Startup - this word has been thrown around so often these days. It's not a bad thing though! In fact, the Malaysia and Singapore startup scene is growing so exponentially, with many inventors going above and beyond to make their ideas a reality.
However, many startups have limited resources and connections to help them gain more exposure - this is where Producky comes into the picture!
Still in beta stage, Producky is a community-based launch pad that allows people to discover new startups around the Malaysia and Singapore region that could be their solution to their day-to-day problems. This means inventors could also put up their startups on the site to be discovered.
The startups listed on Producky are divided into different categories that varies from food to transportation. You name it, they got it!
Each startup has its own profile page where users can comment, feedback and ask questions
For convenience, details like the website and app store links are available as well. Users can also 'upvote' their favourite startups as a sign of support.
Intrigued by the concept of Producky, we reached out to Serene, one of the founders of the site for a quick chat
SAYS: Hello! Tell us a little bit about yourself, Serene!
Serene: Hello, my name’s Serene, I’m five foot tall and I love to eat! When I’m not working, I design apps and websites. I lead Product and Growth at a startup studio called VLT Labs during the day and I am moonlighting my two-month old startup Producky. My dream is to inspire and see more young female entrepreneurs in this part of the world.
What made you decide to work on Producky? And when was it?
As a Product Manager and Growth Marketer, I get a lot of questions from startup founders on how to acquire their first 50-100 users to validate their product idea. For most startups, it is hard to get traction with no marketing budget.
I experienced this firsthand when I tried to get signups for my first startup heylaundry. heylaundry was fortunate to get onto BetaList, but I soon realised that 60% of the signups were from United States. I couldn’t do anything with them because my service offering was in the Klang Valley.
It was then that I realised how awesome it would be to have something like Product Hunt or BetaList for Malaysian startups that would help startups get the traction and early feedback they needed.
While driving back the same day, I had my light bulb moment. That was how the idea for Producky first surfaced, sometime early this year.
Was Producky an individual or group effort?
I shared my idea of Producky to a couple of developer friends but they were too busy to commit time to build it. After several failed attempts trying to pitch the idea to many people, I got a little disheartened and decided to let the idea sit for awhile because nobody seemed interested enough to pursue the idea with me. Or least nobody saw it for the potential I saw it to be.
You know the saying about finding what you are looking for when you’re not looking? That happened. Just one random day I met Faiz (colleague) at my workplace. I soon found out that he was doing something like Producky on a small scale where he would post one new startup on his blog every now and then.
I told him — “Faiz, let’s do this together. It’s going to be huge, and I know we can make it happen."
This version you see of Producky was a duo effort.
What does 'Producky' stand for? How did you come up with the name?
It doesn’t stand for anything! :)
We were toying with a couple of really really lame names and I’m glad we came to decide on Producky. It’s quite memorable isn’t it? We’re also aware that the logo looks a little more like a chicken than a duck (laughs).
For those who don't know, tell us what is Producky?
Producky is a platform to discover the best new Malaysian and Singaporean (and very soon Southeast Asian) internet startups, everyday.
How would you describe the startup community here in Malaysia?
The startup scene in Malaysia right now is very exciting. There was something I tweeted the other day and I see that taking place at the heart of our booming startup community, and it’s super inspiring. The original tweet was by Jeff Morris Jr — "Say what you want about tech. But I’ve never met a group of people who are so willing to help each other out. It’s a wonderful thing.”
I personally think that the energy exhibited in the community is amazing. I also think that there are also quite a number of 'wannapreneurs' out there. Haha. But it’s all good. Everyone’s learning and helping from everyone and that’s a really nice and healthy spirit to have. It can only get better from here.
How can Producky help the startup community?
Thanks for asking this, Producky’s existence is all about helping the startup community. We want to be a launchpad for new startups, a hunting ground for investors, and a discovery platform for everyone else. At the core, we want to help new startups get noticed.
What were you doing before the launch of Producky?
I was and still am a Product Manager and Growth Marketer at a startup studio. What this means is that I help entrepreneurs launch their products and do marketing for them as well.
What is the biggest hurdle you have faced? Or still facing?
Personally it would be to juggle a day job and bootstrap Producky at the same time. As a young entrepreneur, I do not have the luxury to quit my day job right away. I have to use every resource I have within my means to keep things afloat and that hasn’t always been easy.
For Producky, it would be to define an achievable roadmap for the rest of the year. We’ve grown so quickly since we launched that we have to catch up with the momentum of things. Not complaining, it is a good hurdle to have!
If you could give one advice to an aspiring startup, what would it be?
Oh, this is quite hard! I usually like to give advice once I hear out their unique situation. But based on my observation after shipping out many startups, I have two common thoughts I usually share with budding founders. I’m a product girl at heart, so my advice are generally product-related.
Two thought(s) — (1) if the first version of your product only needs 3 core features, build 3 and do it extremely well. Don’t build 5 just because you can. 3 excellently built features will top 5 mediocre ones anytime and (2) invest in your team. People matter. They really matter. A startup will have it’s real lows and you’ll want to work with people that would stick it out with you. And you can’t hire the best talent without parting away your equity.
What's the end goal for Producky?
To be a sustainable business. Our product is adding great value to people, but for Producky to survive, we need to think of means to sustain ourselves so that we can continue working on Producky and advance it further. We’ll appreciate all the help we can get!
We’ve got big dreams and plans to grow a team with an awesome work culture and to add meaningful value to the Southeast Asian startup ecosystem. And hopefully, that would not be too far off!