We talked to Dragos Triteanu of abac.software about technological solutions for customers, and he had the following to say:-
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Dragos Triteanu: Fun fact is that at the moment, we have a lot of people from our company that are COVID-19 positive, with myself included. Our CTO, COO, accountant, and some people from the development teams are at home with COVID.
Luckily, no one has reported any severe symptoms, other than the usual diminishing sense of smell, taste, and mild fevers.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded abac. software.
Dragos Triteanu: I started off as a java developer for a multinational corporation and made my way up the developer skill tree. By switching companies and working on pretty diverse projects, I slowly started to understand the full spectrum of development and became a full-stack developer.
I’ve always been a product specialist, so in that sense, I kept trying to build up functional teams for creating software products.
Luckily, at some point in my life, I managed to find an entourage of like minded people that were also set on building something great (although we did not know exactly what that something was), so we started taking on software development projects besides work, in order to fuel our ambitions.
Our story is the Romanian version of the “garage” startup. Since none of us had any house with a garage, one day while having breakfast, we computed a financial plan for renting out a house that would serve as both an office and as living quarters. By doing this, we could afford a large enough place for having around 8 people on board at a very convenient price point (having the ground floor as an office and the 1st floor as bedrooms allowed us to move into the house and pay part of the rent there). We called it the “Google home,” and it served as a haven for everyone that wanted to do cool tech stuff. I still remember the fear that came along with the decision to move there, but in the end, it was one hell of a trip!
The rest of our story is centered around continuous grinding and hustling for acquiring new customers and for building our own self-financed products. We’re still in the grind!
How does abac.software innovate?
Dragos Triteanu: At the moment, we innovate by providing software solutions that optimize our customer’s daily business processes in an attempt to simplify their workflow and reduce their operational cost. Putting it simply, we do our best to help our customers improve their operations by using software.
We’ve been building software solutions from the ground-up for multiple industries such as manufacturing, automotive, betting, events, and so on. Our number one goal has always been to understand our customer’s scenarios to develop solutions that can optimize their work.
We’ve also had the opportunity of working with startups that had innovative products for some industries, and for those types of customers, I can say that we’ve joined forces with them in order to bring their innovative solutions to market.
In the future, we plan to take the company as far as brain-machine interfacing (ABAC also stands for advanced bionics and computing), but since we’re a startup from Romania, we have a lot of way to cover until we get there.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Dragos Triteanu: The whole pandemic has caused some damage to our company in that some of our customers that were operating in industries that were directly impacted by the pandemic (such as events) were forced to shut down their operations, which meant that they had to let us go as software service providers. This implied that we had to lose a number of good people because we couldn’t afford to pay salaries anymore.
We’ve also noticed a huge drop in productivity for the people that have been working from home. Usually, we have processes in place for remote work, but since the pandemic has been spreading a lot of fear, our team’s overall productivity has gone down by around 32%. In order to cope with this situation, our HR team set up a set of calls and events for counseling everyone in need.
Other than that, we’ve created internal processes that manage to keep people in the communication loop so that they don’t feel distant and trapped in their homes.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Dragos Triteanu: A small company needs self-motivated people in order to survive, so in that sense, I think the most difficult decisions with regards to a startup are centered around people.
Most decisions in a startup can be viewed as difficult, as a lot of these decisions have to be taken on the ground of very little data.
I’ve learned the following two life lessons “the hard way,” so I advise any startup to:
- Always be picky with the people they allow in the company
- Always be careful about what exactly they sign with regards to contracts
How do you deal with stress and anxiety?
Dragos Triteanu: Personally, I manage my stress by exercising and meditation. At times I get very agitated and have trouble sleeping, which means that my rest is suboptimal and sets me up for a bad habit loop. Luckily, I take enough time to exercise properly and meditate in order to clear the clutters in my mind.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Dragos Triteanu: As a software development company from Romania, we currently face many competitors for delivering the best software solutions at the lowest price to our customers. Every company that offers software solutions to customers is a competitor, and in that sense, we always have to make sure that we provide an outstanding experience for our customers.
What sets us apart from the rest of the companies is that we really take on our customer’s struggles and make them our own because we care about our customers’ success and about the overall product.
Your final thoughts?
Dragos Triteanu: To be honest, I’m a bit bored with this whole pandemic casual state. It’s been a constant problem for both business and personal life.
As a species, I genuinely hope that we can find a more permanent solution for these kinds of pandemic situations.
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