Why one founder travelled more than 7,000 miles to be near her customers.

By Shuly Galili (Co-founder, UpWest Labs)

Editor’s note: this post is the first in a series profiling female founders participating in UpWest Labs, an accelerator that brings Israeli founders to Silicon Valley.

As an architect and graphic designer, Limor Goldhaber spent a significant amount of time on what was often a lengthy communication process with her clients that required countless meetings and iterations.

“I was convinced that there must be a way to code the process of getting to know a client’s taste,” she says of the frustrating back and forth. She founded Dscovered to do just that. The company’s taste-mapping technology helps businesses quickly find the right designer, while providing designers with tools to better develop each project.

In short, Dscovered narrows the gap between client’s wishes and designers’ output and speeds up the communication of preferences and expectations. The Dscovered algorithm learns the pattern of a client’s taste and, in turn, offers insights and recommendations for each project.

But Limor hasn’t just been trying to close the communication gap between designers and their clients, she’s physically moved to get closer to her clients as well. Since Dscovered’s earliest days, Limor and Ronen Gol, Dscovered’s Chief Hacker and Technologist, have adventured across the world from Israel to Palo Alto, taking part in Silicon Valley accelerator UpWest Labs.

Being in the heart of the fire is critical for a true understanding of the market, she feels. “When in Israel,” Limor says, “we knew that we were thousands of miles away from our users, but we couldn’t grasp what this meant. Being so far away was like a glass ceiling for us. We didn’t know our users and they certainly didn’t know us. We thought that with the right marketing efforts and with the right product, the users would come. Needless to say – they didn’t.”

“Only when we had the chance to meet our current and potential users did things shift. We had the chance to learn more about their biggest pain, so we were able to adjust the product to fit their needs. It was the first time that we realized that we couldn’t stay away from our market,” she adds.

And what her UpWest experience has taught her is that even better than getting close to the user is putting yourself directly in their shoes. “Be the user. You have to use your product to understand the experience your users will have using it. If you won’t use it, why would anyone else?” she asks.

What have you done to get closer to your customers lately?

SG-39About the guest blogger: Shuly Galili is the co-founder of UpWest Labs, a Silicon Valley accelerator investing in Israeli entrepreneurs. She spent the last decade building Silicon Valley’s gateway to Israel. Prior to UpWest Labs she was the Executive Director of The California Israel Chamber of Commerce (CICC). Follow her on Twitter @shulygalili.