How being helpful won Klinify customers & VC funding

Your biggest entrepreneurial challenge will be finding customers and building closer relationships with them. Lean Startup? Doing Customer Development? You first need to FIND customers TO develop – and get them to trust you enough to try your product.

I just finished interviewing Krishanthan Surendran, co-founder & CEO of Klinify “Evernote for private doctors in Asia” which just announced $604K in VC funding.

I first met Krish a year ago at JFDI – a terrific program where I’m proud to be a mentor and investor.


How hustle + being helpful can win you customers & funding


Key learnings for your startup

Winning customer trust is hard – regardless of who you are

Klinify had a lot more going for it than most startups I help. They had been accepted into accelerator JFDI, won the endorsement of a major influential customer & were solving an obvious pain point. Nevertheless they still found it hard to get customers to pay attention to them.


Help customers with ANYTHING to win trust

Helpful Marketing is a strategy to win customers by proving you help them solve problems.

Klinify gets an A+++ for Helpful Marketing. Did you catch what Krish said about how he actually works? He was willing to help doctors & their admins sort their email. His goal was to prove to customers he could solve their IT problems, not tell them why they needed to buy.



Being helpful drives traction

Almost all of Klinfy’s customers come from word-of-mouth. As they proved they could solve problems, doctors referred new customers.

I’m currently experiencing the same dynamics with SoHelpful – most of my customers either have a good experience with me on the product or are referred by somebody else.

You just can’t win on product alone anymore – there is simply too much noise, too many people try to solve the same problems.


Choose to be different. Choose to help customers – with anything. They really don’t care about your product, how smart you are, how much money you have, or where you went to school. Only whether you can solve problems.

Start by proving it.



Photo Credit: jfcherry via Compfight cc

One Comment

  1. Steve Lionais March 5, 2014 at 12:03 am #

    Hey Kevin, I really liked this interview. We’re working in the healthcare space in Canada and we’re ready to start finding some early users for our product and I’m going to have to ‘borrow’ some of these tactics. Seems so obvious, but somehow we missed it.

    Incidentally we’ve already connected on one of your skype calls (doing a product for bookkeepers) and we’ve made a significant change in direction. Happy to fill you in if you’re interested.

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