Interview With Ahmed Omar and Ahmed Nasser
Describe your product or service:
“NFT marketplace for communities.”
Describe your company values and mission:
“Our mission is to empower communities with better resources and add value.
Our values are what define us — we embroider them in our culture and make sure that we embody them in every step or action we take within the organization.
- Customer-Obsessed: Talk to customers — we exist to make them happy.
- Results: Think 100x. Get dreams done!
- Innovation: Try a lot of stuff and keep what works.
- Teamwork: Think win-win, be humble and helpful.
- Trust: Act with integrity, transparency, and fairness.”
How are you funded? I.e. type of funding, number of funding rounds, total funding amount.
“VCs and accelerator. Seed — $2.2 Million.”
How did you come up with and validate your startup idea? Tell us the story!
“We were on the floor, me and the co-founder, and we saw data points that showed that there will be less books in the world 10 years from now if no one incentivized the authors. We thought, ‘What if we used the latest technology to incentivize authors? What if we help bring back all the royalties to them? What if [we] can get them to monetize by building communities and publishing on the blockchain?’ We searched [and] there was no one out there, so we thought to do it.”
How did you come up with your startup's name? Did you have other names you considered?
“‘Odiggo’ was inspired by being driven to achieve a big dream or call. It means ‘drive.’”
Did you always want to start your own business? What made you want to become an entrepreneur?
“I think I was born this way. [The] first thing I sold was the snacks in school, and then when I grew older, I started an ecommerce business. This is the third business that I’ve built. [I] built an ecommerce business in NYC to grow to $100 million a year, now over $400 million, and me and my co-founder built a $5 million business that reached over 1.2 million active user sessions.”
Did you encounter any roadblocks when launching your startup? If so, what were they and what did you do to solve them?
“Yes, of course, it's full of roadblocks — but that's what's exciting! We try a lot and fail until we get to a solution. There is no way of knowing how unless you try. However, this is a sample of our challenges:
- Finding blockchain talent resources, as the industry is fairly new.
- Build a robust customer feedback loop
- Identifying the fastest-growing and [longest-term] go-to market.
- Ethereum infrastructure is too slow in transactions.
- Polygon technical limitations — APIs are fairly new.
- Polygon tech-braking from high volume!
- Prioritizing supply and demand capabilities.
- War in Ukraine — many tools were built in Ukraine, and now they have no maintenance.”
Who is your target market? How did you establish the right market for your startup?
“Self-publishing non-fiction authors.”
What's your marketing strategy?
“Our strategy is simple, we are currently onboarding well-known authors that are pushing their community to join the platform to engage with them.”
What are the key customer metrics / unit economics / KPIs you pay attention to to monitor the health of your business?
- “Revenue / ETH
- NFTs traded
- NFTs Minted
- Active connected wallets (i.e., users)
- NPS / CSAT”
What's your favorite startup book and podcast?
“‘The One Thing’ [and] Robinhood Snacks [podcast].”
What is a song or artist that you listen to for motivation?
“I listen to motivational music with no lyrics, the lyrics my mind makes to motivate myself. You should listen to them! I bet they'll motivate you! Yes, you! The person reading this!”
Is there a tool, app, or resource that you swear by to help run your startup?
What is something that surprised you about entrepreneurship?
“It's full of challenges, and It's simply all about focus!! You fail when you stop focusing.”
How do you achieve work/life balance as a founder?
“Workout, hugs, kisses, friends, and I enjoy working because we're changing a cause.”
What is a strategy you use to stay productive and focused?
Chill one day a week and charge.”
Did you have to develop any habits that helped lead you to success? If so, what are they?
“Yes, closing my calendar to focus on one thing only, delegate things that will take a lot of energy, make sure to make the important meetings in the morning.”
What was your first job and what did it teach you?
“Ecommerce that I built. It taught me that one person can change the whole world.”
More on Odiggo
Ahmed Omar and Ahmed Nasser, founder of blockchain startup Odiggo, shared valuable insights during our interview that will inspire and motivate aspiring entrepreneurs.
We asked Ahmed Omar and Ahmed Nasser, founders of Odiggo, to share the most impactful ways to support their startup, and this is what they had to say.