We are Petr and Martin and together we create BestTalk – an online solution for conference organizers – a web tool for obtaining and real-time processing of feedback from event participants and advanced data processing, including a database interface. At first, BestTalk was created only as an online tool addressing current needs, however, after the launch of MVP, it was clear from the reactions of the first (non-paying) customers (more or less testers) that we want to give this project a framework, both organizational and time-oriented.
On the beginning (autumn 2017) I had the most interesting and moving meeting with my friend from business, who gave me so many opinions and advices within one hour that we draw from it even now and I often return to those remarks. In April 2018, BestTalk s.r.o. with one executive – me (Petr Dolejš) and one partner (Martin Hora). Martin is the developer of the entire tool and is a key person, similar to most IT startups. Our huge advantage is that Martin and I have known each other since high school as friends, we know our values and priorities. We have launched a full upgraded version of the BestTalk web tool since January 2019, and since then BestTalk has been undergoing virtually continuous development on the frontend and backend.
More information at besttalk.cz.
1. How did you get into what you want to do in business?
Petr: During my studies and later also research at universities, I attended dozens of conferences, where I either lectured myself or was inspired by the topics of other students and academics. Some conferences were amazing, rewarding, others were literally a waste of time. At none of the conferences in my field was feedback systematically collected on lectures, topics, lecturers. Therefore, it was not possible to find out in advance how good a lecture can be expected and which one to attend, or which, on the contrary, to omit. The logical step was to create a simple system for obtaining feedback from participants directly at such events and start creating a so-called soft-skills database – and how other than online, in real time and simply, intuitively, so that it does not burden anyone and bear fruit. And since I’m not from IT, I asked a friend from high school if we could do it together.
2. What was your biggest fear at the beginning, what was the hardest part of starting a business?
Petr: I was afraid that a friend would give me a basket and he would not want to go into it. But the opposite happened, he was excited and within 3 months we had a beta version of the online tool, within half a year s.r.o.
3. The biggest fuckup?
Petr: When we provided feedback and facilitation at an international two-day conference with 1000+ visitors and the system was shattered by the onslaught of users. Our web solution didn’t work for hours. Even now, when I remember that day, I have goosebumps. But it happened, and thanks to that, we realized the priorities in which to invest time and resources, and it clearly moved us further.
4. The best feeling I had when…?
Petr: Our beta version, totally untested, was suddenly used at one conference with 300 participants by 80% of those present to see those people browsing our apps and ratings by the hundreds on their mobile phones. That day, I realized that we were doing something that was really interested and that we were responsible for our services to users and customers. I also realized that day that it was not just a hobby, but a business, and since then I have seen BestTalk as our child for whom we have a responsibility.
5. What are your business plans for the future, what is your goal?
Petr: Our goal at BestTalk is to improve the conference environment by providing feedback. Our plans are based on cooperation with organizations and personalities with whom we have personal or professional ties and whom we value. So far, we have over 100 customers and I have seen each one in person or at least indirectly. We care about 100% meeting customer expectations and we do our best to do what we can. And we enjoy developing these opportunities. For us, too, feedback is an absolutely essential source of information.