We had a great conversation with Alex Males, the founder of Payable Web,which provides an alternative business model for selling digital goods and services, in an unintrusive, privacy-friendly way.
Within our InFinT Labs, we focus on offering a unique value proposition to businesses with a game-changing solution in any industry. We are the technological and strategic partner, putting our experience and resources to use to help ideas such as Payable Web get launched.
We had a short conversation with Alex about the start of his journey and what challenges he encountered in his way of putting a value to every digital interaction.
What motivated you to start Payable Web?
Payable Web is the second instance of an initially failed project. This time I found supporters of the original vision that I had with the first project. They encouraged me to give it another try, and now we (three co-founders) started Payable Web that seems to advance into a whole new direction. Our main motivation is to build technology that would enable what we refer to as an open market on the internet, where people, as well as machines, can trade digital goods and services directly.
How did you know when you found the right idea?
I learned that you only know that an idea is right after you have tested it in the field. We have rather started with the vision of an internet native marketplace for digital goods and services. Based on this vision and a general technology that we have developed, we began to market test a few monetization solutions. Video monetization is the first application and the first product. Web page and data monetization are some of the ideas that can later evolve into individual products.
What kind of difficulties have you encountered so far?
We have started with technology, and not a clear market need, the way many startup methodologies advise to start. Because of that, the main challenge was to make additional steps towards customers so we could launch market-fit products. I believe that the nature of our approach makes it more mission-oriented and less opportunistic, which in turn gives it a stronger felt aim in the long term, but makes it more difficult in the short term.
What are some successes that you’ve had so far?
The noteworthy success is that we have just recently launched the service with our first customer. More than the satisfaction of achieving this important milestone, the value of the feedback that we receive from the real world using one of our products is the real reward.
What advice would you give to someone who is thinking about starting their own company?
If you are in tech, and you have an idea, don’t rush to start a company. In my perspective, it is more realistic to see a company as a vehicle, a means to bring a change that you want to see happen. Start by building something and see how the world responds to it. The company in this case could be a natural step in the evolution of the project and not a goal in itself. Maybe on the way, you will find out that another type of organization is more suitable for your project.
If you could start all over again, what would you do differently?
I would probably be looking for ways to learn entrepreneurial skills and would do more business networking. Having a technical background, it was very unnatural to face situations that required aptitudes to solve business problems. I would have probably avoided many mistakes along the way if I had invested more time into that.