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Chris Cardell

Interview with Eyal Lewinsohn (Iridize)

Iridize is a tool for creating online guided tours for web applications.

I interviewed Eyal Lewinsohn, Iridize founder to find out more. This is the hundred and ninety third in a series of DW startup interviews. Big thank you to Eyal!

To those who haven’t come across Iridize, how would you describe it?

Iridize makes it easy to create guided tours for your webapp that get your users going. Based on the tooltip technology, our guides can provide an encompassing first time user experience and help you make sure no user is left behind.

Describe yourself in one sentence.

Proud husband and father, CEO and entrepreneur, recovering java developer and devout e cigarette enthusiast.

What gap in the market did you discover that persuaded you to launch Iridize in October 2012?

For as far back as we could remember, Oded and I were always our friends’ and families’ tech support. Being the tech-savvy geeks, we would spend hours on the phone with Facebook-aspiring grandmothers or advising friends on anti-viruses. The question “where do I find that feature that does the thing?” was one that echoed in our experience assisting people and ultimately inspired us to create a tool that would be able to do that by itself.

The thing is, on-page help was nowhere to be found. It didn’t make sense that in 2010, users would still have to go off-page for help with webapps or wait for chat support or even a call center rep. Sure – FAQs and knowledge bases were doing as thorough a job as ever, but the slot for immediate response on the same page for which you need the help was vacant.

How long did it take to put together the initial version of Iridize?

My partner, Oded, and I worked a full year on iridize as a side project- nights, weekends & holidays. On April 2012 we decided to quit our day jobs; on October of 2012 we launched our beta and 2 months later iridize v1 was born.

How does the current version of Iridize differ from the original version?

We have come a long way, in terms of user experience. Since our users are highly sensitive to user needs, working with them has provided priceless feedback. A good example of that is the evolution of our balloon tip settings: initially the setting were inside the tip, making it a bit clunky. When we realized our users were puzzled by the icons, we created an external Flow Panel to manage the settings, drastically reducing the editor to contain only editing functions.

Your pricing plans scale with your customers page views. Where have you seen the most traction?

Most of our customers are small-medium sized SaaS companies. Their page views usually fall in the 10-100K page views per month. But we are very happy to have the full range of customers both bigger and smaller. We also pride ourselves in providing the service for free for non-for-profit organizations and for startups that don’t have a positive cash flow significant funding yet.

Has Iridize got the feedback and growth you expected since launching in 2012?

To some extent – of course. Since the launch in 2012 we have been confronted with challenges and have had some realizations about changing directions, in regard to PR and networking, but all in all, I think we had fairly adjusted expectations and reality lived up to them. I mean, sure – we would love to have gone viral like Instagram or Fiverr, but we aren’t holding our breath for a cinderella story. Instead, we just work hard with and for our customers and take it one challenge at a time.

How do you differentiate yourselves from your competitors?

It’s simple: we are the only ones who actively and directly target small-medium SaaS companies, like ourselves. We like working with these folks and provide an easily affordable and implementable solution for their common issues, leaning on a thorough understanding of how to provide the optimal first time user experience. We are also the only company in the field that provides a solution that does not require installation and can be accessed 24-7 from anywhere with an internet connection.

What is your primary focus in terms of new developments at the moment?

We are in a constant state of improving our user experience, basing our changes on user feedback and top notch UX feedback. It’s remarkable to see how dynamic the process is: we get input from one of our users about a needed feature and immediately move to implement it. Oded and I have recently been accepted into The Junction accelerator in Tel Aviv and have been receiving a lot of quality feedback from the best designers, marketers and UX professionals in the field. So naturally, that is where we are focusing our energy at the moment.

We are also exploring some very exciting new opportunities that I can’t reveal at this moment, so stay tuned…

If you could startup again, what one thing would you do differently?

The one thing I would do differently is start with more aggressive salesmanship from the get-go. It is never too early to start networking, especially if you believe in your product, like we do.

What advice would you offer to any soon to be startup founders out there?

Trust your instincts, choose your professional partners like you would your spouses and give it everything you’ve got.

Can you convince the reader to start using Iridize in under 50 words?

Iridize lets you easily create guided tours for your webapp to orient your users, increase trial conversions and reduce customer support costs. We provide an engaging first time user experience that’s like a personal instructor who encourages your webapp users every step of the way, saying “click here”, “almost done”…

Finished reading? Check out Iridize!

This entry was posted on Sunday, April 28th, 2013 at 5:26 pm GMT. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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