We talked to Gergely Sinka, one of the founders of ConfigCat about its feature flag and config management service and here is what he said about it.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Gergely Sinka: Pretty good. The virus went over our family in early Sep 2020. Since then, we are just waiting for the end of the curfew and lockdowns.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded ConfigCat.
Gergely Sinka: ConfigCat is a team of 6. We used to work together as developers and product managers on the same product at a large Hungarian-American software company. We learned a lot about how to build and operate large-scale global software as a service product. One of us had the idea that we should aim for the feature flag space, which turned out to be a good hunch. Since then, we are working hard to make it happen. Btw ConfigCat is totally bootstrapped, so we made it this far only on our own.
How does ConfigCat innovate?
Gergely Sinka: It would be great to know the recipe for innovation. Innovation is something like writing a song that makes it to the hit list, and no one has a procedure for that. The best setting for innovation – as I believe – is when circumstances are not ideal. Having very limited resources, one must think of the most innovative and effective ways to solve problems. Also, when people are emotionally attached to the product and the goals, innovation comes organically.
How does the coronavirus pandemic affect your business finances?
Gergely Sinka: It has no or minimal effect. We were working remotely long before the pandemic, so there was not much change in the way we work. Most of our customers are software companies, and I’m guessing less affected than other business segments. So far for us, business is as usual. Being an early-stage startup, we must adapt, change and reinvent ourselves frequently. TBH a global pandemic is less of an issue than choosing the wrong direction with the user interface 6 months ago. ConfigCat is growing rapidly. It is hard to say if the growth rate would have been different without the pandemic.
Did you have to make difficult choices regarding human resources, and what are the lessons learned?
Gergely Sinka: No difficult choices. Right now, we are looking for people to be able to keep up with growth.
How did your customer relationship management evolve? Do you use any specific tools to be efficient?
Gergely Sinka: Not sure I understand what you mean.
We have email, live chat, and community slack as channels to contact and support our customers. We can easily serve the requests. The response time is usually instant but never more than 1 hour, and we are doing pretty good on this front, no drama.
Did you benefit from any government grants, and did that help keep your business afloat?
Gergely Sinka: We try to keep a distance from the government. Better to move on our own.
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