Trevor Wolfe, CEO of Delvv.io
Who are you?
I’m Trevor, cofounder and CEO of delvv.io (makers of the creative feedback platform BigTeam). I work with my cofounder Remon Geyser (an all around stud).
Can you tell us the story of your business from idea to where you are now?
Remon and I both come from marketing research and analytics backgrounds at companies like Millward Brown, Kantar, TNS and Gerson Lehrman Group. We met at another company and started talking about how outdated the market research industry and in particular ad testing was. Considering 54 billion is spent every year trying to help brands better understand and speak with consumers, it’s crazy that 60 years after the first products were launched, over 50% of advertising is still ineffective.
We started looking at developing competing products and interviewed hundreds of clients and discovered it was the internal process of creativity that could use some focus. So we built a few prototypes and worked with clients to get professional feedback at the earliest stages of their campaigns. We used that revenue to launch Sense Check, and then raised some angel investment from Kevin Gaskell and HAVAIC.
We are now working with 19 brands across 10 countries and just launched our SaaS platform BigTeam.
What has been your biggest failure or struggle?
Operating out of South Africa poses it’s challenges. Clients aren’t used to buying innovative products or changing their internal processes so we faced a lot of rejection early on. This is also the first startup Remon and I have founded so have had to learn on the job. I’ve heard an apt description of what it’s like to start a startup which is that it’s like jumping off a cliff and then having to build a plane on the way down.
And what has been your biggest achievement or success?
We just debuted our methodology to the market research industry’s most prestegisious innovation awards and ended up winning in front of an audience of 800 professionals and peers. We were the first African startup to make it to the finals, let alone win it outright. It was great validation for the team.
What’s your must read business book?
Creativity Inc is applicable for any businesses in the creative sector or who want to develop better feedback structures and Robert Caro’s biography of Robert Moses is profound in understanding the levers of power that exist in society.
Who’s your most inspirational CEO or founder?
Scott Belsky (former CEO of Behance) has a unique ability to project counter-intuitive advice without sounding like a contrarian. He has a great sense of product and user value while still understanding the fundamentals of starting a business, raising money and generating revenue.
And can you tell us something weird or interesting about yourself?
My Sophomore year in college, I was close to trying to pursue a life as either a poet or a journalist. I owned one or two turtlenecks (think modern day beatnik) and owned every Jack Kerouac book.