How have Pioneer Experts helped you?
Shared by manojranaweera · 423d ago · 29 comments

My product is yet to get into the top 50. Closest I got so far is reach No 33 on European List. I just had a closer look at the Experts.

If you have already received Expert reviews, do you get to know who actually reviewed your company and it's progress?

It's hard to believe people like Marc Andreesen would actually have time to review our companies. But who knows.

AndyDent-Touchgram · 420d ago

I've had three expert reviews with no feedback and don't really expect to become a Pioneer at this stage. I've spent a lot of the last 30 weeks in the top 50, bounced in and out a couple of times. I still enjoy the community, giving and getting feedback and have had some really useful points made by the other members so I'm not going anywhere. I'd like to think I've given at least twice the value I've received, especially in the weekly calls.

I'm aware of some of the major weaknesses in the product and they will be addressed but possibly not demonstrating the kind of rapid progress that may be desired. It may take until this time next year to have Touchgram deliver the vision and delight I want, along with a robust monetisation.

I'm stubborn - it took me nearly 30 years to earn my black belt in a tough, traditional kung fu style (they didn't really tell me what I was doing wrong either). A few years grinding to improve a product are nothing.

huongngtm · 415d ago

Your comment is inspiring. Your calm and tough attitude is contagious. It's blessing to be surrounded by folks like you. I often feel too soft for startup grinding and often wish for quick progress. · 418d ago

+1 for this! Aussies keep grinding.

manojranaweera · 418d ago

Yo Andrew, that's because you wake up and find that the rest of the world is still sleeping. Keep grinding buddy.

Our sole Kiwi (one of tech companies from who defected to NZ to escape Covid-19 has finally completed the weekly progress report. I better take a look.

manojranaweera · 420d ago

Love you buddy! You are my sort of guy. It took me 8 years from start to Exit for, when my co-founders left after we got picked up as one of the 20 hottest tech startups of UK in 2008.

I think Pioneer is what we make of it, as long as we don't get kicked out. Hang in there.

By the way, I am building something for the next 48 years which will get me to 100!

sam@novamoney · 421d ago

Hi Manoj, my best rank was #3 Europe and top 10 global and stayed for a while in the top 50 global. After a couple of months, I received an email from dg saying that he enjoyed watching our weekly updates but wasn't interested in our business because we operate in a difficult space.

I liked the Pioneer community and the feedback I received was very valuable so I kept playing for fun, without any particular expectation. Until the day I received a congratulation email to become a Pioneer.

Keep hustling until people can't ignore you!

manojranaweera · 421d ago

Thanks Sam. Big thank you for becoming our third customer and first from here. I'll do a post once your team uploaded the logo. Mithun is on the case to find the talent you need.

By the way, did you get all of the below:

A free round-trip plane ticket (and help with associated logistics) to Silicon Valley.
$100,000 in Google Cloud credits.
$100,000 in AWS credits.
$1,000/month in GitHub Enterprise credits for 2 years
Up to $3,500/mo in Plaid credits for 6 months.

for 1% of equity?

We ( just lost the ability to grant GCP Credits until 2021 plans are known. Also down to $5k for AWS credits. I've not bothered with GitHub and Plaid. Will reach out to see what they offer.


sam@novamoney · 421d ago

You're welcome Manoj.
Yes we have all these perks, as well as notion, figma, mixmax, segment, front... The Pioneer team is doing a great job of adding new perks based on our feedback.

ardy · 423d ago

My startup got into the top 50 a couple of weeks ago. After ~10 days, I got an email. Here is all the feedback:

If you reach $5k MRR in 4 weeks, we'll make you a Pioneer!

I don't know where they got that figure from. But there's no way I can reach that in 4 weeks.

cilliancollins · 421d ago

Yes, they set ambitious goals to make sure you're reaching targets. Don't get discouraged, they only want to see how far you can get with it.

manojranaweera · 421d ago

Just curious that's all. I value speaking to all of you more than any future feedback from Pioneer team and their Experts.

manojranaweera · 423d ago

You are 29th overall. Well done!

ardy · 423d ago

Thanks Manoj! I've been working really hard the last few months!

manojranaweera · 423d ago

Sounds like a blanket statement Ardy. Thanks for the share.

manojranaweera · 423d ago

Have you managed to stay in Top 50?

manojranaweera · 423d ago

Signed up for a free account. Sorry, I don't have a need to pay for a subscription. Struggling to think of a site to monitor.

ardy · 423d ago

Thanks Manoj. I appreciate you considering that!
My product can soon be used for scraping structured data from the web as well. Let me know if you ever need data from any website! Some examples would be extracting a list of leads from a tweet's likers, a Twitter profile's followers, or a Facebook group's members.

manojranaweera · 421d ago

What about Linkedin? is our growth channel for one of my assets We need to reach out to these 1000+ followers (gaining a 100+ each week) to sell our subscriptions.

ardy · 421d ago

We can help you with that for sure!
Shoot me an email at Ardy at if you'd like to discuss this further.

manojranaweera · 420d ago

Thanks Ardy. Emailed. · 421d ago

Hi Ardy, we use Facebook groups fairly extensively as a beachhead for growing our user base can you email me at I'd be interested in what we can do here

ardy · 420d ago

Great! I sent you an email :)

manojranaweera · 423d ago

Not the sort of thing I normally do. Will give some thought. · 421d ago

Great that some of you received feedback. We've been in the top 50 for 16 weeks, been as high as 8th globally and had 4 expert reviews.

Unfortunately we haven't received any feedback from those reviews, though I'm fairly certain I know where we're falling short.

It's a challenging process, but it motivates you to keep going.

manojranaweera · 421d ago

A bit unfair to not get any feedback if you reached 8th globally.

I'll shortly share the good news - one company from here signed up to This is more important for me than Pioneer's Expert reviews.

Blake · 421d ago

Got as high as pushing top ten global at one point. I'll share my review -

"Even for a firefighter with domain expertise, it'll be difficult to make significant market progress. Your best bet at turning around that impression (likely shared by others) will be strong early adoption."

Not wrong by any means. But it did confirm a fear I've had and it means I have to ignore a large majority of traditional start of advice. My MVP needs to be much more than a typical startups MVP would - I won't be able to get a few users to iterate given what my product actually is. The fear was that yes I have to build a lot more than I originally thought was necessary.

Personally I'd rather run into a burning building then do sales in the public safety industry. (I HAVE run into a burning building - and prefer that experience markedly. But if it were easy, it would have already been done.

bv · 421d ago

This article and the term Minimum Lovable Product (MLP) might help:

"The trick with the MLP is that you focus on the most important features instead of the bare minimum expected from an app in the class, but you do those important features justice. That means making them not just operational and functional but also enjoyable and, therefore, decently designed. You need your early adopters to have an emotional reaction. It can be good or bad, but emotion spurs engagement."

A lot of people are in the same situation, where you have to build a lot more than originally thought.

manojranaweera · 421d ago

Hi Blake, thanks for sharing your story.

I think the whole idea of MVP is wrong. It should always be V1. In the old days, it was called Alpha and Beta. MVP is really about a milestone to meet investor expectations.

Glad to hear you are pushing ahead.

Best regards