Real-life Success Story That Inspires: Project Management Software - Hive

"Nearly 2 years ago, we were told we couldn't compete in such a crowded market. So our team put our heads down, blocked out the noise, and haven't stopped hustling since".

Eric Typaldos

CTO at Hive

In this article, we want to share a real-life inspirational success story of our Apiko client`s project - Hive.

The bonus is the interview with one of the Hive founders - John Furneaux.

John will reveal entrepreneur critical success factors and share tips on how a startup can survive in the crowded market.

How it all started

The achievements of this project management software are significant. It all started with the idea to create all-in-one place for teams, where they can do the work without switching between different solutions.

The competitive market with such players as Asana, Trello, and Smartsheet wasn`t an obstacle. Hive`s team worked hard to outstand the competitors and create a better alternative.

In one year Hive has grown the number of users from zero to 2,000 teams. Such big companies as Pinterest, Tesla, Nike, Uber, and Salesforce are also among them.

Impressive, isn't it?

But that`s not all.

Recently, Hive has raised $4 m of investment in a new funding to take the market share from Asana. Hive`s Team has a lot of great plans for the future, which will be definitely bright.

Read also - Hive Case Study

Now let`s go straight to the interview.

Entrepreneur tips for success and business growth

1. It goes without saying that the market you work in is crowded enough. What are your 3 tips for startup owners on how to compete and outperform main competitors in their niche?

My three tips would be:

  • Only build things against a specific customer use case. It is amazing how often the main apps actually do not work for a customer's real needs, and by doing this you can actually beat a powerful tool that does many things quite well.

  • A startup is not just about its product, it's also about its go-to-market approach. Our competitors are weak in selling to enterprise, so we have focused there.

  • In 2017, brand matters. Would you rather work in 'Hive' or 'Workfront'?

2. What is your advice to entrepreneurs that start developing their projects from MVP? How can they turn it into the successful product and not give up in advance?

I believe that the improvement in developer tools means that any entrepreneur should be able to get an MVP of their product built before taking any investment. If you can't figure out a way to make that happen, real startup life is even harder. Personally, I taught myself to code to achieve that for Hive. Build for a real customer, and that will keep you on track.

3. Recently, you’ve got $4 m. investments. Could you, please, share with our readers some of your long-term goals? What new features are you planning to implement?

Hive will be the first platform to keep all your team collaboration in one place. That means email as well. Watch this space for more...

4. Tell us please about the main challenges you`ve faced on the road to success? What would you say to other businesses having the same challenges?

A startup journey has great highs, but also extreme lows. Seeking investment is stressful, and investing that money wisely is even more so. I'd strongly advise to think very carefully about the people in your early team - your relationships will be tested, and you'll need a strong bond to survive.

The second thing is to understand that you can't predict the future. That means never be too confident, for bad news may come tomorrow, but also never be too upset, because the greatest news may be just hours away. Just hang in there and enjoy the ride!


We are proud to work with Hive and see how persistently they move forward, listen to their audience, and include the features it wants to see.

Such great success stories inspire us and we hope your product will be the next!

P.S. Want even more tips? Download our free checklist on "Where to start a marketplace" (may be applied to any business)