Hi, i'm Timothy!
I’m the founder and creator of indema. If you dont know, indema stands for Interior Design Management!
// Who I am
I was born and raised in the US (Florida born, New Yawk raised!), and yes, I used a NY accent in text. hah! Just like Cawfee or Wadda (water). You get the point…
// How I came to be
I started my first business as a DJ/MC when I was just 13 years old. I love(d) music and believe music shapes who we are. My first “gig” was a cancer benefit for which would eventully be my High School. 1000+ atendeed, doing the “Cotton Eyed Joe” dance, raising awareness for Cancer survivors, and raising money for research.
At 18, I graduated High School and sold the DJ company to my biggest competitor in order to go to College. I did not actually want to go to college for Interior design at first. I signed up for Fashion Merchandising and it was only later that I changed to design.
Right before I went to College, my aunt wanted me to tag along on a kitchen and bath re-design. This was a perfect opportunity to truly get an idea on whether or not I enjoyed design. And I did! I changed my degree to Interior design and started getting projects right from College. In 2013, I moved the firm to California and continued to work and grow my practice.
Then came Social Mako. I landed in tech (social media) by accident. I did not intend to build this platform, nor make a business of it. But you know what they say – The universe had a plan for me!
Social Mako was build off the foundation that products can be less expensive. Why does Hootsuite charge $25/mo for basically nothing? I wanted to get more for my bank, so I developed Social Mako for myself. Eventually, people found it and wanted to use it. So I decided to make something of it since the server space was expensive!
I built Social Mako from 0 users to over 1500 making nearly $2500 per month in revenue before I realized I never signed up for this. I hate social media, and it became super stressful for something that wasnt my passion. Then, I got bored with it. So, I sold it in April 2020, right after the start of the pandemic.
I had an idea...
I guess you can call me “Old school” where 99% of the design process and business process I had in the design firm was paper process. With the exception of minor project management tools that were super broad like Clickup.
This was problematic because I needed something that was specialized to how I did things. To how the interior design industry did things. Project management is by far the most cost effective and long term solution to managing a design firm.
But the problem was that the solutions out there, really were not solutions. They were band-aids. The truth is, most designers get caught in a variety of tools to accomplish their jobs and grow their business. Asana for task management. Square or Stripe for invoice/payment management. And even Canva for concept boards to accomplish one simple goal: managing their design firm and project workflows.
// The Why
Working in these multitude of platforms caused a lot of stress for me. Constantly changing passwords, keeping passwords safe. Logging into 1 platform to do one thing, than logging into another to accomplish another task. It was simply endless back and forth.
I wanted to bring a one-tool solution to designers all over the world. One that designers can rely on, and not have to worry about what I had to go thorugh. I wanted the ability for designers alike to make informed decisions without overwhelming them with boring technicalities with a platform. A simple solution.
Yet, on the other hand, I wanted to provide powerful yet affordable set of tools without compromising on efficiency or designer workload.
First 125 users ☀
Now that I had an idea on what I needed to do, I started to develop this. With my past experience with Social Mako as well as just business in general AND being an interior designer, I knew I needed a group of beta testers.
I started a podcast a long time ago called The Interior Design Consultant podcast (WARNING: I swear a LOT. I am my raw self. So if you don’t like that kind of content, please don’t listen!) and I wound up asking the audience for them to beta test. I had a shocking 125 users sign up in literally a week.
With an MVP ready and users signed up, the feedback I got helped me understand what designers needed since what I needed was different. Obviously there were bugs all over the place (and admittedly there still are some “bugs” that we are quick to squash) that needed to be fixed and it seriously lacked user experience. But I was able to overcome these initial leaps.
With percistence I was able to get out of the beta test stage, and into the hands of designers. This happened October 2020.
// Why Beta Testers?
There was a crucial part of beta testing that had to happen. I could have just launched the platform outright, but I felt that I needed specific designers to be able to test this out. And who were they? Active designers who could use EVERYYYY part of the platform, and be willing to provide feedback about it.
And trust me… They provided feedback… LOL.
We wound up launching SO many new features, retiring features that I thought they wanted, and even limiting other features. From there, after the beta testers were done, we launched to the public and wound up just telling a few people about it. What REALLY helped us was that users that we had on the beta team, were from IVY. And as all of us know by now, IVY/Houzz are under some hot lava in the industry right now. It was super unique to see that once I launched, it was at a time where a lot of IVY users were parting ways with Houzz.
While I have my own trepedations about Houzz as a company, when I represent indema, I tip my hats to them for being this monstracity they are and setting a high bar for me. This is a good thing: Because from the beginning of creating indema, I always said that I wouldnt have any competitors. And I dont. I do not see any of the other platforms as competitors. Read more about that here.
The Home Stretch...
Fast forward to April 2021. The amount of support we’ve received from the design community is unmatched. I did not think we’d get this far considering how huge houzz is and the amount of other platforms there are. But I can say we are doing 1 thing right:
Providing a SOLUTION to designers. And that solution is being a single application to help them manage their projects and design firm. A single solution.
We still have a long road to go. Absolutely. But we have made huge strides, have released so many features (Click here for our roadmap) and we continue to build a solution for designers that they are confident in.
We are also huge on values. Read about our core values as a company here. Know that every decision we make as a company is guided by none other than YOU. We love the design community, and we want to help them grow as a firm by helping them manage everyting from one centralized tool.
Get deeper with Timothy.
We were named “Top Asana Alternative” by Kate the Socialite! See for yourself here.
When I was approached by Kate, she said she wanted to learn more about what we do and learn more about me as a founder. I pondered how I should proceed with the interview, but ultimately the decision was easy: Be true to who I am and what this company represents.
In this interview, I was asked a series of questions that truly dug deep into who I am as an entrepreuner, and what my stance was with the other platforms. And today, I continue to support the other platforms any way I can! I’d say that it means more to me for a designer to be successful with another platform than to be unsuccessful with ours. I will always stand by that statement.
// Listen To The Episode