6 Questions with Payman Taei, Founder of Visme

Payman Taei is the founder of Visme, an online platform that allows you to create online Presentations, animations, animated HTML5 banners, infographics and other rich visual content free in your browser.

1. First of all, can you tell us a little about your role and what you do at Visme?

I’m the founder of Visme and I work with my team to help improve user experience and manage everyday operations.

Also being a UI/UX designer, I regularly work on tweaking and improve our interface on app and marketing pieces.

The degree of my involvement in each role varies day by day and is pretty fluid.

There are days where I may be heavily involved in the UI work and other times working closely with dev team on testing and going over feature requests.

2. Can you tell us a little about your go to market strategy and what marketing channels are working for you right now?

We have a Visual Learning Center (it’s in essence our blog but rebranded) and it’s entire focus is to help people become better communicators, presenters and storytellers.

It’s not promotional and pretty much revolves around teaching. We spend a lot of time crafting great content and this has a viral reach and as a side effect helps Visme as a brand.

Our other main focus is on listening to what our users ask for, finding a common denominator (what will benefits our ecosystem) and solving those needs.

Improvements and release of new features opens opportunity for conversations and content generated (ex. Articles, how to videos, tutorials) and this content goes through a life cycle of reaching and informing the existing user base and social outreach to raise awareness to non users that have the potential to become users.

3. What are some of the mistakes you have made with Visme that other founders can hopefully learn from?

I have made mistakes and I’m sure will continue to make new ones. The key is to learn from them and use it as a learning lesson.

A few mistakes I hope other founders can learn from include the way you develop your product and the feature you develop.

When we first developed Visme we thought (or at least I thought) we knew what our users needed so the way we created the interface and our application was heavily geared towards users who needed to be design savvy.

But the problem was most of our users were not and what we though so hard will work for them was often a figment of our imagination.

Today we do things differently. Features are developed based on user demand, and refinements are done based on user feedback and testing.

So today I think a lot different than when we started, and we never think of a feature as being done; but that it can always undergo further improvements until we reach the perfect medium of user satisfaction.

4. Let’s talk you – what apps, software, and tools can’t you live without?

I rely heavily on Google Docs and our email runs through Gmail. I heavily use sheets, docs and Calendar within Google. I also like Redbooth for Task management.

And of course if I’m creating a Presentation or Infographic I use Visme; For example earlier in the year at SXSW I had an offline Presentation to showcase Visme to an audience, and just a month ago I was at TechDay DC and we did a neat infographic in Visme to help raise awareness about the event.

It’s not so much that it’s our own tool (I actually didn’t use it much until about a year ago because honestly it wasn’t as easy and fluid as it is now); I see myself fully transitioning to Visme for virtually all my visual work over the next year as we release a few major upgrades over coming months that I truly believe will make Visme the tool of choice to create engaging visual content.

5. What’s your best time-saving shortcut or life hack?

I have a few. One I like to use daily is to write down a list of priorities for the day; I make it long enough where it’s almost impossible to accomplish and I pretty much fail to complete it each day.

However that gives me a sense of urgency and helps me get as much as I can done that day and not slack off. It also helps me keep my priorities in check given the amount of noise on daily tasks I have to deal with.

6. What resource have you watched/read/listened to that’s had the biggest impact on your business/life so far this year, and why?

A lot of the tips in life can also be tied into business. So some of the best lessons in life I try to also apply to business.

One of my favorite clips is the “be water my friend” from Bruce Lee. It so perfectly encompasses something that sounds so simple but I believe very few can actually master (I for one still have long way to go; but it certainly has helped me in a few aspects so far).

I also love the Tao teachings by the late Dr. Wayne Dyer in the book “Change your Thoughts, Change your Life“. I haven’t read it for a while but I still love some of the verses that helps me at times get through the tough days that come about.

I also like to read the Sixteen Ventures blog by Lincoln Murphy. He has a great honest take on start-ups, conversions and business decisions.

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