Upgrading An Old-School Industry: RelaxTax’ Story Of Transforming The World Of Taxes
Listen to this episode to learn more about how Chris as a Software Engineer co-founded the startup RelaxTax completely remote during the COVID-19 pandemic, and what challenges he overcame in a conservative industry on his way to launching a revolutionary user-centric app.
3 Main Takeaways From This Episode
01 Approach your solution with simple first steps and scale up from there. “In total, when it comes to all those tax questions, there’s never really an easy way how you can do it,” Chris explains. With each country having different regulations and requirements, it was difficult for the founders to find a good starting point for creating the RelaxTax app. “At some point I was just telling my co-founder ‘Can’t we just simplify that at least for one country first and then think about scaling this up? Where else could this go?’” That was when Chris and his co-founder Dominik decided to start the app focused on their home country Austria first, and began with all the ideation, prototyping and iterations. “We just said ‘Let’s give it a try with the knowledge we have based on our current life and let’s lean on that’”. (Listen from 04:22)
02The roller coaster ride of running a startup: Listen to your user’s feedback to iterate and build more trust. “I feel like a startup journey is a roller coaster life.” That’s why RelaxTax’s company philosophy includes a very relaxed approach, continuing as a side business for both founders which started out as a hobby during the COVID-19 pandemic. While the app gained traction and sign-ups quite quickly after the launch through various features and multiple languages, Chris realized what stopped them from pushing through was the lack of pre-calculating user’s refunds. “We think we can build more trust with our users if they actually see what they get in return. And the reason why we didn’t do the return is that we want to be as accurate as possible. […] So we didn’t have that feature in place at first. And now we’re actually working on that.” Getting feedback from the users while being open and rethinking their own standpoint helped them achieve more purchases and traction in the end. (Listen from 15:46)
03Make the most of your spare time to bring your passion and ideas to life. “I haven’t been in an office since we started RelaxTax as a side hustle, which is a pretty funny side note. […] Obviously, what definitely changed for us is realizing we can be pretty much anywhere when it comes to founding a company or when we want to work together,” Chris shares about the time they decided to bring RelaxTax to life when the pandemic hit in early 2020. Since then, he saves two hours per day that he normally uses to commute in LA traffic, and spends them in weekly calls with his co-founder and other tasks to work on RelaxTax. “We just tried to keep it simple, we call on a weekly basis, […] we go through our tasks. And for the rest, we pretty much just use Slack and work on it fully remotely.” The RelaxTax journey is still in its year zero “so we said we will take this very easy.” (Listen from 19:07)