Canva started their journey eight years and nobody believed when they said “Design for everyone”. Based on Hacker News, they’ve been rejected by the VCs and investors. They were heavily criticized saying, ‘they are trying to create a replica of 1% of Adobe Photoshop Express and Adobe Illustrator features and never going to make it against the global giant Adobe’.
But, now according to the latest statistics, they have crossed almost 15 million users, 100 million designs created, $241.6 million funds been raised, and have become $1 billion worth undisputed industry leader, with 100+ employees.
What we can learn from the journey of Canva:
1. Rejection is always a redirection, definitely not a dead end. When someone says ‘No’, it’s based on their view and the current situation that you are going through. In this case, you should dig deeper to analyze the reasons for such rejections rather than being ignorant and moving to another place.
2. In our lifestyles, the way of doing things is absolutely different from each other. Canva was criticized on forums and news saying it’s a copycat, NOT a disruption. It’s always better NOT to waste your time arguing with people who can’t understand the difference between disruption and copycat. Move in silence, let them change their opinion based on your actions as Canva did.
3. VCs and Angels are not the owners of any bank. They invest based on people, ideas, traction, and market opportunities. According to the TechCrunch records, it took 16 months for Canva to raise their first seed investment as they proved their investors by showing some tractions. No matter your traction is positive or negative, every investor needs to know at least you tried yourself before you approached them.
4. If you look at Canva’s business model, it is very specific and the co-founder Melanie found a solution for a problem rather than blindly starting what she liked. Your idea should solve the problem of a very specific audience, in an intuitive way.
5. Pixabay and Pexels are the biggest two customer experience funnels of Canva. Canva perfectly understands the pain points of its customers and the above two image libraries are its biggest strength to keep its customers engaged and undistracted within the design dashboard. The lesson we can learn is, if consumer’s needs and wants are undefined, you should engage yourself to understand your customer’s needs and wants to update your product before they find an alternative. I believe, Entrepreneurship is not an education, it’s a lifestyle. People will reject, misunderstand, and even humiliate you. You will be broken without knowing, lose hope and there will be situations that nobody is able to support you.
But, trust me on this.
The people whom you misunderstood, will become your lifeline. Your driver will become your best mentor, your customer will turn into your loyal investor and your staff will become your best co-workers. Either your family will start to understand you or you will start to understand your family, friends, and your relatives deeply, like never before. Have none of those happened in your life yet? It’s time to evaluate yourself to know whether you are an Entrepreneur or not!