008: 10 Questions to Janoš Guljaš, Founder of NewReleases

Name: Janoš Guljaš

CompanyNewReleases

Role: Founder, Software Engineer

Favorite Quote: “What I cannot create, I do not understand.” – Richard Feynman

Favorite Book: Johann Wolfgang von Goethe: Faust

Janoš has graduated Physics at the University of Belgrade, Serbia. He is currently working as Software Engineer for Ethereum foundation, with a decade of software development and systems operations experience in a few interesting startups. His passion is photography, especially of marvelous nature.

Janoš is the founder of NewReleases. He is the software developer responsible for all the code, developing new features, maintaining existing ones and keeping the project run smoothly and reliably. Together with his co-founder and girlfriend, Karolina, they are trying to deliver the most reliable release tracker for software engineers.

Here are the 10 questions and his answers:

1. What problems did you see and how you come up with the idea of NewReleases to solve it?

I didn’t like having a job. I wanted to wake up every day happy about what I was doing. And the jobs I had just didn’t support that. While working as a software engineer, especially in DevOps environment, I was responsible for developing and maintaining a lot of different software projects. All of these projects were dependent on third-party libraries, mostly open source. I wanted to have those dependencies up to date, for the latest features and in order to have the most secure software possible. To achieve this, I needed to manually check versions on websites or to run dependency management tools locally. This was very time consuming, and of course, I wasn’t doing it regularly enough, so it meant that I would often miss some important updates. This is how I got to the idea for the service that will send notifications about new version releases, I was scratching my own itch. My girlfriend had a similar problem with her work at that time. We started with the simple idea of creating a CLI program and we saw the potential of developing a web service that will check source providers regularly and send notifications about new version releases.

2. How do you make money with your startup?

All features of NewReleases are free of charge. In this way we have the opportunity to evaluate new ideas and we are in constant communication with our users, from whom we gain a huge amount of good advice and suggestions. Next phase of development is planned for business users, the part of the service that we would charge. Our goal is to keep our service free of charge for individual developers.

3. How are you going to acquire the paying customers?

We have in a plan several monetizing models that don’t include charging from our users. For paying users we plan to start advertising directly to software development team leads and team managers, once we develop our service in the way it’s more suitable for business users. We will probably start with cold emails and calls. Wish us luck. 🙂

4. What challenges are you facing in the industry?

Our biggest challenges are related to marketing. There is a big user base, and we are trying to draw attention to our product, without being too pushy. We noticed that direct marketing can sometimes be counterproductive and generate a negative reaction. It is better to avoid aggressive campaigns.

5. How do you market Newreleases? How are people aware of your business?

We are active on social media: Twitter, IndieHackers and Reddit mostly. We try to follow relevant threads on Hacker News and on GitHub and get involved in the conversation when applicable. We also acquired users by word of mouth – thank you to all those who helped!

6. What do you love about your team?

We share support and understanding, which is very valuable and important in small teams.

7. What’s been the biggest accomplishment of the team to date?

Technical excellence. Due to technology we are using and hard work we have invested in testing and improving our software, we are able to run very stable and reliable product at very low cost, with very minimal operational maintenance.

8. If you weren’t building your startup, what would you be doing?

I would ride a bike near the edge of Grand Canyon, uphill the Rocky Mountains and through other beautiful national parks all over the world.

9. Where do you think your growth will be in the next 3 years?

We hope to achieve the revenue that would allow us to work solely on personal projects and gain the freedom to work in that way.

10. What are future funding plans?

We did not have plans to take any fundings, but if we find some appropriate funding way for our type of business, we might change our minds. We would like to be able to keep the freedom of making decisions in our project. We are not looking for becoming the next unicorn, but to be sustainable while providing a good service to our users.

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