Founder Interview, Chris Hamoen, Data Parrot, LA29
We got the chance to interview Founder & CEO Chris Hamoen to learn about how Data Parrot started, the importance of talking to customers, and why CRM analytics needs to be fixed.
Why do you want to solve this problem? How did you come up with the idea?
I have seen the problems with CRM data from the perspective of a CRM account executive, startup founder, Sales leader, and Revenue Operations leader.
Every time I join (or mentor) a company, the first thing I do is set up a data warehouse for the CRM data. Then, I set up an analytics platform like Looker or Tableau, and build complicated dashboards to get the most important data insights to uncover revenue opportunities and blockers.
Most companies do not have this luxury. They are stuck with generic CRM dashboards and do not have any data analytics at all. We can now finally solve this problem for the over 1M businesses without a data analyst, thanks to the latest breakthroughs in AI.
How did you validate your idea?
We talked to a lot of CROs, VP Sales, Founders, and Revenue Operations leaders - at least 50+.
We turned this into a simple product - a daily sales email summary. Then, we added users, gained more feedback, and iterated the product in public with users.
The biggest validation is that companies clearly need and are looking for an app that can automate dashboard building and surface key data insights. Even companies with large RevOps teams - they need the help!
How did you acquire your first users/customers?
The first few users were through my extended network and then through my organic LinkedIn posts. We hopped on Zoom calls to conduct discovery sessions to determine if our app was a fit for the company, as well as what they would like to see going forward.
As a founder, what is a lesson you wish you learned sooner?
With starting Data Parrot, I have a bunch of lessons learned from my experience in previous startups, both as a founder and as a key operator.
First, you can never talk to too many customers. Over-index on this.
Second, make 95% of decisions fast, and don't worry if you make a few bad ones. Spend more time on the big decisions. Velocity multiplied by appropriate discipline is the magic formula to drive progression & momentum.
Third, keep the team as small as possible for as long as possible.
Fourth, Focus on your personal health - work out.
Tell us about your experience fundraising so far.
The LAUNCH Accelerator has been fantastic to meet and pitch new investors. Having moved from Canada, I did not personally have a big network of investors to pull from - so this has been very helpful.
At the early stage, it can be a challenge to figure out the right stage to invest in, whether it's Angel, Pre-Seed, or Seed. It's super important to learn each investor's thesis, ideal stage, current fund status, and how they approach evaluating a potential investment.
What has been the most difficult part of your founder journey?
Nothing stands out as an obvious difficult piece of building a company as a founder. I think about the company as four horses in a race, where no horse should be too far ahead: Product, Go to Market/Traction, Funding, and Team.
What has been the most rewarding part of your founder journey?
Building a product that users clearly love. The highlight of any day is when I talk to users, and they share how excited they are that an app like Data Parrot finally exists. In one call, the user shared their screen to show me our own app and how great the insights were that they were getting. If that doesn’t get you fired up, I don’t know what will!
If you’re a builder-founder interested in joining the next LAUNCH Accelerator, applications are open for our 2024 cohorts.
We review applications on a rolling basis. Learn more and apply at launch.co/apply.