Interview With Gideon Marks
Describe your product or service:
“Pet care platform that provides analytics, reminders, and notes to share with the several people who may be taking care of your pet. It tracks your pet’s activities, eating habits, vet appointments, photos, and more while letting you share and comment on logged activities.”
Describe your company values and mission:
“Doing good to pets. Our mission is [to] act as the pet’s voice and see [that] all their needs are provided [for].
DogLog is led by Lynn Marks. We support diversity.”
How are you funded? I.e. venture capital, angel investors, etc.
“Bootstrapped. Around $75,000 plus $4,000 on GoFundMe”
How big is your team? Tell us a little about them (I.e. co-founders, freelancers, etc.)
“Our team has 10 people. Two founders and the rest are contractors, mainly developers.”
Did you always want to start your own business? What made you want to become an entrepreneur?
“Gideon Marks has been [involved] in various high-tech initiatives. Lynn Marks, coming from a tech background in Silicon Valley, was exposed at a young age to entrepreneurship.”
How did you come up with your startup idea? How did you decide to actually act on the idea? What gave you confidence that you were on the right track?
“Our family had dogs for years. After we moved from the suburb[s] to San Francisco, we noticed that many people in the city own dogs and are in need [of ways] to better communicate their dog’s activities patterns between themselves. [W]e came [up] with the name DogLog and created a digital transformation in the pets space. A focal point where all the pets/dogs’ information and activities are kept for all to share and export. We have 60,000 pet owners who downloaded the platform around the world, mostly in the USA.
DogLog brings digital transformation to pet ownership and is available for iOS and Android.
DogLog was created to solve the daily struggles that many pets’ owners experience who want to ensure the best care of their beloved pets but don’t have an easy, collaborative, sophisticated, and intuitive tool to use. DogLog is a one-stop solution that tracks pets’ daily activities, provides reminders, and enables data sharing with vets and other caregivers for multiple pets.”
How did you come up with your company name? Did you have other names you considered?
“DogLog rhymes and describes very well what the platform does. Dogs’ caregivers log the events they want to track.”
What is the greatest challenge you faced in starting your business, and how did you overcome it?
“The pet industry is relatively conservative, so coming with a digital transformation solution mean[s] we need to get the dog owners [to] feel [that] our value proposition is compelling. Our budget as we bootstrap is limited, so we try to balance our expenses optimally between adding new features vs. marketing.”
Who is your product or service made for? Who is your target market?
“DogLog has three main personas. Puppy owners love that they can track growth, patterns, training, and vaccinations with DogLog. People with aging/sick dogs really value tracking their pet’s symptoms and treatments so that they can best care for their pet. Lastly, people who take care of pets with other caretakers get the benefit of being able to easily stay in sync with their dog-related chores and reminders.”
What's your marketing strategy?
“We are still figuring it out: We try to give as much exposure as possible to DogLog, so we use Facebook, Instagram, media, and TV coverage. We signed a few marketing partnerships with other ecosystem players like pets insurance companies, vets, and others. We believe [in] adding the right features following feedback we get from our users. Our users are our best marketers.”
How did you acquire your first 100 customers?
“Mostly word of mouth and talking about DogLog with fellow dog owners we met at [dog] parks in San Francisco.”
What are the key customer metrics / unit economics / KPIs you pay attention to to monitor the health of your business?
“Number of daily downloads, active users, paying users who choose the freemium version. We pay attention to reviews and feedback we get from our users. We respond to questions within less than 24 hours. It is about our users.”
What's your favorite entrepreneurial book and podcast?
“‘The a16z Podcast’ [and] ‘Behold the Dreamers.’”
What is the biggest lesson you learned during your journey?
“It is about the team. A great team can overcome challenges and deliver.”
Who is your support system?
“Our family and users.”
How do you stay motivated?
“Giving back, making an impact, and doing good drive us.”
Did you have to develop any habits that helped lead you to success? If so, what are they?
“Stay disciplined, focus[ed], and humble. Military experience helps us. I was a Captain in the Israeli Air Force, so [I’m] familiar with teamwork, being accountable, and doing debriefing.”
What are you most proud of as an entrepreneur?
“That our family works together to make pets' [lives] better. Seeing my daughter Lynn lead DogLog with good values and evolve as an entrepreneur.”
More on DogLog
Using the DogLog app, family members can coordinate pet-related activities with dog walkers, pet sitters, and each other.
Gideon Marks, co-founder of pet tech startup DogLog, shared valuable insights during our interview that will inspire and motivate aspiring entrepreneurs.
We asked Gideon Marks, co-founder of DogLog, to share the most impactful ways to support their startup, and this is what they had to say.