From Paper Prototypes to the #1 Education App

Paul Gollash Shares Challenges, Advice at Lean Startup Event

Paul Gollash, the Founder/CEO of mobile and web-based language learning technology Voxy, spoke at a Lean Startup Meetup event last night in Soho. Along with SideTour’s Co-Founder Mark Webster, the two entrepreneurs shared personal stories, challenges, and advice for aspiring entrepreneurs wanting to use the Lean methodology.

For Paul, being a non-technical founder was a challenge; he used paper prototypes to interact with his target audience and conduct testing before launching the product. Sitting in Brooklyn’s Sunset Park, Voxy got its first user testing: “I would walk up to someone and say, I’ll give you $20 if you give me twenty minutes of your time, and probably one out of three people would sit down with me.”

After his lean paper-prototyping days, Paul shared some of the challenges he faced: continuing user testing, raising VC funding and monetizing the Voxy product. All of his hard work and the lean process paid off: the Voxy iPhone application has been the #1 ranked education app in 22 countries. The Voxy team is now focusing on launching tutoring and music-based language lessons for their growing user base of 1.5 million learners.

For those interested in lean startups, Paul’s advice was to test on an Android platform: “the release schedules on iOS are highly regimented, but on an Android platform, you can make updates virtually every night. You can figure out your price point and conduct testing before going through the effort of getting iOS approval.”

The Lean Startup Meetup is based on Eric Ries’s novel, The Lean Startup, and organized by Giff Constable and Meetup’s VP of Strategy & Insight, Andres Glusman. The Lean Startup Movement is transforming the way new products are built and launched with an emphasis on being less wasteful while still being highly successful.

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Fantastic article. I really enjoyed it. Thank you.

Fantastic article. I really enjoyed it. Thank you.