First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Artem Yasinskiy: Thank you, everything is fine. We follow all health care recommendations regarding Covid19. I hope your family is doing well too.
Tell us about you, your career, how you joined SE7ENSKY.
Artem Yasinskiy: It is a long story so take some popcorns.
I’m a usual guy from Kyiv (Ukraine), and I like to create and manage new IT products. I have been working in the IT industry for more than 15 years. When I was a third-year student, I started my career in a product company with 10k+ online shops and more than 500k users. (prostoprint.com, futbolka.ua, prostobook.com – now called mimolet.com). There I had a good experience in the company’s management, the relationship between people, crisis management, product development, web development, content creation, work with a negative, creating relationships with partners any many interesting things that I already do not remember. So, this position gave me the way for my future interest, hobby, and work.
My next step was creating almost my own startup. Why almost? Because I was only a Product Owner with a share in the project. The startup solved the problem of investing small amounts in shares of foreign companies. This meant that it was necessary to make a system that split shares by hundredths, and they could be bought fractional part of shares. The whole system was built based on a payment engine.
Everything was cool; the service was launched in 6 months, the number of users grew, turnover also grew, we developed the infrastructure and prepared for a round of investments. But the investor declared himself bankrupt, and everything was gone. We tried for 6 months to find an investor and restart the startup, but the attempts were unsuccessful.
The most difficult situation was with crisis management in both projects. In the first project, I had experience with the company’s complete closure, the departure of the entire company management, the loss of equipment, and the demotivation of employees. The problem was solved by a lean circle of people who remained in the company. We rented computers, manufacturing equipment, resumed work, and were able to break even without additional financing. The team worked without any promises and hopes; we just loved our work and made it better than others. After 6 months of hard work, we found investors and sold the project. After that, all went well. We continued to work, and former employees returned, we hired new employees. So, this story showed me that people are above all. No team – no core of the business – no business.
Later, I joined the team frontend studio in 2015 (SE7ENSKY founded in 2010 by two friends who were students of a technical university KPI, Roman Vabishchevich and Ivan Kravchenko, Ivanho now working on Facebook as a frontend developer).
We had cooperated with them earlier, so everything was clear. I smoothly switched from the product to outsourcing. We have been successfully working and growing. Outsourcing is a completely different direction, you understand this only when you work in different spheres, and you feel the difference. I am engaged in business development and managing a studio with a partner. We help young startups with the launch of MVP, teaching on the courses.
In 2018 we started a new Digital Agency with American Partner, called A Cut Above. But in 2019, we closed the agency. The co-founder was from USA Gravity Media. In 2016 Gravity Media was sold to Dentsu Aegis. Dentsu Aegis is the 7th largest communications holding globally, with a gross profit for 2016 of $ 7 billion. A Cut Above Portfolio dropbox.com
Our clients range from Fortune 500 companies to startups. We are proud to have worked on projects for British Airways, Comcast, CIA, Caesars Entertainment Group, Western Union, Football Club Inter Milan, Ecoisme, KLITSCHKO Brothers.
Thank you for taking the time to read this BIG text.
How does SE7ENSKY innovate?
Artem Yasinskiy: We use an iterative approach to business as well as development. We take a problem in business processes and try different ways of a solution, after which we either return to the starting point or solve the problem. This helps to solve our problems and move by leaps and bounds.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Artem Yasinskiy: We have changed the model of working with partners/employees and adapt to new realities to stay afloat. We have completely given up the office space. We switched to an hourly work model and transferred everyone to the partner format.
The more work, the more payment for everyone, the less work, the less payment for everyone. This allows us to keep a balance between profit and loss. Everyone understands this, so they try to get involved in clients’ projects as much as possible and not just sit around idle.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Artem Yasinskiy: The main lesson is listening only to those who take risks in a business/project with you.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety?
Artem Yasinskiy: My wife, my child and my dog help me cope.
My lesson on life from past projects, if nothing threatens your life or the life of your family, everything else is solvable minor problems.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Artem Yasinskiy: We have teamed up with all the closest competitors, communicate, help each other, share experience, solve problems together.
Your final thoughts?
Artem Yasinskiy: Live here and now, don’t wait for a better time. Appreciate the moment, family, health.