Interview: Fernando Sonegheti, Payparking
June 17th, 2015
What does it take to launch a startup? One of Grossum services is startup support and we wanted to hear from those who had experience with startups from the entrepreneur's side. So we have interviewed Fernando Sonegheti, the CTO of Payparking about his adventure.
Payparking is a web app and call-center solution focused on turning the parking experience into a modern and pleasant action.
How long did it take from inception to realization?
We got the initial idea about three years ago and a bit over a month ago we have launched the app.
How did you come up with the idea?
Fernando: The idea came from our partner, Danilo Nascimento, about three years ago. He was living in San Paulo and his apartment was close to one of a concert halls and the parking there. However, the parking was not very efficient. It took four months to develop the first business model based on canvas, the payparking name, the financial model, and the first discussions with venture capital funds. And, of course, there were changes in it.
Mariia: There’s parking.
Fernando: Yes, there’s parking. The name kept. But we made a pivot from the initial idea.
When you have a startup, you will need to change and adapt at some point. If you don’t want to change, either you've got a hell of an idea or you won’t make it into the business.
We have changed to get into the idea we launched. Well, there are ways to build startups — we didn’t know much of it — and it’s good to know a lot, but it’s also completely wrong if you just follow the book, because startups are not just about the idea and methods, but much about the team, the people that are involved.
We created one idea. We didn’t test it much, haven't done many reviews, and then we saw that the idea won’t work. Fantastic! :) We learned from there, modified the approach and got what we have now – ability to pay for parking. In the future, we want to continue working on this and add booking of your own garage to this.
Was this your first startup or you worked for a startup before?
I had other companies before, but this is my first startup. I love the dynamics of working in a startup. I like how we can make big things happen with not that big people or a lot of money, you know.
What do you find the most difficult about your project?
The dealing with the partners was probably the toughest. Being founders, partners or employees of a startup, you all have a great impact on how the startup works. This is simultaneously the most beautiful and the most difficult thing. You have to manage everyone’s expectations and communications because this is where most of the startups fail.
Would you do it again if you went back in time and what would you change?
Yes. Everything. We’d change everything :)
We do our choices based on what we know. And if you know a little bit more information, for example, about how this morning would go, you would probably do things another way.
Talking about Payparking, I’d change a lot of things if I could go back. In some areas I was too professional and less friendly, in others, I was too friendly and less professional.
How would you define a startup?
A startup is a small company, or a small idea, or a small ideal model of a company, built to have ownership of the marketing segments all over the world.
A startup is not only about its size or its age. It’s about what do you want to build, to do with it. If it wasn’t created thinking about the complete dominance of your niche, your marketing segment, all over the world, or, at least, all over your country, then you don’t have a startup.
And sometimes it’s easy for a startup owner to think they can be big and fantastic, a Steve Jobs or a Bill Gates… But when it comes to building it to prove how awesome you are, you’re on a wrong track. The idea of making your concept get big and useful and, maybe, change the world a bit, is way more thrilling.