I Was Tired Of Chasing People Down At Work, So I Built A Slack Bot To Do It For Me

Published: November 29th, 2023
Josh Martow
Founder, Chaser
from San Francisco, CA, USA
started February 2023
market size
avg revenue (monthly)
starting costs
gross margin
time to build
210 days
growth channels
Word of mouth
business model
best tools
Google Suite, LinkedIn, Google Analytics
time investment
Full time
pros & cons
39 Pros & Cons
10 Tips
Discover what tools Josh recommends to grow your business!
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social media
Discover what books Josh recommends to grow your business!
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My name’s Josh. My startup is Chaser, the world’s first Delegation Solution.

We created Chaser because we believe people spend too much of their day following up with coworkers to make sure things get done. The project management tools out there are great until you realize most people don’t care enough to keep it constantly updated.

Is it surprising that 2 in 3 people are not satisfied with their project management tooling?

This is why we built the first delegation solution that doesn’t burden your whole team with adopting a new tool - perfect for anyone who wants to stay organized but doesn’t want to force their colleagues to spend half their day updating Trello.

Chaser works even if your coworkers never open it. They don’t need to sign up - they don't even need to know what Chaser is! Chaser messages them on Slack to share action items, collect progress updates, and remind them of the things they need to do, and you can track all the progress on a live dashboard while Chaser does the annoying follow-up work.

In just a few months over 100 companies have used Chaser, and they’re telling us it changes the way their team operates.


Your early adopters are going to be the people who have the strongest burning need for a solution to this problem - the people who feel the problem the most. Those who push through your bad messaging and mediocre MVP are the ones who are desperate for a solution.

What's your backstory and how did you come up with the idea?

I was hired as the first employee at a startup and helped grow it to 160 employees and $60M ARR. Over my 5 years there I had the chance to build a sales team, product team, and data team, and no matter what role I was in I found myself spending half my day chasing people down to make sure things got done. I was pretty vocal about how much I hated this and a lot of my old work friends are now laughing that I’m building a startup to solve this problem that I hated so much. I think they’ll thank me later.

After 5 years there I got my MBA from Berkeley Haas and got started on Chaser while in school. It took some time to nail our solution to the problem and we had some bad solutions along the way (including a web app for collecting approvals on documents).

At the start, we built too much before validating our designs with users, and we wasted a lot of time. After getting burned by building some products no one wanted, we started taking user research a lot more seriously.

The first thing I did was read The Mom Test, which I now consider mandatory reading for founders. It taught me how to conduct user interviews to consistently glean valuable insights, rather than asking questions that in retrospect I already knew the answers to and waste time showing off our product/designs. It also meant stepping out of my comfort zone and asking strangers to give me their time (quick tip: using LinkedIn to filter for people who have a relevant job title and graduated from the same school as you works well).

Once we figured out how to integrate Chaser into people’s workflows and started focusing on creating a “mental handoff” for our users that alleviates the burden of keeping track of everything they’re waiting on, we started to get a lot more excitement about what we’re building.

Take us through the process of building the first version of your product.

We raised $100k from a VC (they liked my pitch at a Berkeley-affiliated pitch competition) and set out to build our product. My co-founder and I worked for free but we hired a pair of awesome developers to join the team.

I read The Lean Startup so we started by focusing on making an extremely slim MVP. This was a good way to get something in the hands of users, but we soon realized that a task management tool that can only handle 1-2 use cases is pretty useless; when someone adopts a productivity tool they usually want to fully adopt it.

With this in mind, we set up to build a comprehensive solution that can handle every possible situation:

  1. Assigning a task with a due date and making sure the due date isn’t missed
  2. Assigning a task with no specific due date but making sure it doesn’t fall off the radar
  3. Assigning a task to a group of people, where everyone needs to do it individually (with or without a due date)
  4. Sending a task out to a group of people and asking for a volunteer (with or without a due date)
  5. Creating a task for yourself (with or without a due date)

After coming to this realization, we built a massive flow chart that mapped out how Chaser would handle every possible situation, all possible interactions with the assignee and assigner, and how Chaser would react to each.


Rather than integrate with other productivity tools, we wanted to build something that stands on its own and can handle any situation you throw at it. This allows us to build the best possible end-to-end experience for our users.

Describe the process of launching the business.

We ran into a big problem trying to get initial users. Our product is relevant to almost anyone (most people collaborate with others), which sounds like a good thing, but it ended up being a major distraction. I would tell friends about Chaser and ask them to give it a try, but the enthusiasm was just not there. Some would try it but it never stuck. After the 10th fizzled user we realized we needed a new strategy.

We launched an ad on Facebook & Instagram and started seeing much better results. People wanted what we were building, and they continued using the product.

In retrospect this makes sense: the people clicking your ad of course are much more “qualified”. They want what you’re building. My friends were just trying it out as a favor and so their excitement was never there.

This helped me understand the “early adopter” problem that I’ve heard about my whole life. Your early adopters are going to be the people who have the strongest burning need for a solution to this problem - the people who feel the problem the most. Once your product and messaging improve you’ll be able to bring in more users, but the people who will push through your bad messaging and mediocre MVP are the ones who are desperate for a solution.

However much time you think you need to spend on user research/interviews, it’s 10x that. It’s easy to think your vision for a product makes sense and to rush into building it, but it’s important to have some humility and go out there and talk to people about it.

Since launch, what has worked to attract and retain customers?

Our most consistent channel has been social ads. We took an engineering approach to figuring out what copy works. These were the steps:

  1. Create a bunch of plain ads that each highlight one pain point that you solve. Run them simultaneously and see which gets the highest click-through rate. (For example: “I hate nagging my coworkers to get things done”)
  2. Take the top performers and convert those ads into a coherent sentence about how your product solves this pain point (“Unlock the delegation solution so you don’t have to nag your coworkers to get things done”)
  3. Take the top performers and add an offer to it (“Get the Free Slack App”)
  4. Take the top performers and add an image
  5. Take the top performers and add a description

After all this, we got a pretty janky ad, but it does perform:


The other approach that has worked great is posting to my LinkedIn profile. I was shocked that my first-ever LinkedIn post got over 200 likes and 20k impressions. Now I’m using LinkedIn to tell the story of building Chaser and bringing in tons of attention from both users & investors along the way.


How are you doing today and what does the future look like?

We haven’t started charging users for our product yet because we are focused on transitioning our product from a single-user delegation tool into an Enterprise solution. We’re focused on building out our feature set while engaging with our top users to understand their needs, help them get wider adoption in their organizations, and understand how to build a product that solves bigger and bigger problems for them.

What platform/tools do you use for your business?

What have been the most influential books, podcasts, or other resources?

Lenny’s Podcast is my absolute favorite. So much insight, I wish I had time to listen to them all.

Also, I would say The Mom Test is a mandatory reading for all founders. It explains how to do user interviews in a way that gets you useful data.

Advice for other entrepreneurs who want to get started or are just starting out?

However much time you think you need to spend on user research/interviews, it’s 10x that. It’s easy to think your vision for a product makes sense and to rush into building it, but it’s important to have some humility and go out there and talk to people about it.

  1. Start by making sure the problem is real and people care enough about it to spend time/energy/money fixing it.
  2. Then make sure your solution makes sense (do not talk about your solution until you’ve completed step 1).
  3. Then build a prototype (I recommend Figma, but that might be overkill for some simpler prototypes).
  4. Then you can think about building a product.

You should not move on to the next step until you’re predicting every answer that your interviewees say before they say them because you’ve heard it so many times before.

Are you looking to hire for certain positions right now?

We’re looking for marketing support! We’re open to hiring a CMO, Marketing Director, or even Marketing Manager. Reach out if you’re a superstar marketer excited to reinvent delegation: [email protected]

Where can we go to learn more?

If you have any questions or comments, drop a comment below!

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