As John Lennon famously sang: “Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans.” For entrepreneur David Gavasheli, the idea for a revolutionary new internet launchpad came about while he and his co-founders were busy working on something entirely different. The project they had initially embarked on was constantly slowed down by the exasperating amounts of time spent clicking between tabs, dealing with notifications and managing desktop apps. There was no centralised place to see, store and manage all of these different applications. And so, Stack was born.
Many entrepreneurs fall into the trap of becoming so wrapped up in their initial idea that they suffer from a lack of insight, possibly missing out on great opportunities. So we spoke to David about entrepreneurship, the importance of pragmatism and the essential ability to learn, grow and adapt.
How did you develop a passion for entrepreneurship?
My father was one of the first entrepreneurs in Georgia. After the Soviet Union collapsed in 1989, he incorporated one of the very first independent companies in Georgia which is now the biggest mall in the region. When I was growing up, I saw him doing business with a diverse range of people and I really enjoyed watching him work. His passion and drive was absolutely my inspiration to become an entrepreneur.
I’ve always enjoyed learning – both academically and from others. I hold a masters degree in law from Tbilisi State University and completed my MBA at the London School of Commerce. I’ve worked as a serial entrepreneur, founding and running five medium and large-sized corporations, including one of the largest retail stores and online marketplaces in the whole of the Caucasus region. As entrepreneurs, we always enjoy finding problems and working out ways to solve them, which is exactly how Stack happened.
How did Stack come about?
Stack was founded by myself and three others , Vasil Gubadze, Zviad Sichinava and George Laliashvili. We have known each other for over a decade and have worked on multiple projects together. We were initially working on a completely different project and we found that web browsers just weren’t efficient for working with multiple applications at the same time. It was time consuming and frustrating to have to constantly move between, say, the desktop and whatever web browser we were using and any other applications we had running.
So Zviad started Stack as a side project, a way for us to organise our screens, and our time, more effectively. At this point, it was definitely just a tool for our team to use and we didn’t set out to make this our main project.
The change came when we uploaded it to Product Hunt, a platform where other developers evaluate each other’s work. The feedback was amazing. People really enjoyed using it and we got some great responses and ideas about how to improve it. It was at that point we decided to make Stack our focus.
How did it feel to change your focus at that point?
One of the most satisfying parts of business is when you receive positive feedback from your customers or users. Receiving great feedback like we did from Product Hunt meant that we could investigate the possibilities for Stack. And given our combined experience and the knowledge we have collectively accumulated over the years, we believe we do know what it takes to create a successful product from it.
As an entrepreneur, we are always trying to solve problems and, with this, we directly experienced the problem first-hand. When you look at the history of the internet, it has developed so quickly and so extensively and yet the web browsers themselves really haven’t changed all that much. We believe that our day-to-day interactions with the internet shouldn’t be tedious and a strain. We want to give our users a powerful new way to revolutionise the online workspace.
What brings you the most satisfaction in your role as an entrepreneur?
I love learning new things in a short space of time and working with people from diverse fields. I see success as working for pleasure, finding something that brings value to our users and seeing that the work you’ve done has been worth it.
What would you say to someone just starting out as an entrepreneur? What are the difficulties and joys of your work?
One of the most difficult aspects of being an entrepreneur is making the right decisions in the right place and at the right time. I have failed multiple times during my business career but ultimately, you only need to be right once. You shouldn’t wait for the perfect moment, just do it!
David Gavasheli is the CEO of Stack, an internet launchpad for all of your web applications. An internet browser re-imagined, Stack allows you to work in multiple web-apps simultaneously, within a well-organised environment (find out more at getstack.app).