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“We have been trying to build something like this for years”: An Interview with Mizanur Rahman, Co-founder, Dorik

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Aug 26, 2021

Mizanur Rahman is the Co-founder of Dorik, a Sylhet-based low-code/no-code website building platform serving global customers. Launched in 2019, Dorik has seen excellent growth within a short period. 

We recently had an opportunity to speak with Mr. Rahman about his journey, making of Dorik, and his take on low-code/no-code trends and entrepreneurship. Below is the transcript of the conversation, lightly edited for clarity.

The conversation is intellectually empowering and offers fascinating insights into how Dorik came into being, how the company has grown over the past months, the state of Dorik’s business today and ambition going forward, designing products people want, and much more. We thoroughly enjoyed doing the interview and we hope you enjoy it as much. 

Future Startup: Could you please tell us about your background and your path to entrepreneurship and what you are doing today?

Mizanur Rahman: I have started my career as a developer. I used to work as a freelancer on various freelancing platforms like Upwork. My entrepreneurship journey started in 2014 when I started building website templates.

Last year, my friend Anwar and I started a new website building platform called Dorik and are currently working to grow the platform. 

Future Startup: When and how did you come up with the idea of Dorik and get started? 

Mizanur Rahman: We have been trying to build something like this for years. The template users wanted a website builder to edit the templates. But the technical ability and resources were not there. So the initial few attempts didn’t work. We started trying again in 2019, and this time we realized we could do it. 

Future Startup: What went into building the initial operation of Dorik i.e. how did you put together initial investment and other resources to get started? Please walk us through what the first few months to one year of Dorik and your journey were like. 

Mizanur Rahman: Initially, my friend Anwar and I worked on it as a side project. Then we started giving access to early users. We have received very positive responses from the early users which helped us to generate some funds by selling some early bird plans. 

We then launched on ProductHunt and got more traction. Afterward, word of mouth has been the main source of growth for us.

Future Startup: What were some major challenges you faced in the early days and how did you deal with them?

Mizanur Rahman: The main challenge I would say is maintaining the motivation to keep working before launch. 

You haven’t launched the product yet and don’t know if it’s gonna work or not. So keeping the motivation to work was a big challenge. 

The solution to this problem is to launch the product as early as possible.

Dorik
Dorik

Future Startup: What were some of the things that worked, strategically, in the early days that helped you to grow the business and become sustainable? 

Mizanur Rahman: We fully focused on improving the product and customer support. Shipping the features and going the extra mile with customer support helped us a lot in the early days. 

Future Startup: Could you please give us an overview of Dorik today i.e an overview of your products and services, business model, how your operation works, size of business, team, etc?

Mizanur Rahman: Currently, Dorik is a fully-featured website building platform. Dorik allows anyone to quickly build your website without ever having to write a line of code. 

We have dedicated communities where we interact with our customers. We are also launching our blog feature. 

We have a freemium model. Users can use the platform for free and need an upgrade to a paid plan for certain features. We are currently a 13 member team. 

Future Startup: How have you attracted users and grown Dorik? Could you tell us about strategies and activities that you carried out to achieve the growth? How do your sales and marketing work?

Mizanur Rahman: Initially, we shared Dorik on different platforms like IndieHackers and ProductHunt. We have got our early users from these platforms. 

We mostly focused on improving the product to drive growth. 

Future Startup: What are some mistakes you’ve made, if any, that you want other entrepreneurs to avoid?

Mizanur Rahman: We should have launched the product much earlier. Launching as early as possible is very important in my opinion. Because when people use the product, it’s much easier to prioritize what to build next. 

Future Startup: Have you found anything particularly helpful or advantageous in the process of building Dorik? 

Mizanur Rahman: There are many things. But I will go with ProductHunt. If founders can nail their ProductHunt launch, it can be a great source of getting early users and validating the idea. 

Future Startup: Could you please tell us about the no-code low-code trend/market in Bangladesh and beyond? How big is the market? What are the major trends? What are the challenges and opportunities in the vertical? 

Mizanur Rahman: No-Code/Low-Code was here for decades and growing. But the terms were not popular. The term No-Code started getting popular in the last few years. But platforms like Zapier, Airtable, etc were already available long before that. 

The trend is growing rapidly. The No-Code/Low-Code platforms allow more people to build things without learning code. 

No-Code/Low-Code has lots of different categories. So it’s hard to share specific opportunities and challenges. For any growing sector, there are opportunities and challenges.

Future Startup: How do you deal with the challenges and stress that come with being a founder? 

Mizanur Rahman: I’m learning to take breaks. It’s important to give yourself some rest and spend time without thinking about work. It helps in the long run. 

Future Startup: How do you stay productive and positive as a founder?

Mizanur Rahman: When I see thousands of people using the platform and getting value from it, it’s the biggest motivation for me to stay productive and positive. 

Future Startup: 3 books you would like to recommend to our readers.

Mizanur Rahman: 

  • The Lean Startup
  • Just Enough Research
  • The Mom Test
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Ruhul Kader is a technology and business analyst based in Dhaka, Bangladesh. He is also the co-founder and CEO of Future Startup and author of Rethinking Failure: A short guide to living an entrepreneurial life. He writes about internet business, strategy, technology, technology policy, and society. He can be reached at ruhul@futurestartup.com

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