This week we’ve done an interview with Hamid Habibollah, one of co-founders of Namlik. We invite you to read this interview.
Avatech: What is Namlik?
Hamid: Namlik is an audio article distribution platform which provides curated audio articles based on user’s interest. Publishers create the content and our community of narrators turn them into audio files. We upload these files to our platform, categorize them and make a channel for each publisher. Users can follow their favorite channels or their favorite categories on their preferred devices.
Avatech: Where does this idea come from?
Hamid: We live in Tehran, so we spend a considerable amount of time in daily commutes. We always had this feeling that we were wasting our time and we wanted to use this time efficiently. Some months ago we found an application called Umano. It provided audio articles with various subjects in English. It was exactly what we needed. We downloaded it and used it and after a while we thought “let’s make something like this for Persian users”.
Avatech: What is the value Namlik creates?
Hamid: A huge amount of content is published every day but not everyone can read them because they don’t have enough time to find good contents and they can’t dedicate a part of their free time to read. But there are times that we don’t use them efficiently, like daily commutes or when you are doing daily routines. In all these situations your hands are tied and your eyes are busy, but your ears are free. Namlik helps people to make their life more informative and productive.
Avatech: Tell us about your team (co-founders) & what brought you together?
Hamid: We are four. Reza who came with the idea, was a brand manager in Kalleh. He quit his job to start Namlik. Ali is our lead technical architecture. He has ten years of experience in system architecture, operating systems and etc and he was a project manager in three major national projects. Hamid was a content expert in Kerman khodro co. and he is responsible for relations with publishers and content owners. Hasan has been a podcaster for many years and has lots of experience in audio production. He is in charge of narrator’s community.
We’ve been friends for some years and when Reza talked to us about the idea, we loved it and decided to give it a try.
Avatech: How do you see your future and how do you plan for it?
Hamid: Right now there is no suitable platform for publishers and freelance writers to create and distribute audio content. Sound Cloud is a platform designed for music and iTunes podcast is only available on iOS and it has no social tool to let people communicate. We hope in future we can improve our platform and present it to global market.
Avatech: What challenges are on your way to grow?
Hamid: When you have a startup, challenges are a dime a dozen. Everything from getting more customers and expanding them to manage the routine process is intimidating, but by far the biggest challenge we’ve faced is finding the best way to scale our business.
Avatech: How did you get to know Avatech?
Hamid: We had a friend in cycle 1 teams. He told us about Avatech, and he was very positive about it. He told that Avatech will help you to work smart and like a professional.
We had the Namlik idea in our mind, so we signed up for cycle 2 pre-acceleration program.
Avatech: How has been your experience with Avatech?
Hamid: When we decided to work on Namlik, we thought we had a perfect team and we won’t have much problem to develop the business. But when we started to work, we faced lots of problems we hadn’t thought of. Avatech mentors were very helpful because they had all these experiences and also they could tell us about what future will bring. Avatech also helped us to define different aspects of our business and think about our challenges before facing them.
Avatech: What keeps you motivated during difficult moments?
Hamid: We’ve always worked for other people and put lots of effort to satisfy them. For the first time in our life, we are working for ourselves. And we’re not alone. We have Avatech that supports us and all mentors and startup community who are willing to help us to make it work. It’s a big chance for us to do something big and make our biggest achievement.
Avatech: What is your biggest success until now?
Hamid: We had an idea and lots of people, even our closest friends thought it won’t work. We came to Avatech and they accepted us. We presented our idea to some professional people, some of them are investors in successful companies, and they loved it. We made it and showed it to people, and many of them liked it and are using it. Now, it’s not just us. There are people who know Namlik and are willing to have it in their daily life. That’s a great success for us.
Avatech: If you could talk to people who want to start a startup, what would be your advice?
Hamid: Don’t start a startup unless you are a hundred percent sure that you want to sacrifice your whole life for it. Everyone who start a startup talk about how hard it is, but you have no idea. It is very hard and as our great program manager Sara Usinger says, it’s a story of tears, sweat and blood. So prepare yourself for these hard days. And another tip is, You MUST work hard, but it’s more important to work smart. You have limited time, and limited resources, so it’s very important to think of every single step you’re taking.