Dave Kim: Fail Fast, Learn, Measure, Iterate. Success Comes From Having the Most Times at [the] Bat

Dave Kim

Dave Kim of Harbr.

Tell us about yourself?

David brings hands-on experience in enterprise product development from pre-product to general availability delivering innovative solutions to financial organizations across the globe.

What do you think is the single biggest misconception people have when it comes to startups?

The idea is the most valuable part of a startup. It’s not, it’s in the execution. You don’t need an NDA to talk about your idea. In the beginning you’re the only one who actually cares about your idea, most people won’t care or value it at all. When you do find others that love the idea those people are your co-founders or investors.

If you could go back in time to any moment from your journey, and give yourself one tip, what would it be?

Hire slow. Hiring is the single most important aspect of any business, not only from a cash management standpoint but from an execution standpoint. Early on, too many cooks in the kitchen can kill your product faster than anything else.

What makes you stand out as an entrepreneur?

Fail fast, learn, measure, iterate. Success comes from having the most times at bat, you have to validate/fail the product quickly with real users/partners otherwise you’ll end up building a product that no one wants and spend all of your time (and cash) trying to sell/market it with little or no adoption.

What are some of the best working habits you’ve gained over the past couple of years?

Time box. It’s easy to spend too much time on one aspect of the business and build up a huge backlog of work that ends up contributing to burn out. Usually you spend too much time because challenges and hurdles keep popping up. If too many hurdles pop up in a short amount of time, it means you need to step back and reassess.

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Give us a bit of an insight into the influences behind the company?

Harbr’s founders started in commercial construction progress billing qualification and funding programs. We saw so many of the businesses that form a base in our economy suffer from an inability to grow and increase productivity due to something as simple as slow payments. So we decided to focus our energy on helping all small businesses, not just builders, accelerate cash flow.

Where do you see your business in five years?

Harbr’s mission is to accelerate payments. In 5 years we will be the driving force behind the technology enablement of alternative financing.

What do you think the biggest challenge will be for you in getting there?

With so many positive signals and momentum, the biggest challenge is staying focussed on the high level pain points and real value, instead of chasing nice-to-have feature improvements that so many companies end up suffering from.

Talk to us about your biggest success story so far?

During our initial alpha pilot program we were able to provide accelerated liquidity to dozens of small businesses with a gross payment volume of over $6 million within an average of 2-days of invoice submission.

How do clients and customers find you? Are you much of a salesperson for yourself?

When sales teams of alternative financing orgs are burnt out from manual deal flow triage and qualification they often turn to harbr.com to help automate their sales qualification process. Our product is set up with 1 line of code and saves sales teams, on average, 80% of time on unqualified deals.

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What one tip would you give to fellow startup founders?

Work closely with your customers/partners. Learn their process and assume nothing. As founders we have a bias to make everything work with the product, that’s wrong, it’s the mindset that everything looks like a nail when you’re holding a hammer. You need to work with your customer/partner to develop the right product, not your product.

And finally, what do you hope the future brings both you personally, and your business?

We want business to grow and flourish with liquidity that makes sense to their businesses plan. Individually we hope for health and humanity for all.

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