When you look back at your career, which period would you consider to be the hardest?
The hardest times were in the beginning when I was building the business. I founded the company in my second year of Bachelor´s degree at CTU and in the beginning, we were competing for customers with much more established companies. Society continues to stick to the conviction that an older company is automatically better. Therefore, one of our first goals was to prove that it isn´t always the case.
What was the hardest thing about your business during its beginnings and how did you overcome the crisis?
It was difficult to convince customers that a younger company can be better than an older one and that is why we focus on high quality since the very beginning, even when no one was looking. We´re huge perfectionists and as architects, every design and drawing that we do matters to us. We´re meticulous even about those that the customer does not even look at properly. There´s a chance no one even notices the added value at first but it´s always visible in the end and that´s what´s important.
What advice would you give anyone trying to start their own company?
Don´t start your own company, unless you´re absolutely convinced that its existence is necessary. 9 out of 10 startups fail. If you want to be the 1 out 10 you must show an extreme tenacity. The level of required enthusiasm is simply too high for you to be able to build a company on every one of your good ideas. But if you do find a reason that you are absolutely sure about, do not let circumstances derail you and follow through.
Which one of your personality traits do you consider to be the most important for the ability to lead your company?
Perseverance is the cliché answer but as cliché as it may be, I find it to be absolutely true. You can´t start your business with the idea that everything will work out on the first try. The ability to attract the most talented people I know into the company also helped a lot.
What is the most annoying part about being the boss?
I can´t think of anything hugely annoying about being the boss. You are forced to make decisions that have an impact on your whole team and when you make a mistake, everyone feels it. It´s par for the course of having your own business, you have to get used to it.
What keeps you going forward?
I think that nowadays, companies have much greater influence than in the past. And what keeps me going forward is the curiosity to find out how far the positive influence can reach.
Do you have someone you look up to in business?
There are a lot of business personalities I look up to. It is important not to idealize them but take inspiration from them where they stand out. If I had to name one person, then Elon Musk definitely belongs among very inspirational people.
What would definitely throw you off during a meeting?
When too many people, who don´t necessarily have to be there, are a part of it. If the meeting has no added value, it becomes an unnecessary waste of time.
What do you do when you´re having a crisis?
I consult my close friends. There´s a big chance that someone I know has already gone through something similar. It´s important to ask the right questions.
What is your guilty pleasure?
Sometimes we enjoy going surfing to different parts of Western Europe. We chose less-known destinations and we explore different places and cultures.
Where did you waste the most time of your life?
As a young child I was under the impression that the point of adult life is to find a safe job and to not stand out from the crowd too much. Once you step outside of that bubble, it opens up a whole new world of possibilities.
What was the best investment you ever made?
My studies at Harvard. I gained an enormous amount of new information, learned alternate ways of thinking, and went through a significant amount of unforgettable experiences. And mostly, I went through it with a group of unbelievably special people which all gave you the impression that one after the next is going to change the world in some way.
What is the worst thing about business?
Doing business is extremely time-consuming and therefore you have to be ready to compromise. The best time to start your own business is when you´re younger and don´t have as many responsibilities for other people.
What is the best thing about business?
The ability to analyze a situation that the world finds itself in and have the possibility to change it. The influence of business is gradually growing. One hundred years ago, top politicians had much greater influence than top businessmen, today, the difference between them is gradually becoming smaller.
What about your future excites you the most?
I´m fascinated by the technologies and progress that we are able to achieve as a society. In our generation, we can most likely expect fully autonomous vehicles, a mission to Mars and maybe even global artificial intelligence. We have to show some respect especially for that last one, we can never forget how much of an impressive milestone they are.