Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in technology but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Vishal Punwani, CEO & Co-Founder of SoWork, located in Boston, MA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
We build the smartest digital office out there. It's an avatar-based virtual workplace for remote, distributed, and hybrid teams to get better work done faster. In SoWork, teams can have fluid video calls, record meetings, take meetings on the go, chat, and have avatar interactions with each other. They can also take advantage of our AI tools, such as meeting summarization, action itemizing, task assignments, transcription, connection suggestions, and much, much more. We help teams to save time, and money and have WAY more fun working together than ever before possible in the digital world.
Tell us about yourself
I'm a technology lover but also a people lover. I LOVE 'in-person.' My team and I were building machine learning software on campus at Harvard previously - and when the pandemic hit and Harvard kicked us all off campus, it was REALLY painful to transition to zoom and slack. We did it, but we knew it was slowly killing our team connection and culture. Inspired by our days playing World of Warcraft together, we built SoWork - social, online work - designed to make working in a distributed fashion much more engaging, bonding, and productive than just zoom and slack. We've done that! And we've started launching our AI toolset, which makes working together digitally much more than it could ever be in real life. What keeps us motivated is seeing the difference we're making for all these teams out there who use SoWork to get their work done. We love you guys! And keep telling us what you want - we'll make it happen.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Building an awesome team that cares about each other, respects and appreciates each other, and works hard to make sure that we accomplish our Mission of helping teams around the world do amazing work much better and faster than they ever could in real-life offices.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
We take on a LOT of risks, like personal, financial, reputation, social, and career risks. It's kind of insane. I left being a full-time medical doctor to build amazing software - it's going great so far, but I recognize the risk!
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Validate the problem before you do anything else.
- Build the smallest MVP to solve the problem first, then go from there. Don't try to create complex things from the start.
- It's okay to be a starry-eyed CEO, but just know that the same basic things motivate every employee.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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