Saskia Ketz, the creator of Mojomox; an online tool for creating logos that allows entrepreneurs and designers on a tight budget to create appealing, professional branding identities.
A veteran of starting businesses, Saskia also runs MMarch NY, a branding firm that has worked with top brands such as Netflix, Ikea, and Timberland.
She enjoys analyzing design choices and the target market to create the ideal branding strategy while also maintaining her passion for typography.
She is also the creator and editor-in-chief for A Women’s Thing, a publication that aims to change society’s perceptions of “women’s things” within arts and culture.
She’s committed to helping women get recognized and showcase their work.
Photo by Lauren Damaskinos.
Where did the concept of Mojomox get its name?
Several years back, I began providing no-cost “office hours” calls to talk to potential clients through my agency.
Many small businesses register for slots to discuss how they can get fantastic branding concepts with minimal budgets.
I’ve always been awed by startups and wanted to figure out ways to help these tremendous founders.
However, I was not looking to reduce the quality that my efforts bring to the table.
Additionally, I don’t believe that startups should pay high agency fees for the initial design phase, considering the frequency with which they must change their designs as they grow (and their plans must change with their designs).
So I have decided to distill my design experience into a tool that can aid startups in creating their brand kits, logos, and other designs.
The goal is to let the designers design something simple and professional.
It will help the design aspect until they have a firm grasp on the marketability of their product and are willing to invest in more costly custom designs.
What does your day-to-day routine take? How can you ensure that it is productive?
When I plan my schedule, I’m constantly trying to balance the demands of design and business (plus the personal things I have to do), So I try to split things according to my needs.
I usually get up at five or 5:30 and take time for my life.
My husband and I have a morning ritual where we talk for an hour about work and life while sipping breakfast coffee.
I’m a newly-wed mom, so I have a few baby chores daily.
I get to work by tackling low-hanging fruit tasks such as making sure to check Google Analytics for new data insights and swiftly navigating all of my emails as I can. I respond to everything that takes just two minutes or less to address immediately.
I’ll take a short break for an hour of exercise with a trainer through Zoom each week.
Then, I work on my task with a focus until lunchtime.
I prefer to focus my morning working on significant business goals–scheduling virtual meetings as well as responding to emails that require more time, conducting cold outreach, analyzing user feedback, etc.–so it feels like I’ve accomplished the majority of the work I need to complete on that aspect before lunch.
It’s because designing requires long periods. Therefore, after walking and having lunch, I prefer to take a seat for a minimum of three hours of concentrated design work.
After a day of family activities up to 7 or so, I’ll probably have a few more hours of enjoyable design or business work if I’m feeling energetic–or I could sit and read until it’s time to end my day.
How do you bring your ideas to your
I trust the data I use to decide what ideas to concentrate on and which direction to take when bringing these ideas to reality.
You can develop all the theories regarding what’s likely to work and what’s not; however, you don’t know what to do. You must confirm your conclusions by evidence.
Of course, it’s difficult at first with a lack of users to collect information from.
For instance, you’ll need an amount of data that runs into the thousands to conduct a valid A/B test.
Thus, I attempt to begin working with microdata: An essential piece of feedback from a user, a concern that three different users have reported, and so on.
It may not represent the ideal solution for every person; however, it’s a good representation of the needs of my users at the moment.
I believe that will allow me to reach an even more significant number of users over time.
But I’m not able to sit and wait until I get to the point where I can utilize data that’s truly valuable to inform my thoughts.
What is one trend that excites you?
Based on the business which I’m currently building could be transparent that I’m very excited about the concept of design automation (which is the process where designs are designed through software).
Many people believe that design automation could remove designers like me from work.
However, I think it will enhance our abilities to help many more people and ultimately lead to a better design world.
What’s one thing you do to help you become more efficient as a business owner?
I prefer to create and launch my projects quickly to collect information quickly.
By building rapidly, I’m talking about the possible version you can create within a day, perhaps up to a week.
Putting more effort into a particular area will take longer to gather the information you need to know if it’s functioning.
Since most of the ideas you’ll try to get your ideas out of the ground don’t work, You want to see that data quickly to ensure that you’re not spending your time.
For example, I was recently contemplating more methods for customers to provide me with feedback because it’s crucial to the growth of my business.
You could’ve spent weeks or even days finding the right solution.
Instead, I spent an hour creating a simple solution for users to contact me via text or WhatsApp directly.
Within days had lots of valuable feedback.
Which advice do you offer an aspiring young person?
In the same vein, As the previous point, I wish I’d learned earlier in my life that I should share what I’ve created earlier in the process instead of waiting for it to be “finished.”
I can’t recall the number of times I’ve had to keep this in mind throughout the entrepreneurship journey to instill the idea of failure quickly (which is essential to achieving success with what you’re making).
Keep in mind: You’re not creating an item to be perfect.
You’re building it to get enough feedback to create the next version.
One thing that has helped me build this muscle is that I attempt to design one new font daily, which usually takes weeks to complete.
It’s a challenging workout, but it shows me how quickly I can make things happen by letting loose in pursuing perfection.
Share something real with us that nearly no one agrees with you about.
I don’t believe there’s a concept that no one will agree with. I think that it’s about getting the most suitable people.
For instance, I believe that tech startups shouldn’t spend enormous money on distinctive branding in lieu. They must strive for a “black dress” design: Something that’s professional yet flexible enough to change when the business grows and changes.
When I speak to other designers on this topic, I am met with some disagreement.
They think everything needs to be considered and that a business can’t achieve success without professional branding resources.
Then I started to fully embrace the Lean Startup movement, a group of people who agree with the concept of launching the basic V1 as fast as possible and shifting your focus from that point.
I identified those who thought about creating a company differently, allowing me to think differently about design.
One thing you recommend to everyone else to do?
I’m sure I’ve repeated the timeline, but I’ve done the same, soliciting user feedback!
Making your concept on your own in a room is not adequate.
You must build it repeatedly with the people you’re trying to help can solve their real problems and make them more excited to buy your service.
Some are hesitant about this process. However, I’ve been amazed by the generosity of users in giving feedback.
Many of them are happy to be asked for feedback and feel as if they’re being heard.
Finding various ways to collect feedback, ranging from simple applications that let people send me messages to scheduling long-term calls to research users, was crucial in the growth of my business.
What’s one thing that has allowed you to grow your company?
In addition to soliciting user feedback, Cold outreach is the most effective method to help my concept grow.
It happens in two different ways. One is to receive help with the obstacles I encounter when building my concept.
For example, I spend much time on startup forums such as Indie Hackers, Product Hunt, and Reddit. When I encounter something, I’m unable to resolve, I’ll ask the community for assistance.
Everyone is happy to contribute their opinion. It’s been a joy to meet this community of people who have been my business’s kind of fractional cofounders.
Cold outreach is also crucial to finding promotions for Mojomox.
It’s all about quantity than quality when pitching my company and myself to press, identifying partnerships, and searching for new channels to market.
When contacting me regarding these opportunities, I try my best to discover win-win-win scenarios.
For instance, I’ve discovered partnerships with app marketplaces like AppSumo to be highly profitable.
They can sell my app for sale at a reduced price while I gain access to their database of customers.
What is the most embarrassing mistake that you experienced as an entrepreneur? If so, how did you get over it?
I believe the only way to fail could be when I wasn’t failing enough, which means I didn’t take chances and wasn’t trying or launching projects in a way that allowed me to learn and adapt to the changes quickly.
I’m a big proponent of “fail fast,” or the “fail fast” startup mentality, which is why I’m falling in small ways every day.
This means that I’m not likely to experience significant failures that stay for long.
What’s your best business idea that you’d like to share with our readers?
I was thinking about the need for an alternative to Amazon, one that’s well-curated and has lesser inventory. It has everything a person like me would need.
I’m thinking of the internet-based version of your corner grocery store, which is incredibly tiny but has nearly all the items you’re looking to buy.
Compare that with Amazon, a supermarket with a vast selection of items, most of which you’d never purchase.
What was the best $100 you’ve ever spent? Why?
I’m always seeking new design ideas, only from sources that aren’t part of the mainstream, to inspire me to develop the unique ideas the rest of us are doing.
I recently purchased this fantastic type book known as Formenwandlungen der Et-Zeichen (Shape Transformations of the Ampersand) by Jan Tschichold from an antique bookshop online in Germany.
I believe shipping was more expensive than the actual book. However, it was well worth it.
It’s packed with 288 distinct ways to write the ampersand symbol and some background information. It has given me many new ideas for making different and modular character designs using Mojomox.
What is the one program or web service that can help you to be more productive?
I am in love with Trello for various reasons, including project management, product planning, task management feedback, and idea tracking.
Everything is possible to put into Trello and can help me kill many birds in one go.
It’s just the right balance of flexibility and structure that is easy to set up and use but lets me modify the settings to meet my specific needs.
It correctly handles notifications, ensuring I know what I need to do while not over-notifying me.
It comes with a search feature that is effective, so I’m always able to find what I’m looking for quickly.
I cannot praise it enough, and I would love everyone who works with me could use it.
What is the most important book you would recommend to the community? And the reason why?
It’s not even business-related. The one book that is always on my bookcase and that I go back to can frequently be The Order of Time by Carlo Rovelli.
It’s about the physical and philosophical aspects of perceiving time.
I’ve always been very interested in physics, my father worked as an engineer in electrical engineering, and it’s something that we all shared.
However, it can also help me cope with the pressures of being an entrepreneurial person.
For these moments, I need to make my plans come to fruition faster and wish everything would happen more quickly. I feel that the challenge I’m facing is the most important thing on earth, and the concepts in this book can help me recognize that all of this is comparatively small in the long run.
This book is in some ways antithetical to all the “move fast” advice above; however, it can help me maintain a sense of balance.
What is your top quote?
I am a reader, and the ideas and quotes I remember always change.
I enjoy highlighting passages that interest my books and revisiting them frequently.
For instance, one passage highlighted in The Order of Time is:
“How long is forever?” Alice inquires. Alice. “Sometimes, just one second,” says Alice. White Rabbit.
Some dreams last one second that seems to freeze everything for a long time.
The speed of time is variable according to our own experience of it.
Time a flung while minutes seem slow like hundreds of years ago.
This helps me stay grounded when I feel that things aren’t moving fast enough, that time is going too fast, or I typically want to manage time (which I’m unable to).
TL;DR by Saskia Ketz
Always get feedback
Use the information in decision making
Ship quickly and fail less
It doesn’t require expensive, professional design services to bring your concept out there.