We talked to Tiago Franco of Imaginary Cloud about software development and UX/UI design, and he had the following to say:-
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Tiago Franco: Fortunately, everyone is fine and safe. We are making efforts to stay distant from our loved ones, and sometimes it is very hard, but we believe it’s the best way to fight this virus and get back to what life used to be (or sort of).
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded Imaginary Cloud.
Tiago Franco: I’m a Software Engineer that started a career on complex and quality-centric software projects (software for CERN, satellites for ESA, etc.). Developing software with quality in mind is something that the startup world or the innovation departments of big companies often lack. So, in 2010, Imaginary Cloud was created. Since then, we have helped more than 200 companies worldwide.
How does Imaginary Cloud innovate?
Tiago Franco: Imaginary Cloud innovates by changing the way digital products are built: we put the users in the center of the solution. Traditionally, solutions were developed according to a set of inputs and outputs that would fulfill specific requirements, not having in mind to whom it was destined. Following a user-centric approach, we can identify what users really want in the first stage and how the product will address their needs. This way, we can ensure that the project’s features and goals are met, contributing to effortless user adoption.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Tiago Franco: This year’s pandemic crisis brought a lot of challenges worldwide and, although Imaginary Cloud was no exception, we can say that we managed them successfully. Regarding the team, we have transitioned to a simple and incident-free remote working model, which in no way affected our performance. Considering our customers’ management, we already work remotely from the office or home, since we develop products/solutions for international markets. We have not suffered significant losses, and in addition to keeping our current customers, we were fortunate to earn a few more. All this was possible due to having the necessary infrastructures and tools for the operations’ proper functioning.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Tiago Franco: In general, and as said before; we have been dealing well with all this pandemic situation. However, we had to make some efforts and financial adjustments to ensure the company’s smooth running. At the beginning of the crisis in March, our plan for 2020 was revised as circumstances demanded and soon put into practice. As a lesson learned, I think it was crucial to have quickly and easily adapted to an unpredictable occasion, and that kind of proactivity can be fatal (or not) to any business.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety?
Tiago Franco: We all deal with stress and anxiety at one time or another. I always try to keep focus and rational; that’s the best way to deal adequately with unexpected situations like the one we live in today.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Tiago Franco: Our competitors are companies operating in the software development and product designing field. Once we provide our solutions to external markets, our main competitors are located where we already have a significant stance: USA, UK, Central Europe, and the Middle East. To stay in the game, we have three primary strategic goals for 2021. The first one is to keep growing in those referred markets. As the second, we will bet on developing new markets, which will enhance our portfolio. Finally, and being our third goal for the next year, we will introduce a new data science service offer that will allow us to boost world-class best breed product creation.
Your final thoughts?
Tiago Franco: Investing in our team’s continuous growth and development will increase our value offer with new capabilities. Delivering great digital products is our way of life.