What's your background?
I have a Masters Degree in Communications and Networks Engineering. Yes, as a student I learned how to code, studied how routers and antennas work and conducted research in the field.
What inspired you to become a founder?
I think I was not inspired by a person, success story or role model. During the 1st year of my Masters I got sick with a pneumonia and stayed in the hospital for a week in critical condition, not being able to breathe by myself. Doctors told my parents I had 50% chance of surviving. I had an important delivery of my research project and a week to study for the final exams.
When the doctor explained that I had to stay in the hospital for a week my reaction was “I can’t! I have lots of important things to do”. At that time I thought those were really important things. One week later all I could remember were the truly important things that I was missing because of everything I was expected to do or to be.
Having that real feeling that you can die tomorrow makes you change your priorities. When I finished my Masters I was not particularly excited about the job offers I was receiving. I didn’t know what I wanted to do in life. So instead of wasting my time doing something that was not right, I decided not to accept any of the offers.
During year one, I used technology to come up with working prototypes of some ideas and learned as much as possible. Becoming a founder was the result of my curiosity to learn and solve problems. I am an engineer so I really like to get stuff done.
After 2 projects launched and a couple of failed attempts, we participated in a contest to win a MacBook Air. We won the contest and started to receive positive feedback about the idea. With Talkdesk things happened almost naturally. I end up founding a company without a clear plan.
Please walk me through your day, what does the Founder of Talkdesk do?
During the morning I focus on the ongoing challenges, basically scaling Talkdesk. We are improving and scaling the product, infrastructure, marketing, communication efforts and the team.
I spend some time focused on hiring. In the last month, 5 team members joined the team (2 of them work remotely). I do part of the onboarding with them and I have been working to build scalable processes. And we are still hiring.
Besides meeting with some clients, I work on customer support / success, emails, account setup sessions and online demos. Everyone in the team works closely with our clients because this is the best way we have to make sure the product meets the customer’s needs. It then helps me prioritize the features and decide our product roadmap, which I am responsible for.
Can you see yourself in ten years doing the same thing you do now?
I don’t think so. First of all, Talkdesk can end before that.
Besides, I really like to learn and I like new challenges. In 10 years Talkdesk will no longer be a startup nor will I know everyone within the company. Also, I think I will be too old to work the hours that I do now :) And my priorities will change for sure.
What is the best advice you ever received?
I remember Dave McClure saying “if you are waiting for something to be done, go and find the guy that can help you get it done today”. Sometimes we give ourselves excuses to justify that we can’t get stuff done. It just depends on us.
What is the most important thing you’ve learned in the last year?
You need to adapt to the circumstances. Plans fail most of the time but focus, dedication and hard work will end up helping you succeed.
And what are your plans for the future?
I don’t make long term plans. I am happy doing what I am doing, working with brilliant people and having fun in between.
If you could do one thing differently, what would it be?
I always try to make the best decisions I can with the context I have. But If I could change something, I would better manage my time. I would love to have a super power to do it.