We talked to Artem Taganov on how HintEd.me speeds up software adoption, and this is what he had to say.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Artem Taganov: Thanks! We’re pretty OK. The most significant part of the HintEd team had always been working remotely, so we didn’t face any difficulties communicating between teammates. As for my family, we’re trying to follow all the rules and guidelines from WHO, like wearing masks and keeping social distance. My and my wife’s parents are in the risk group, so they’ve minimized their face-to-face contacts.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded HintEd.me?
Artem Taganov: The idea of HintEd was born when I was working as a business analyst and business developer in Major IT companies like Luxoft, EPAM, and Microsoft and spent hours and hours writing user manuals and trying to teach users to use digital tools implemented by those companies. Those manuals were useless because people don’t even want to read them. So essentially, companies waste time and money on these handbooks, software simulators. As a result, enterprise users can’t just make their work done without assistance. The initial idea of HintEd was to create a tool that will help advanced users or product owners to develop in-app guides without any coding or integrations fast and covering several digital tools.
How does HintEd.I innovate?
Artem Taganov: We like to say that we build bridges between humans and technology. In HintEd, we change the way of how people get training and support for enterprise software. HintEd is the platform that allows the integrating of interactive manuals right into absolutely any enterprise software to help employees get step-by-step training or instant help while they’re doing their job tasks. We can do this with web-based or windows applications. And the great thing is that to make these walkthroughs, you don’t need to write a single code line. With the help of the HintEd editor, companies can create interactive scenarios with just a few clicks. And it’s super fast. We’re proud to say that we’re pioneers in Digital Adoption Platforms in Eastern Europe.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Artem Taganov: Talking about business, we had not a pretty good beginning of the year when all this started. But now we’re growing. More and more companies find our platform useful for transforming their training strategy and replacing offline learning with more efficient ways. So we’ve built a great sales pipeline for the end of 2020 and the first half of 2021. But it’s only the beginning. Since we’re entering the new-normal ages, tools like ours become of very high importance for companies. As for our lives in general, of course, we feel a lack of face-to-face communications, parties, etc. I also play drums in a band called Aesthesys, and we miss playing gigs and expressing our energy that way.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Artem Taganov: As a startup founder, I always have to make difficult and unpopular decisions. And we also always make mistakes on our way to building HintEd. For example, we’ve recently gone through a break-up process with one of the co-founders. That was hard, but looking back now, I see that this decision was the only one to support our future growth. My co-founder and CTO helped us a lot at that moment. The main lesson I’ve learned for now is that the key success factor for business is building a strong and nurturing team and supporting transparent and honest communications between teammates.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety?
Artem Taganov: When I feel stressed, I usually start working even more. Not the best way, to be honest, because it may lead to mental and physical problems someday. I wanted to swear using your magazine that I will pay more attention to having some moments of rest and sports activities next year. I hope that we will finally see all the bordures open and I’ll be able to go to Sri Lanka for surfing with my lovely wife. But right now, all our team feel great passion and drive about what we’re doing, and we help our customers. It helps a lot.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Artem Taganov: WalkMe and Whatfix. They’re doing a great job. But we create HintEd listening to our clients. So we’ve made it possible to install HintEd fully on-premises since it was super vital to big enterprises, especially banks. Also, we have the solution for creating in-app guidance for desktop applications: Windows and Mac (in the nearest future), and we see a huge demand for that right now. Finally, we’re working to make HintEd more proactive. Our platform will soon help users even before making a mistake or are stuck inside some process completion. We’ll use AI and machine learning for that.
Your final thoughts?
Artem Taganov: I want to wish all of you to stay well and safe. We’ve run through so many difficulties in 2020, so let 2021 brings us so many moments of joy and happiness that it will cover all our upsets twice.