The story starts with two people, an idea, and the passion to make it happen. An idea that makes the world a better place. The two people, John and myself, met on an app called Shapr. Basically, a Tinder for business. The day we matched, it felt like we had already known each other. We immediately talked back and forth. Shouting in excitement about ideas of an idea with only devotion in our voice. One thing led to another, we were talking for over 2 hours after just meeting, and now had plans to join in person.
John lives in Louisville, I’m in Cincinnati. We met somewhere in the middle of nowhere Indiana, a small town called Vevay. Anyway back to the story — The date is May 3rd 2019, just in moments of meeting, there was a level of energy unparalleled to the people I have worked with in the past. In essence it felt like yin and yang. John being a dominant left-brain individual, very analytically oriented, and myself being a right-brain individual with a super creatively orientated — we covered the entire spectrum of thought.
We clashed about topics and spent hours in this coffee shop, where we were the only two customers. I brought the wireframe mockups, sketched out on pencil and paper. John being the logical type of guy brought out a bullet-by-bullet agenda to make sure our meeting was extremely productive. It did. That’s where we decided to name our company “TeamBuddy”, originally dubbed an app for connecting therapist and patients together virtually in their comfort of their own home. John and I both had fights with depression & anxiety in the past and after hard troubles, we found talking about our issues to an open minded individual helped us through it. And we wanted to bring that to market, but we weren’t yet satisfied with the business model, so it was time to perfect it and create it. Go time!
I drove back home, driving the hour and half drive on a country road in the middle of grassy, knoll nowhere. It was raining terribly that day, and the visibility was nonexistent several feet in front of the windshield. Driving in excitement, poor visibility, my mind rushing of ideas about TeamBuddy, I hit a moment of mental silence as my car collided with an object. I hit a sign on a tight curve. The right bumper of my car was completely messed up in a ditch, the axel was bent, and I was sure that I wouldn’t hear the end of it from my parents. Worried, confused, and scared, I didn’t know what else to do — so I called John. After the worry and sympathy subsided and I knew everything will be okay. We vowed TeamBuddy is going to get off the ground and we will do it by all means. The car incident was meaningless as my mind was still stuck on our business, the product, and the change we are going to make. We call that HYPE MENTALITY. That is a part of our culture of our company.
A couple weeks later, John decided to come out to Cincinnati and we established an LLP(now LLC), a brand new company name — Squish, and created an entire wireframe of version 1.0 of our app. Things were going great. We decided to go another name with our app. That being “Squish”. We serve to Seek and Support individuals. Instead of being just a therapy app that helps patients we decided to combat that nationwide epidemic and make it even more relevant. We decided to attack the mental health on a bigger surface. A platform that connects individuals based on interests where an individual can communicate their problems with someone who has already experienced that. The opposite of addiction is connection and at the end of the day us humans are social creatures. We strive off connection — this platform to allow individuals to connect with like-minded people is an ever so solution. Let’s say an individual with a gambling problem is having troubles with it and wants to be more proactive about it. He heads to Squish and talks with someone who has had issues and that individual can support that gambler based from past experience.
Anyways, off the sales pitch, flash forward a bit — that is our app in essence. Since the time of this writing, it’s now September 12th and we have handpicked a team of developers through a pool of over 60 applicants. This development team consists of a lead full stack developer, two frontend developers, and a web developer. On top of that we have advisors, therapists, and content creators under us. We have turned our version 1.0 app into version 2.0 with our team. We are rapidly growing with a team of over 10 in a span of just 4 months and we are still growing. Right now our brand new UI screens are getting polished and should be getting done this week. Backend should begin this week. Frontend and backend should be completed October time with a full product by the second week of October. That is our trajectory and so far we are hitting each milestone with massive success.
In the meantime we have an investor meeting in the back of our pockets planned for the third week of October. On top of that we have multiple meetings with incubators that want to interview us for their program as well as VCs that want to back us. The reason we are postponing that is because we do not have a product to provide them, but we will. Mark these words! Those are the plans for November 2019.
December time — that’s usability testing with our beta application. As well as increasing our business development for full-scale focus on finding Supporters and helping with the growth of our app. Mainly targeting the acquisition of users.
January time — revising our beta application, correcting it as well as filling our new roles.
February time — is full-scale aggressive guerilla marketing. We have plans to get in the hands of newspapers, in the hands of users everywhere.
All of this comes with time. And though those are the plans, there will be unexpected bumps ahead. Nothing that can’t be addressed, or dominated by the hype mentality we have.
I believe with where we are at right now — we are doing the most we can. In short, we are playing our cards right. Or It is a game of chess, and we strategize the most particular way possible. There are multiple ways of reaching the top of success but doing it with minimal errors, and getting their with minimizing risk is the approach that we are after. Being tactful is the key to our master plan going into fruition.
Signing off for now —
Max Fritzhand, COO & CoFounder of Squish LLC