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We go toe-to-toe with KnockoutSurveys for a lightning round interview

Making sure that surveys are actionable, interesting, and accessible is Ottowa-based KnockoutSurvey’s MO, with a platform giving survey makers the ability to not only craft elegant online surveys, but tweak them in an ever-expanding number of ways. KnockoutSurveys usage ranges from customer satisfaction polls to in-depth market research campaigns and features a nifty set of tools that enable its users to easily organize the collected data and make changes to their surveys on the fly.

We sat down with KnockoutSurveys co-founder Etienne Morin for a lightning interview, where the Canadian entrepreneur shared his choice for the company theme song and the importance of validating your product before you build it.

What was the inspiration behind KnockoutSurveys?

We identified a gap in the do-it-yourself online survey market and we decided to fill it. Specifically, we want to bring advanced analytics to the masses. We want to build-in advanced market research techniques and make them available to everybody.

When did you know you wanted to be an entrepreneur?

All my life. I’ve always been interested in business and I’ve had this desire to build my own.

What’s the hardest thing you’ve had to do as an entrepreneur?

Building things is easy, but building things that people need is a different challenge. It’s important not to get too attached to an idea and run away to build it without first validating if people actually need your solution and will be willing to pay for it.

If you could pick one theme song for your startup, what would you choose?

We’re knockout after all, so I’d say “Pumped Up Kicks” by Foster the People.

What advice would you give to any beginning entrepreneurs out there?

Validate your ideas with your target audience first; they will have the real details of the problem you are trying to solve. Very few people can dream up a perfect solution to someone else’s problem without first asking about the details.

Who are some people that inspire you?

No one that I can pinpoint exactly, but all the people who change the world in a positive way. The Henry Fords of the world...

What is your idea of happiness?

Being free to do whatever I want.

What’s next this year for KnockoutSurveys?

We plan to roll out our advanced analytics over the next few months and add many other features that our users have requested.

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Corey Cummings