Kik’s Christopher Best on being the underdog and building in Canada (#BetaKit1on1)

Kik Christopher Best

In our latest instalment of #BetaKit1on1, we turn to Christopher Best, chief technology officer and co-founder at Kik. In the video below, Best speaks honestly about the sticky race Kik finds itself in as the company attempts to find pole position in the global chat app space.

“We’re this underdog in this massive race with these huge competitors, but we want to do this huge thing and we want to do it in Canada,” says Best, who attributes the Kik’s rapid growth to an early pivot from music to chat.

“We’re this underdog in this massive race with these huge competitors, but we want to do this huge thing and we want to do it in Canada.”

Kik isn’t done evolving millions of users later. CEO Ted Livingston recently announced the company’s entry into the cryptocurrency space with the launch of Kin, a virtual currency that will be adopted inside the Kik app.

While Kik has come a long way since its launch in 2010, Best doesn’t deny the grind that many founders face during the initial stages of growing a company.
 

“I think some of the days in that original period where we were trying to keep up with hyper growth with three of us,” said Best. “If you’d ask me at the time after I’d been awake for 90 hours eating McDonald’s breakfast sandwiches, I might have told you that was the worst day of my life. But in retrospect, that was really fun.”

Like previous #BetaKit1on1 speakers, Best also stresses the importance of seeking mentorship. “Especially being a consumer company in Canada, you have to look a bit further of [the] field to find people that have been there, done that, doing the thing that you’re doing. But I find that once you go and ask people, they want to help,” says Best.

When asked to offer advice for the next generation of Canadian founders, Best says entrepreneurs should “build something people want.”

Amira Zubairi

Amira Zubairi

Amira Zubairi is a staff writer and content creator at BetaKit with a strong interest in Canadian startup, business, and legal tech news. In her free time, Amira indulges in baking desserts, working out, and watching legal shows.