Founder Tips. Igor Debatur and Anatoly Chernyakov, co-founders of Whitescape

    On the "Megamind" again, "Founder's Tips . " This time the conversation turned out to be unusual, since two co-founders of Whitescape immediately shared their advice with the reader : Igor Debatur and Anatoly Chernyakov.

    Whitescape was founded in 2008 by Igor Debatur and Anatoly Chernyakov. From 2008 to the present day, Whitescape has launched more than 130 web projects and mobile applications. The company's offices are located in St. Petersburg and Tallinn, customers - all over the world.

    After Whitescape, Tolya and Igor launched two startups: Uploadcare (SAAS solution for web and mobile developers) and RIDERS (extreme community). Both startups have attracted investment and are actively developing.

    All these tips are based on bitter experience, they are very easy to give and very difficult to follow, even when you write them yourself.

    Trust Intuition

    If you have already started your own business or startup, then your intuition has not failed you at least once. Trust her in the future, do not ignore.

    Often, intuition insistently advises a solution, but fluidity and a large number of cases during the day do not allow you to get to this and analyze the pros and cons, and because of this, the decision is postponed.

    Moreover, it often happens that the first thing that came to mind, after analyzing the situation, turns out to be true, and lost time is expensive. It’s better to learn not to miss such signals. Pulling in business is generally not worth anything, something either works or not, and the main task is to quickly understand it.

    Set difficult goals

    Simple tasks do not make you better; they turn work into a routine, which
    affects both you and the team badly . If you can’t get away from simple tasks - delegate them, scale your business, grow, learn new things. Scaling will become that very difficult goal, it will develop you and turn a startup into a business. Do not allow the routine, it can be bogged down for years and come to nothing.

    Imagine how you want to see your business or project when everything will be fine with it, and aim right there, otherwise it will just turn around in a circle and lifestyle the business.

    When we first started Whitescape, we looked much ahead. It is very important at the very start to answer the question: why are you starting to do this. We wanted to learn how to develop and launch complex and interesting web projects, and then, when enough resources and skills appear for this, try to implement our own ideas.

    Each new project, each new person in the team was considered through the prism of this goal. Will we learn something new by spending months on this project, are we ready to work with this person for years? The solution immediately became obvious.

    We wanted to be among professionals who want and are able to solve the most unusual problems. This is what laid the main vector for the development of the company, which has remained unchanged over the past 7 years. And after 3 years, we had enough resources to independently launch our first startup.


    Do not spray your attention on several businesses or startups at once. Do one thing until it begins to live its own life or is not sold. Switching attention during the day will easily reduce productivity not even in two, but in three or more. There was a short period when we simultaneously engaged in Whitescape , Uploadcare and RIDERS , we recall it with a shudder.

    Control growth

    At the same time, it is very important to consciously grow a team. If you can deal with something yourself, you know how long it will take - find this time and do it, you do not need to plug holes with new people right away, in our experience nothing good came of this. If you know how to write well and understand design, these are the advantages that you should undoubtedly use.

    Only after the whole process has been worked out and it becomes obvious that it brings real benefits to the project, connect the one to whom you can transfer it and switch to other tasks. At the same time, one should not be afraid to try something new. Try to do everything yourself that seems clear and uplifting. Small experiments will help you quickly understand which direction can bring tangible results and save money and time.

    Choose your allies carefully

    One African proverb says: If you want to go fast - go alone, if you want to go far - go together. And the point is not only that you can eat a fellow traveler :) When

    starting a new company, you need to be prepared for the fact that this path can be long. Different difficulties will arise, the solution of which will require completely different competencies. It is impossible to know and know everything, therefore it is good if there is a person next to you who shares your passion and vision, complementing your skills with your own. It is very difficult to find such a person, but when you meet him, you will immediately understand. We were lucky, we are very different, but complement each other perfectly, which allows us to evaluate tasks from completely different angles. The fact that one person may seem obvious, another may simply not notice. Together is easier, together more fun.

    From the Editor: if you have a desire to take part in the “Founder's Tips” section, write to us at editor (at)

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