Startup, fail fast and start over for success

Our experience with Groupadoo, and how we drive continuous success through unexpected stumbles.

A page from the playbook by Stefano Chiavegati, January 13, 2019

Imagine reducing your commute by finding offices right there and where you need them, to book online, and to pay only for the exact time you need the workspace for.

– You only pay for the time reserved
– No subscription

Groupadoo’s idea is simple: We want to free people and companies from offices they don’t need and give them the opportunity to find offices simply when and where they need them. As workers ourselves, we find useful the ability to find workspaces close to our next doctor appointment, or near the kindergarten, the school, the grocery shop, clients, so we can host meetings, make calls, video conferences, present products and even test them…

Groupadoo is perfect for all companies with travelling and remote workers. It works ideally for startups, small enterprises and free lancers: with Groupadoo they will never need to rent an office building. The concept also suits larger corporations as it enables them to make employees more mobile, maximizing the use of smart working technologies and minimizing their office and meeting room costs.

Lessons learned

Initially, we founded Groupadoo in Ireland, then we tested our concept in Zurich, and we are currently exploring the obstacles and benefits of expanding in Germany. As a result of our involvement in the German startup world, we have made a list of do’s and don’ts on setting up a company in Germany.

1. Team is everything

Select your core team carefully. Selecting the core team is essential for navigating the young company through its first challenges. Many people will be charmed by your passion and your innovative idea and will want to join you on your adventure as a result. This is the first critical stage of your startup journey. You need to select a team based on their core competencies and by their commitment to achieving your goal. The journey of developing the idea to having the first prototype and the first customers will be longer than you expect and definitely bumpier than imagined. You need to have a strong and reliable team with everybody ready to step in and do everything needed pronto. Very little must be delegated in this early stage. This is the start up world, baby!


2.   Fail fast       

Embrace a Lean startup methodology. Get familiar with the LOFA and MVP concepts. You will get a fast prototype and an even faster fail if some of your initial assumptions are not getting the tractions you imagined. Until you get solid customer responses, there will be several trials and errors. You want to minimize as much as possible the time and resources allocated to attempts backed up by poor feedback.

3. Outsourcing is ok

Do outsource your first software development. If you do not have any coding skills in your team it is ok to build up the first prototype outsourcing to a third-party software company.  They will provide you the competence required, the skilled resources and the project management capabilities to build-up the first version/prototype of your platform or service. It is wise anyway, to have some level of technical skills within the team to gain a credible interface with the third-party company and for planning which IT skills you’ll need to onboard as soon as the company will start to grow.

4. UG or GmbH?

Regardless if your company is going to be a UG or GmbH, setting up a company in Germany will take some time and costs. On top of the notary costs for opening your entity in Germany, you will be requested to build up a business plan for the Germany authority before having your company registered, and even for opening business account with a bank. The Groupadoo German entity is a UG. Our experience with the UG however is that it is rather difficult to obtain funding with this type of entity despite the solid idea, platform and management.

5. UX as key differentiator

Do invest in UX experiences. It is not only about your logo and about your branding aspiration. You want to communicate clearly your value proposition and you want customers to find your platform/products very easy to use. You want your website to be attractive and easy to navigate. All of these require a special expertise in the way to convey your message, your value proposition and in the way you want to differentiate yourself. Do not spare investment here.

6. Money is important but…

Do not look immediately for seed investment, early investors, VC. before asking for external funding and as long as possible try to survive with your own resources until a working prototype is ready and you have your first customers. Good for you if you have a rich aunt or uncle willing to support you in your very early stage of the company but do not give way a big percentage of your company at this infancy stage. Apply anyway, to all the possible local, national or European grants. Last but not least, everybody in the core team must master the art of presenting the company value proposition in front of possible investors.

7.  Network, network, network      

Do activate your network. You need to activate your network not only for finding possible customers but also for finding the expertise (legal, compliance, financial, digital marketing, business mentoring,…) you might not have in your core team. As for your IT and engineering skills, you can outsource at the beginning of your journey almost all the critical functions you need to run your company and evaluate over time which one you want/need to onboard.

8. Remote working vs. Office

The core idea of Groupadoo is not to have a fixed office or fixed premises; we strongly recommend avoiding long term contracts and fixed monthly expenses until and if you ever need them. You will need to hit the road and hunt for customers, and you need to be flexible and mobile. Do you really need a fixed cost like an office? Groupadoo embraces and drives the remote working population.

Call for action

Anyone can refer interesting and interested workspaces, empty offices, corners in restaurants and bars, co-working spaces, but also boutiques, libraries, and any other venue willing to save a space for people to work for an hour or more, alone or to meet with other people. 

To all those that make a successful referral, we offer a 3 month long discount for each booking’s overall fee.

Groupadoo is currently in a critical phase of prioritizing business tasks while aggressively seeking funding partners and active collaborators.

If you want to hear more about us, have a look at our website: or get in touch with us at