We talked to Victor Rashkov, founder of PUSHR CDN, a robust cloud-centric content delivery network with an integrated live streaming platform and here is what he said about it.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Victor Rashkov: I am grateful that we are well and healthy. Covid has presented us with some challenges, and we’ve been extra cautious with regards to elderly people in the family as they are the most vulnerable. Work-wise, I like working from home, but I still prefer the office, so I haven’t gone completely remote. I am alternating between the two just as I did before the pandemic.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded PUSHR.
Victor Rashkov: I have been interested in servers, networks, and Linux operating systems my entire life, but my journey into content delivery networks started around 2011. Back then, I was involved in а project that had very high bandwidth requirements on a very tiny budget. Using a commercial CDN was not an option, so we built a private one, and it worked great. I realized that there is a lot of room for innovation in the CDN industry and that there is a need for high-quality content delivery service at an affordable cost; shortly after that, PUSHR was founded.
How does PUSHR innovate?
Victor Rashkov: PUSHR aims to solve complex content delivery problems with simple solutions. Sometimes we break a problem down to pieces and find the solution there. A good example is our recently released ActivePush feature that solves a common problem with CDNs and video content delivery. Other times we need to reach out of the box of our industry to find solutions. Our origin load balancing solution is an example of this approach. This hasn’t changed during the pandemic, but the speed at which we need to innovate is changing. New needs that emerge during the lockdowns require new solutions, and it’s important to deliver on time.
How does the coronavirus pandemic affect your business finances?
Victor Rashkov: It had a positive effect initially as the world started streaming more video content and use entertainment services more on a daily basis. As things progressed, the trend reversed, and there was a short negative effect on us. Eventually, things leveled out. We were most impacted by the need to take care of relatives who are sick, which slowed our development cycle significantly.
Did you have to make difficult choices regarding human resources, and what are the lessons learned?
Victor Rashkov: No choices have been made solely due to the Covid impact. However, changes were needed, and Covid made the need even more evident. What I’ve learned is that it’s crucial for a young company to be able to move fast and to adapt to new conditions on a daily basis. This could make or break a startup.
How did your customer relationship management evolve? Do you use any specific tools to be efficient?
Victor Rashkov: One of the positive effects of the pandemic is that it led to an increase in communication. I know our customers better now, and I understand their business processes better. This has helped us to provide a better service and features that bring more value.
The tools that we use are mainly email and tickets through our support system. A lot of our customers in Asia prefer Skype, so I make sure that I am often available there if they need to talk to me. The live chat widget on our website continues to be the primary tool for communication with new customers, just like it was before Covid.
Did you benefit from any government grants, and did that help keep your business afloat?
Victor Rashkov: We were not eligible to receive grants during the first months of the pandemic. Our authorities did revise their requirements at a later stage, and PUSHR would probably qualify at some point, but by that time, I’ve had already secured everything that we needed to safely move forward.
Your final thoughts?
Victor Rashkov: With the pandemic affecting what we do, how we do it, when we do it and where it has become mandatory for businesses to be able to move and navigate in a very swift manner. For young companies still establishing their brand and their product-market fit, this skill would be crucial even more than usual. We are now living in a moment where it’s very easy for a product that has performed great today to become completely irrelevant tomorrow, often for reasons beyond our control. If you can move fast and adapt efficiently, you may have a chance to be relevant tomorrow.
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