By @SimonCocking

Say Hi! See what your friends type in realtime – Say Hi on-the-fly!

Your background, how did you get into what you do now?

I graduated in 2013 from a Masters Degree in Distributed Computing while I was doing freelance web development on the side. I moved to London in 2014 to get closer to the startup scene and won the TechCrunch Disrupt Europe Hackathon with Andriy (my co-founder) and three other teammates, out of a field of 750+ developers, a few months after my arrival. The idea of Say Hi was born there, during the brainstorming that happened at the hackathon and has now become a fully fledged product.

1 minute pitch, what do you do and why is it awesome?

Have you ever been curious about what your friend has been typing for 5 minutes, when they only send 4 words? Say Hi allows you to send what you type while you’re typing!

With faster replies and hilarious messages guaranteed, we’re showing you both sides of the story. We’re moving forward from static and synchronous messaging.

You’ve never seen messaging like this. It’s fast and flirty and there’s nothing else like it on the market. It’s a brand-new communication medium that’s about a mile closer to real-life conversations!

What are you excited by at the moment?

We’ve just finished ordering everything for our Booth at Websummit and we are excited to show off our shiny materials there. We plan on being really unmissable, so you can take these words to the letter and expect something ridiculous from us!

We’ll be launching the public beta of Say Hi right in time for WebSummit so there’s a lot going on and you should stay tuned @comeandsayhi for more exciting news!

Any of these that will help in your day to day work also / what sort innovations are you looking to introduce?

We have brought significant technological innovations to the table to build Say Hi and to create realtime messaging. Our architecture has been built to cope up with scalability and processes messages with minimal latency. The end result is a radically different user experience where messaging is really pushed to another level. It’s more human, it’s faster and it’s closer to real life conversation. It is just so much more.

But don’t just trust my words, take a look for yourself!

How was the last 12 months for you?

These last 12 months have been really busy but very exciting. From TechCrunch Disrupt Europe Hackathon last year, through the slow, exhausting and rewarding process of building a product from scratch, seeing it evolving with iteration and optimization rounds, to reaching the point where the product is good enough to be released into the wild, and to a surprise trip to San Francisco recently that resulted in a lot of opportunities (which is probably worth another article), it’s been quite a ride so far! We are really looking forward to a bright future with our highly talented team at Say Hi

What are you most happy about?

We are very happy about the feedback that our private beta testers have sent us about Say Hi. We worked hard and quietly for a year and now have come close to a product that nails users expectations in terms of quality, efficiency and design and we can’t wait anymore to release the public beta!

Anything you would do differently if you could?

This question is a bit difficult as we are still at an early stage, but I think we can honestly say we would have released the first beta version more quickly.

Where do you hope to be in next 1 – 3 years?

You might say we are dreamers, but aren’t we all in some way when we start our own venture? We believe we have the talent and potential to grow our user base to more than 20 million users and become recognized as one of the most innovative players in the instant messaging industry. Let’s even push it forward and say that we hope someone from our team will be one of the invited speakers at WebSummit 2018. These are the goals we will strive to achieve over the next 3 years.

Have you been to the Dublin Web Summit before?

This is our first time there! We are so excited to be attending and exhibiting at what is probably the biggest tech event in the world and to have the opportunity to showcase our product to over 30000 attendees!

What will you be speaking about when you attend this year / who might it appeal to?

We will be attending WebSummit to bring attention around our startup and will be targeting tech journalists with an eye for bold and innovative products.

We are innovators in the way we have built Say Hi and we want to transcribe this spirit with the way we approach the exhibition. We are sure the tech-savvy attendees will be blown away by how differently interactive Say Hi is, and we want to put emphasis on this.

We also have faith our eye-catching app will attract some potentially interested investors.

What tech do you wish was already invented and available to make your life easier?

Speaking personally, I wouldn’t know how to choose between affordable orbital space travel and teleportation, but if I had to choose one to make my life easier, then I’d say teleportation without a doubt!

Life / work, online / offline, what are your strategies for managing it?

I have the chance to have an awesome friend who is not only brilliant and helps me with Say Hi, but who also supports me a lot, and is willing to bear with me to spend time out of work. When you spend time working on something you are passionate about, I’d say life and work become intrinsically linked together in some way.

As for the offline part, it’s quite hard for me to unplug completely. I always want to do this startup-related bit or that one before going off, but I think this is pretty much the case with every founder. Fortunately I am still able to discipline myself to go to the swimming pool 4-5 days a week.

How / where do you create time for yourself to be a dreamer and a thinker?

I think when you’re starting your own startup, and I’d say particularly in the earlier stages, it’s very hard not to be a dreamer. For me, I’d say it’s a major problem, because I feel I’m constantly spending time thinking about this and that, while there is so much things to do in the meantime. So I would say the major issue is to go keep the vision and the dream that pushes you forward, while keeping the right focus at the same time.

Anything else we should have asked you / you’d like to add?

We’d like to thank you for the opportunity to answer your questions and would like to invite you to Say Hi to us at WebSummit in November! Beers are on us! 🙂

If you would like to have your company featured in the Irish Tech News Business Showcase, get in contact with us at [email protected] or @SimonCocking

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