
10) What advice would you give to our students ?
I think that it’s great time to study IT. What’s great about IT is that you can create opportunities for yourself and not wait for others to offer you one.
Learning is better when you try to teach someone else, so help fellow students out – it’s in your interest to help them out because it will make you think more about the problem and then you will acquire new knowledge.
If some of you, will want to build something cool that people will use, it’s not clear to understand what to create. A lot of times I get the question: “What should I build?”.
My advice is this: Build the things that matter to YOU. Solve problems that matter to YOU. There must be some people that have a problem like you do. Knowing this will hopefully give you confidence to create something you love.