I just had an absolutely amazing day today with 5-TILES team, working on our application for Techstars competition.
I was most excited about recording a short video, where we were supposed to introduce one another and say something about the team members. So many good memories!
Then we realized that we actually have only around 12 seconds each to talk, as the video has a strict 1 minute time limit!
So I had to make a difficult choice. I decided to introduce Fabio Carta, our CTO. This story tells a lot not only about how amazing Fabio is at what he is doing, but in general, how we do things at ETAOI Systems.
In spring 2011 me and Fabio worked together in a café in London City. I had the idea of the keyboard crystallized at that time, but I was looking for someone to write the code. I started pitching this idea to all the customers, especially the guys with ponytails wearing jumpers. Few days later Fabio said to me:
– Can I borrow your phone for a day?
The next day he brought it back and there it was! The first version of my keyboard, working!
Just then I asked him:
– are you a developer?
– Yes. – he said.
I would never guess, he wasn’t wearing a ponytail.
I wanted also to talk about Piotr. He is our CFO. Outside ETAOI he is one of my closest friends. He is an Oxford man and has quite impressive CV, as you would expect from a guy who is in charge of all the legal and financial matters in the company.
But what is most important for me personally, he is the first person in the world who really understood my vision. It might sound easy now, as we are preparing Mark III version of the product, won number of competitions and even presented our keyboard in front of the rulers of the world, but few years ago all this was nothing but a crazy dream – to be able to touch type on a phone. Having Piotr supporting me at that time and helping me with fascinating (and painful) process of patent application – it was invaluable!
Finally, Margaret. Let me say this: after I met her on a hack day in London, I decided that I have to get her on the team. I showed her LinkedIn profile to Piotr and he said:
– There’s no way in the world you can convince her to work with us!
Well, somehow I did!
I guess I’m good at convincing, but also – I’m incredibly lucky guy!