We’d like to introduce you to Leor Massachi: a 23-year-old carrying the titles of co-founder, Chief Product Officer, and Chief Marketing Officer for a tech startup named Dandy. Massachi had been interested in business since he was in middle school, so it only made sense that he decided to pursue a business-related program at the University of Southern California after graduating high school.
Although his major was in real estate development, Massachi’s true passion always lied in learning about the realm of technology and how multifaceted it could become when starting a business. He became obsessed with the idea of entrepreneurship to the point where he began interviewing successful executives on a television segment he came up with for his school’s newscast called “Word Hard, Play Hard”. Massachi would also constantly find himself dreaming big and taking notes of “cool ideas” for potential business endeavors on his phone so he wouldn’t forget them down the line. Then, once he got to USC, he was able to learn directly from the experts about the dos and don’ts of launching a tech startup. Along the way, Massachi networked with a number of successful entrepreneurs that gave him some of the advice he still applies to his business today.
In 2018, Massachi and his partner, Daniel Newman, came up with a concept for a dating application while chatting in their dorm room at 1 AM. The app was brainstormed to be completely different than your average Tinder or Bumble; the college seniors noted that they didn’t want users wasting time while they waited for the other person to reply. Instead, the app would work instantaneously for all users. At 8 pm every night, the app would go “live” for 10 minutes and users would make the attempt to log on and find a match. Once two users “liked” each other, they would be automatically transferred into a three-minute message-based chat where they could get to know each other in real-time. If they both decided to move forward when the call was over, the application would provide each user with their match’s phone number.
The concept was unlike anything the market had ever seen, and the two seniors knew they were onto something big. But with great originality also came significant challenges. The two entrepreneurs hired top-tier engineers to work on the product due to its complicated synchronous nature. If too many users logged on at the same time and overwhelmed the server, the entire application could crash. Therefore, it took numerous rounds of trial and error to have the servers reach an optimized stage that could handle the load of thousands of users.
And despite the innovative concept of the product, however, Massachi knew the idea and design of the app alone would not be enough to get the users to participate in the launch. He began to brainstorm ways of marketing the product while remaining under the extremely limited budget he and Newman were paying out-of-pocket. They had to be resourceful and minimalistic with their spending while still making enough of a statement to gather brand recognition. An entire discussion of ideas later, they decided to buy hundreds of yard flamingoes that resembled the outline of the app’s logo and disperse them amongst the USC campus overnight with flyers that read “you’ve been flocked!”. People responded extraordinarily well to the marketing tactic, and just like that, Dandy gained over a thousand users overnight.
Eventually, Massachi was designated as the company’s CPO and CMO while Newman took care of logistics as the company’s CEO. “When things started becoming a bit more stable and the app began taking off, we decided to divide the workload based on what we were best at,” Massachi said. “I focused on the development of high-level product concepts and marketing strategies for Dandy because my natural way of thinking was: ‘how can I penetrate the market in a different and effective way that will still prioritize remaining as resourceful and low-cost as possible,’” he added. “Since I tend to lean more toward working creatively than logistically, it just made sense this way.”
In February 2020, the Dandy app went through some major rebranding after news of a possible pandemic began to consume the media. The company founders gathered in an emergency meeting to discuss the possible consequences of what a nationwide lockdown could mean for students who were still in the prime years of their college experience. They understood that the consequences could force students to leave campus and have classes resume virtually, along with the hopes of establishing new relationships going right out the window. But Massachi and Newman came up with a plan to fix that. They introduced the idea for Zoom University: a live two-on-two video chat application that would be aimed towards recreating the way millennials and Gen Zs formed new connections and relationships online. Since each user went live with a friend, the sense of comfort and trust allowed the product to run far more smoothly than the nerve-racking one-on-one video chats from Dandy’s early stages.
Massachi’s marketing tactics for Zoom University were more digitally-focused than those for their previous product. This time around, the CMO utilized a cutting-edge social strategy that involved having hundreds of TikTok creators tell their audiences about ZoomU in their own organic way. “We wanted the content to be as authentic as possible, so we let the creators do it however they felt was most relatable to their community. It was a win for them because they were able to use their own creativity and brand personality to talk about the product, but it was also a win for us because people received it as a genuine endorsement rather than as some random ad,” Massachi explained. As it turned out, the CMO’s approach was immensely effective. One of the influencers’ videos uploaded to Tiktok ended up going viral overnight, and in a matter of 48 hours, the video was viewed over 2.5 million times. Zoom University ended up adding hundreds of thousands of users to their waitlist as a result of that one video.
A couple of months after its launch, Zoom University surpassed a user mark of 100,000 and it even gained a spot in the Top 10 Social Networking Apps on the App Store. That alone was a dream come true for Massachi and Newman. But the work didn’t stop there. Since August of 2020, the two co-founders have been in the process of developing yet another new project alongside some big investors. Details cannot be discussed quite yet, but they have shared that they will be implementing all learnings and feedback from their prior products into perfecting this new endeavor.
Bearing in mind their monumental milestones, you’re probably wondering how these fairly young business owners have time for anything else besides attending to their ever-evolving business. But they actually happen to heavily prioritize the balance between work and social life. “I’m very mindful. I try to live every day like it’s the weekend,” Massachi said. “Occasionally, I’ll go biking, I’ll eat good food, I’ll meditate, or I’ll hang out with friends. Taking a break helps me reset so that I can continue coming up with fresh, new ideas once I’m back to work. I’ve gained a lot of knowledge along the way on how to manage this heavy lifestyle, but I’m also still learning as I go. That pretty much goes for everything when you’re involved in a startup.” Massachi adds that he is eager to wake up every morning and think of new product ideas to improve people’s everyday lives; products that will not only provide high efficiency, but will also be meaningful enough to bring joy to its users.
Designing Secure Commercial Spaces Without Compromising Aesthetics
In the realm of commercial design, security and aesthetics often seem like opposing forces. Business owners and designers alike grapple with the challenge of creating spaces that not only captivate and inspire but also ensure the safety and security of assets and occupants. The good news is that integrating security features into commercial spaces without sacrificing visual appeal is entirely achievable. This blog post will delve into innovative design strategies that harmonise security with aesthetics, including a look at the best deadlocks for front doors in Australia, ensuring your commercial space is both beautiful and fortified.
Embracing Technology for Seamless Security
Modern technology offers a plethora of options for discreet yet effective security measures. For instance, advanced surveillance systems can be integrated into the architectural design in a way that they blend seamlessly with the environment. Smart locks and biometric access controls offer robust security without the clunky hardware, maintaining a sleek and modern aesthetic. Implementing these technologies not only elevates the security level of your commercial space but does so without disrupting its design flow.
Strategic Use of Materials and Design Elements
The choice of materials and design elements plays a crucial role in balancing security and aesthetics. High-strength materials such as tempered or laminated glass, for example, offer excellent security without compromising on the visual openness that glass provides. Similarly, incorporating natural barriers like decorative boulders or planters can serve as subtle physical deterrents while enhancing the space’s visual appeal.
Lighting: A Dual-Purpose Tool
Lighting is another powerful tool that serves both aesthetic and security purposes. Well-planned lighting can highlight architectural features and create a welcoming atmosphere while ensuring visibility and deterring unauthorised access after hours. Motion-sensor lighting, in particular, can be a discreet addition that enhances security without detracting from the design.
The Role of Deadlocks in Aesthetic Security
A critical aspect of securing any commercial space is the choice of locks, especially for front doors which are the primary entry and exit points. Deadlocks offer a high level of security, making them an essential feature for commercial spaces. However, selecting the right deadlock doesn’t mean you have to settle for a utilitarian look. Today, the market offers a variety of deadlock designs that complement any aesthetic, from modern minimalist to classic elegance. For those in Australia, choosing the best deadlocks for front doors involves considering both the security features and how the lock’s design integrates with your commercial space’s overall look.
Collaboration Between Security Experts and Designers
Achieving a balance between security and aesthetics often requires a collaborative approach. Security experts and interior designers need to work hand in hand from the early stages of the design process. This collaboration ensures that security measures are not afterthoughts but are integrated into the design in a way that complements the space’s aesthetic appeal.
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Designing secure commercial spaces without compromising aesthetics is not only possible but essential in today’s world. Remember, the goal is to integrate security seamlessly into the design, enhancing the user experience and ensuring peace of mind for both business owners and visitors. With thoughtful planning and collaboration, your commercial space can be a testament to the harmony that can exist between security and aesthetics.
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