We talked to Guillaume Chevalier on how Neuraxio is using highly researched and unique Machine Learning technology, solve hard problems to bring value, with solutions of various complexity according to the problem and to the data.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Guillaume Chevalier: Very well! In the beginning, it felt really strange to be confined at home alone. Hopefully, now daily life feels normal again. I was working remotely 80% of the time anyway. I feel just so energetic that I’d want to drink too much coffee and slay some more work right away.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded Neuraxio.
Guillaume Chevalier: I’ve always been hyperfocused on computer software. I’ve never occupied a job outside software so much I’m deep into my passion. I had worked in 6 software companies before starting my business, and starting my business was truly the most logical choice for me facing all the demand of the industry for my projects. What made me popular at first was my GitHub Open-Source projects and my specialized training on deep learning.
How does Neuraxio innovate?
Guillaume Chevalier: We constantly innovate – this is one of our core values. To think outside the box. I’ve personally participated in more than 57 Artificial Intelligence (AI) projects. Obviously, I started at some point to see common problems, common solutions, and the big picture. Some clear patterns and clear solutions are reappearing naturally from project to project. With this in mind, I reoriented my company’s products and services to allow other companies to move faster in this innovation landscape that has many pitfalls. We, therefore, are enablers of AI in tech companies. Also, creativity is something I look for in my employees when hiring them.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Guillaume Chevalier: It was bad news for data scientists, as there were lots of layoffs globally according to stats. Moreover, a few months after the pandemic, the number of data scientists being hired wasn’t on the rise. In my business, I’ve seen a slowdown of operations, although we’re still growing. The good side of this is that we’ve recently posted a job offer for a data scientist, and we’ve received 150 applicants! We could just be super glad to have this super-worker join us, and some more in the pipeline for hiring again soon. This availability of resources will truly be a good plus for us, as we’ve selected the best of the best for our company and ultimately for our clients. We’re also coping by focusing more on what we do well, rather than taking a wider array of contracts.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Guillaume Chevalier: Yes. Upon the arrival of the COVID-19, I had interview requests from big companies to be a team leader in Seattle, and the salaries were very tempting. Moreover, at that moment, most of our clients paused their projects, which didn’t help. I consider myself lucky to have found immediately the perfect deals for my company to work on, with new clients mainly. This also made us more focused on what we were good at processing time-series data. Allowing ourselves to focus as such was a true gift to find better fits with the clients. We’ve also learned that we should not diverge too much from our initial vision and mission, so doubling down on that was the best thing to do, as we’ve also tried to change the way we worked as well along the way but have got back to what we were the best at.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety? How do you project yourself and Neuraxio in the future?
Guillaume Chevalier: I see myself as a perpetual entrepreneur. My way of dealing with stress is to abandon myself into commitment, just working at the things I should work at whenever I feel like some things require attention. The more I take time to properly work on my things, the less stressed and anxious I can be as it gets well organized. Surrounding myself with several coaches and entrepreneurs who already have achieved what I want to do also proved to be quite important in not feeling alone and ensuring that the direction I take is the good one. It is also crucial to have optimal health and a solid base at the human-level. This year is the year that I’ve spent (invested) the most in the business coaches and my own health.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Guillaume Chevalier: There are just so many companies out there trying to do AI. My strong background in AI allows me for sure to take the good technical decisions and evaluate the feasibility of projects with confidence. This is truly the hardest thing to do in Research and Development (R&D) projects. I think that focusing on the right thing consistently is what will get my company ahead the most. As we also are enablers of AI for tech companies, I prefer to see my competitors as potential friends as much as possible. Competition is for losers.
Your final thoughts?
Guillaume Chevalier: Glad to answer your questions!