This week’s day in the life interview features Philipp Wolf, CEO and Founder of Bucharest based Custify. Custify is a SaaS (Software as a Service) platform to manage Customer Success, designed for companies that also provide their services on a SaaS model.
1. First can you tell us a bit about your job? What does your company do?
We have developed a SaaS (Software as a Service) platform to manage Customer Success, designed for companies that also provide their services on a SaaS model. Most SaaS companies charge customers on a monthly subscription model, which means that if they keep their customers happy, they’ll essentially get paid forever. Our software shows them which portion of their customers are at risk of cancelling such a subscription before they actually do so. We enable their agents to address that risk and reach out to their customers before these leave their service. Our headquarter is located in Bucharest, Romania, while some of us work remotely from Germany.
2. What brought you to this area?
I saw an opportunity after seeing how companies spend big money getting new clients without a systematic approach making sure these clients are also successful. Ever since I am eager to provide a solution to this problem. Custify takes the pain out of customer success management and allows agents spend time with clients rather than organizing CRM data.
3. What time does your day start, and what does your typical work day schedule look like?
Usually the work-part of the day starts at around 9 in the morning but varies depending on how late the day before ended :). Typically, I spend the first hours of my day on creative work and things that need lots of focus and concentration, while the afternoon and evening is more on execution and tasks that are the outcome of the morning work.
4. What kind of projects are you currently working on?
Right now, various tasks keep me busy, such as the coordination of our first launch, website content, SEO, to name just a few. As in most startups, the early phase is challenging and critical. The biggest challenge at this point is to get the product right for its target market. It means that we actively involve our pilot clients in the development and refinements process and get feedback on an ongoing basis at this stage already.
5. What do you consider the greatest achievement in your work to date?
Getting together awesome people and kicking off the product incredibly fast.
6. What is the one app you could not live without?
GSuite and Trello.
7. What’s the best thing about working at your company?
Aside from being part of an awesome team of great people, working on something that really helps to make products better is amazing.
8. Where is the after work hangout?
Either in the kitchen cooking, in the gym doing sports or going to a bar, depends on the time of the day :).
9. Who is your professional role model?
There is no such particular person I would say. I was and still am studying the life of many successful people, that range goes from Bud Spencer to Elon Musk. There are similarities among their lifestyle, values and how they see the world though.
10. What makes Bucharest a good city for technology and startups?
In my opinion, Bucharest right now is by far the best place to be in eastern Europe when it comes to technology startups. We have a great education here, many very skilled, hardworking and smart people around to connect with. Aside that, Romania has one of the best IT infrastructures on the planet :).
11. Which tech trends are you most excited about?
I’m a huge fan of Singularity University’s mission, solving humanity’s grand challenges by linking latest disruptive technologies of different domains such as medicine and IT, for example.
12. What are the top 3 qualities you look for in an employee?
Aside the technical / hard facts (such as being a great developer), self-motivation, the right core value system, being loyal and faithful are very important to me.
13. And finally, what is the one piece of advice you would give to an entrepreneur starting out?
You will learn a lot on your journey, you will leave your comfort zone frequently and you can only benefit from it. Don’t listen too much on the thousands of opinions that people will give you, focus on what you think is needed and go for it. You will change directions on the way anyway over time, so the important thing is to start walking.