Doblet is an on-demand phone charging service at your favorite bars, restaurants, hotels, malls, cafes and businesses. Using patent-pending technology, Doblet is the world’s first app-driven portable battery network, available in thousands of venues, right where you live, work and play. We spoke with Doktor Gurson, CEO and Co-Founder, on scaling business quickly to meet market demands and getting inspiration in bars.
Share a little about your company. How did Doblet get started?
The idea came about in a bar one day. I brought my clunky USB battery pack up to the bar and the person next to me asked to use it, in exchange for a drink. Then, another person next to him asked the same thing and offered to buy me a drink as well. The bartender said, “You’d be surprised how many people ask to charge their phone; probably 10x a day.” I started talking to more restaurants and bars. Why had no one had done this before? There were lots of barriers to think about. How do you distribute? How do you create a business?
I started working on this initiative and brought Jeff Chang on-board (co-founder and CTO), who is an incredible guy. Doblet is available throughout the city, everywhere you go. Just pick one up, plug it in, $3 per charge or $30/year for unlimited use. We give it to venues for free — they love that! It solves problems for both venues and consumers. Once the consumer has downloaded the app, it lets them know where the nearest Doblet is if their battery is getting low.
What are the top company priorities that you focus on?
Ideally, we want to build something that solves battery life issue, a problem that isn’t going away anytime soon. We are also working to build a great product that venues and consumers can be excited about, as well as our employees!
What keeps you up at night? How are those challenges impacting your business?
Battery life is very fluid. Many companies are trying to solve the same problem. The biggest impact to our business could be waking up one day and realizing this isn’t a problem anymore — no batteries! I also want to ensure that we’re building a good company and culture, where people enjoy working together.
What are the keys to your company’s successful growth?
We’ve made the value proposition very clear for both venue and consumer. It’s very simple for the venue because we give it to them for free to make available. On the consumer side, it’s as simple as paying for service. It’s a win-win for everyone.
What is the one piece of advice that you want to share with SMB executives?
Many SMBs don’t spend enough time figuring out product market fit. They might build a great team, but if they don’t have a decent idea, it can be very difficult to succeed, even with a good team. Figure out if it’s viable early on!
How does your company think about customer service? What does it mean to you to be a customer company?
Customer service is critical to making sure people are happy with the service. Our business is built on people coming back, so it’s important that we’re providing good, efficient service with enough support being provided for ease of use.
What was your company’s biggest business problem or challenge before engaging with Salesforce?
We started off using spreadsheets to keep track of venues. After reaching 100 venues, we realized this wasn’t scalable. We started using Salesforce for tracking because the API allows us to easily pull information and connect to our backend. Now, it’s our main tool for tracking sales and venues. We’re able to see the full life cycle and metrics of our product, using that information to see what types of venues make the most sense. We also recently discovered a cool feature in Sales Cloud that helps us find new locations. Eventually, we want to use it for tracking service issues and venue promotions. Overall, Sales Cloud has streamlined a lot of the things we want to do!
What’s next for Doblet?
In San Francisco, we’ve already signed up over 1,000 venues, after only launching 2 weeks ago! We’re live in 40 venues today and by April, we should be live in 200! We want to perfect the experience in San Francisco, and then anticipate moving into other markets. We’re also looking at other complimentary products and services like wi-fi, power, and data, because we’ll have a dense network established in place.
Doblet’s expanding to a bar, restaurant or coffee shop near you! They’ve pre-signed more than 1,000 new venues in and around San Francisco since August, and will be live in 200 venues by April 1. Download the iOS or Android app to find Doblets closest to you when your battery runs low!