30 Apr Creative Thinkers to Showcase Their Different Sides via Nifticubes
Entrepreneurs and creative thinkers like shiny things, which is why side projects even exist. Sand Diego-based startup, Nifticubes has recognized this growing market of people who want to pursue their interests or passions outside of work. I caught up with Abdul Zalil, CEO of Nifticubes, for a short interview on how why he created a tool that appeals to a wide array of aspiring individuals and the struggles he faced in getting it off the ground.
Abdul, what’s the story behind Nifticubes?
I felt that the current systems and social networks were lacking ability for an individual to express a complete side of them. I am really inspired by music and how people compose music. It’s a big interest of mine, as well as photography. I have been taking photos since I was a child. I wanted to spotlight that there are different sides to myself. A cube is an object with many sides and I wanted to implement that idea into a product; I wanted to people to showcase their many sides in a nifty manner. That’s where the idea came from.
So what exactly is Nifticubes, as a product?
Nifticubes is a growing community of online users who want to share their diverse interests and passions with world. People have many sides. We call them faces. People want to show these faces to other people, but we give them control over who actually sees them. It’s about giving creative thinkers and entrepreneurs the power to share their content with other people who would benefit from it the most. Let’s say you have years of graphic design experience with a large media company. One of your faces may showcase this skill and allow you to share it with people who are truly interested. Let’s also say that you love to write in your free time and your personal blog is getting a lot of followers. You can create another face that focuses on your writing and you’ll be able to share this face with other aspiring writers and bloggers – even potential employers.
What struggles did you have creating this nifty tool?
When I first started developing the idea on my own, I wanted to quite my day job but I couldn’t because I didn’t have the time and I wasn’t making revenue yet. I hired various developers, but it was difficult to judge quality because all were working remotely. Many contracts were terminated and the project was sidelined multiple times.
It seemed as though there was always something that stood in the way of my progress. Incompetent team, family commitments, troubles with my day job, etc. Finally, I just decided to quit my job and devote all my time to Nifticubes. And then there were more struggles developing it on my own.
What was your next move?
I realized I needed help from better developers and designers. I needed a CTO to make this idea a reality. What I learned in this entire process was that by not thinking about the team and only thinking about the product was not the right way to go. I realized I needed to build a team dedicated to this product. One this happened I realized that success does not come from the product, it comes from the team.
Was there any point you felt you couldn’t do it?
I never thought that. There were always forces working against me, but they never stopped me. The reason I have a working product today is because I was persistent.
Has Vegas made a positive impact?
I was skeptical about the move, sure, but one of my friends said Work In Progress was doing some great things and recommended I check them out. Once I arrived, I felt a positive energy that I hadn’t experienced in a long time. People are open, in contrast to other larger tech hubs who seem to hang a Do Not Disturb sign on their door. In Vegas, I feel more connected and because there is a lower cost, I am in a better position to sustain my company for a longer period of time before going after funding.
Any recommendations for your fellow entrepreneurs?
Build a great team, but don’t rely on others to build your product for you. Also understand that there will always be setbacks in life. You have to always visualize the final project and work towards your vision. http://bessonagency.com/creative-thinkers-showcase-different-sides-via-nifticubes/And find an advisor. One of the biggest contributors to my success has been Shavonnah Tierra, she has definitely helped the team stay focused on the core value of the Nifticubes all the way to launch.
If you’re an entrepreneur and want to share your story and your struggles, Creating Genius would like to hear about them in the comment section below.