Interview with Andrej Bykadorov – Memos
What excites you most about your industry?
It is always moving forward. ICT is a very creative environment and there is always something new going on. I really enjoy exploring new technologies and working with smart and inspiring people.
What is the story of Memos Software? What do you do?
In the early days, say 16 years ago, we were mostly developing plugins for Microsoft Outlook and pioneering custom apps.
After we gained solid know-how and experiences, the company started growing and we ranked in Deloitte Technology Fast 50 Central Europe Rising Stars.
Our major product eWay-CRM took off and we expanded our business by sourcing Central and Eastern Europe talents for global (mostly western) clients.
Since then we have launched several products and startups, but the core of our business remains in custom software development. We are currently expanding our Czech offices in Prague and Pilsen and we look forward to our new and upcoming projects.
Why are you different than other companies? What is special in Memos?
Despite growing the scale of our business, we retain certain openness and friendly, informal culture. That allows us to quickly adopt new approaches and technologies, as well as seek new opportunities for us and our clients. Simplicity and efficiency are a big part of our philosophy.
Our aim is to make people’s lives easier using the latest technology. Therefore, we focus on the added value that only a simple, user-friendly software built to the client’s exact needs can create.
You have zero fluctuation, how do you do it?
Apart from what I said earlier, I believe that it is the diversity and flexibility that we offer to our employees. As a custom software company, we develop quite a wide range of projects where every next job differs from the last one.
That keeps the developers entertained and provides them with opportunities to always learn something new. Also, having flexible hours and accommodating people’s various workstyles and preferences helps to keep everyone motivated.
Instead of forced and complex teambuilding schemes that you can find in some corporate offices, we just let people be who they are and get along just fine.
Who is your typical client?
It is usually a medium-to-large company that wants to be a leader in their industry and wants to take advantage of the Czech talent.
Our conditions allow us to hire highly qualified and reliable developers within a very reasonable budget compared to the US or Western Europe standards.
Larger brands know this and seek this value. But we also work for many local clients who just have more specific needs than what regular OTC software can cover. Many progressive companies know that they operate better without all the clutter of generic solutions.
What is important for successful implementation?
Precise analysis and good communication, I believe. Without those two elements, all projects are prone to failure. We like to include clients in the development process so that at any given moment, they can supervise and test any existing prototype.
That allows us to collect feedback early on and implement all important features right away. Fixing existing apps later would be more time consuming and costly.
We also automated many crucial processes like testing and QA, so that helps us to deliver successful products as well.
If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
I rather look forward than regret something in the past. All decisions are good at a particular moment if made rationally.
Of course, later you can find new information that makes the difference and requires a change of action. Or conditions can change. But regretting anything doesn’t help. It is better to accept the past and do your best now.
How do you promote your products? What is your marketing? Where do you find clients?
We have a diversified marketing strategy that focuses on the specifics of the B2B market. We always try to be visible and available where clients may search for us.
That usually means online visibility, solid SEO, a reasonable amount of ads and up-to-date websites with quality and relevant content. To support this, we have refreshed our branding and started building more content this year.
Some of the website optimization work is still underway but we manage to generate necessary leads. Also, it is important to keep in mind that every service or product that we offer requires a bit different strategy, targeting and positioning.
While some products may be beneficial for any kind of business, others need a completely specific approach. Our innovative wildlife tracking system for the academic and conservationist audience is a good example.
What are your KPIs? What do you measure in your business?
This doesn’t differ much from any business that cares about its sustainable growth. The volume of sales, new clients as well as monitoring the satisfaction of our long-term clients are all among our top KPIs.
The sustainability of growth, however, is the key. If we feel that something would be too much of a long shot or that we cannot offer such capacity that the project requires, we rather skip the opportunity than run into trouble later.
Only if the company can continuously deliver a great service, it makes sense to scale up the business.
What are your future plans? Strategy?
We want to focus on new technologies, attract more international business with our unique value proposition and further develop our successful products.
Our offices are expanding with the demand and we also benefit from testimonials and referrals thanks to our past clients.
Soon we will be releasing a large-scale product for the global market, but we insist on keeping this secret for the time being.
What is the most important for your success?
I think it is the desire to create and the persistence in doing so. No developer or manager can succeed without a vision and this inner force that makes you want to create something new and have an impact on the world or at least your immediate surroundings.
That’s what keeps me motivated – I can’t stand being passive and resigning on what happens around me. Running a company and having a family brings a responsibility for other people too. It is not enough to just have an idea. You must look forward and keep going.
How do you relax?
I like to spend time with the family, travel, even play games if there’s time. Pretty simple stuff and given that I spend a lot of time in front of the screen, I really enjoy working manually for a change. Crafting and DIY projects around the house can take a lot of stress away.
I honestly prefer the non-fiction literature due to the nature of my work that requires to always be learning something about our industry.
There isn’t much time to read novels, so Netflix usually satisfies my storytelling needs. But if I should pick one classic that I really enjoyed reading, it would be End of Civilizations by Aldous Huxley.