Gabi Aldamiz is the CEO and co-founder of Chicisimo, a startup based in Bilbao that has built a fashion platform that thousands of girls around the world use when picking out their outfit for the day.
The startup has just launched their first app for the Apple Watch. We spoke to Gabi to find out more about the development of the company, the potential of wearable technology and the evolution of the Spanish startup ecosystem.
For those that don’t know you, who is Gabi Aladamiz and what is Chicisimo?
Chicisimo is an app that helps you to choose your outfit for the day. To understand what Chicismo is, the best thing to do is read some of the recent descriptions that our users have sent us:
- Chicismo is the friend or mom who helps you to pick out clothes on those days when you “haven’t got a thing to wear”;
- The app is like a lifesaver! Every morning when I don’t know what to wear I look at Chicismo for ideas;
- Its like you have a personal stylist every time you leave the house
I’m Gabi, the CEO of the company. I’m always thinking about ways to create an experience and technology that will have an impact on an ever-changing industry.
What was it like to develop for the Apple Watch, a platform in its early infancy?
The best person to answer that question is my colleague Miguel Ferrando @nandodelauni – over to you Miguel:
In many aspects, it reminded us of the software development kit of the iPhone in 2008…a piece of technology with amazing potential. If you are a developer you have to pay a lot of attention to the Apple Watch. When you are developing there is a simulator but we recommend complementing this with the actual device as designing for such as small screen is a real challenge in terms of usability and user experience.
Also, we believe it is fundamental to choose a use case that corresponds with the amount of time people will be using the app, to offer experiences of 5-15 seconds and features that can be complemented with the iPhone
In our case, we work very closely with engineers and Apple UX experts. We also talk to friends who are developing applications for the Apple Watch. This allows us to fine tune the use case and increase the app’s response time.
What use cases does the app deliver and why will it be useful for your users?
The use case is very specific. When you are in front of your wardrobe and don’t have anything to wear (despite having a lot of clothes), Chicismo for Apple Watch will give you ideas. What goes with my yellow sweater? How should I wear my black pants today? With just two swipes you’ll have ideas for any item of clothing!
The WatchApp is designed to offer extremely fast and specific experiences (in line with what Miguel said above), they are 10 to 15 seconds, and it is completely synchronized with the iPhone app.
After your experience of designing the app and seeing the sector up close, do you believe that wearables are set to become a significant new market for entrepreneurs and startups?
I personally believe very strongly in the Apple Watch because what Apple has done is create a platform for developers to create apps on. The traditional function of the watch (telling the time) is the least interesting feature. What’s significant is the apps that will be created and here the possibilities are endless. I think it will become a part of our day-to-day life.
What do you think about the evolution of the Spanish startup ecosystem in recent years?
The ecosystem is advancing greatly and we now have the fortune to be able to count on second and third generation entrepreneurs who are looking to have an impact on other projects.There is also a new wave of venture capitalists who will fight for their entrepreneurs and much more transparency in the relationship between investors and entrepreneurs. Due diligence goes both ways now.
Based on your experience, what advice would you give to entrepreneurs launching a startup in Spain?
- Surround yourself with no nonsense people who have experience carrying out internet projects and who will tell you what your mother wouldn’t. If you are thinking of going solo, think again.
- Enjoy yourself. And get ready to be resilient and to fight.
- Focus. Focus. Focus.