Start-up founders face many challenges in building a company and achieving success. For more than a year, Daniel Daoura has been working hard to clear the most difficult obstacle-losing his close friends and co-founders.
Daula begins cobblestone, A start-up company in the Seattle area, and Nick Pearson-Franks about eight years ago developed a wireless device for tracking keys, pets, etc. He called this engineer colleague his “criminal brother.” Together, the two have been committed to developing and releasing new products and attracting new partnerships. Together they have big dreams for their small company.
Pearson-Franks died in an all-terrain vehicle accident on June 24, 2020, at the age of 40. The death of the father of two young boys left a huge loophole for his family and the startup for which he served as the chief technology officer.
When Daura struggled to cope with the pain, he maintained a feeling at work that the partnership and goals shared by the two friends would continue to exist.
“I’m not alone. Nick is still with me,” Daura said.
This is not easy.
Daoura called this failure the “worst thing that could happen” and what he didn’t want his worst enemy to happen. He seeks treatment to deal with psychological challenges. He has been working non-stop to make Pebblebee better.
“People invest in me emotionally, invest in me financially, and people trust me,” Daula said. “If one thing about me is true, it is that I will not give up. In some cases, it may be disadvantageous, but I will not give up.”
Daoura said that instead of taking a short break, he devoted his energy to things that he realized were important at work.
“When you lose someone close to you and they work with you every day, you start to see things a little differently,” he said. “It’s no longer a business, it’s about people. It’s about our community, it’s about our employees, it’s about Pebblebee’s family. I started to treat people differently.”
In the past year, Pebblebee’s number of employees has increased by about 50% to 15 people. The death of Pearson-Franks and the challenges of the pandemic prompted some reorganizations, resulting in a fully distributed model. The startup has employees in Poland, Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and the Philippines.
Daoura appreciates the flexibility and diversity that remote recruitment brings and how it allows him to compete for talent outside of the Seattle area.
“We are not a venture-backed company, so we can’t afford a lot,” he said. “You have Amazon, Microsoft, Starbucks, Expedia-you have to deal with the problem of these big companies robbing these outstanding employees. Now, when you have a world you can work with, you don’t have to deal with these problems.”
Daoura said that in the eight years they have worked together, he and Pearson-Franks have gotten closer year after year. Although both electrical engineer Daoura and software engineer Pearson-Franks are committed to solving Pebblebee’s technical needs, Daoura relies heavily on his co-founders. And now he needs help.
“I have more responsibilities. I have more jobs. I have more challenges,” Daura said of life without Pearson-Franks. “As our team grows, he is always with us, but obviously I can’t do it alone.”
There were ups and downs along the way, trying to replace Pearson-Franks’ expertise. People come and go to help; a third-party company in Oregon was hired, but ultimately failed.It took nearly a year to find the person Daoura was looking for in Poland Pavel Kazimirovich, Has been the technical director since May.
Remote recruitment also paid off Jan Thomas Lantaniti, Pebblebee’s new chief marketing officer, last week he called GeekWire from his wife’s grandmother’s cabin in the “Norwegian Inland” fjord.
Rantaniitty is ready to help this startup continue to grow.
“Pebblebee has reached a level of maturity that requires real expansion,” he said. “It is ready on a global scale, and we are preparing everything to achieve the goal. There are many exciting things in the pipeline.”
Daoura said he is even willing to accept leadership help, which may include hiring a CEO with experience in scaling the company to a larger business.
But in addition to getting more people in place, Daoura also focuses on improving products.
“We are scattered everywhere,” he said, noting that they are particularly concerned about improving Pebblebee’s App Store rating and reviews, and have achieved good success in the past few months.
Pebblebee competes with Tile and other companies in personal device tracking, and has released devices such as Finder and BlackCard over the years.Recently it has been pushing it Discover LTE Pet tracker.Last month, the company Introduced equipment and with Port, A Dallas-based company that specializes in cellular positioning technology.
Every product iteration, every new partnership still brings Daoura back to where things started, and back to trust in his friends and co-founders.
“I don’t think anything we have done in the past year is me or anything like that. It really is Nick,” Dura said. “Almost everything we do today has been established.
“Because of him, because I believe in him so much, the legacy continues.”