In this episode, The Recursive podcast makes an exciting stop in Bucharest. We meet the co-founder of established software company QUALITANCE and most recently the AI-assisted platform for digital transformation FLOWX.AI Ioan Iacob.
An engineer by calling and an entrepreneur by necessity, he began his entrepreneurial journey because he felt things in software development are mediocre. He wanted to change the way programs are built. And co-founded QUALITANCE to build and develop digital solutions with emerging technologies like machine learning, the internet of things, or blockchain.
Today QUALITANCE has offices in Bucharest, San Francisco, and Sydney. It employs close to 300 people and works for companies from the Fortune500s list.
A year and a half ago Ioan created FLOWX. AI, a platform that helps enterprises build digital apps while reviving their legаcy infrastructure. The company just announced raising $8.5 million seed money with PortfoLion leading the round and joined by Budapest-based Day One Capital and Romanian crowdfunding platform SeedBlink.
“Everybody assumes there’s a recipe to build a startup. I think it’s about finding this narrow niche of opportunity to create value for other people”, Ioan shares in his conversation with Irina.
That is also how he defines success. “That’s why Elon Musk is a successful guy because he helps civilization move forward”, Ioan adds.
Before founding his own company, Ioan worked as an engineer at Silicon Valley startups and corporations. He noticed an interesting pattern – 80% of the code written was just reworked. He decided there should be a different way of approaching software. Тhat’s how QUALITANCE was born. It brought together product strategy, product design, and technology.
The co-founder of GoogleX Tom Chi also joined their board of advisors. Ioan shares what he has learned from him on how to build great products. It’s all about the ability to listen and think through what users are saying Ioan shares.
Ioan talks about what drives him in his professional and personal life. It’s the ability “to overcome complex problems with a bunch of really smart people”.
To be a successful leader you have to lose the ego, he believes. Being humble and enabling others is what makes a good leader according to him.
In the episode, you’ll also hear how he decided he wouldn’t put up with discrimination in the US for looking and behaving differently. “I thought how can I create so much more value that these things won’t matter”, he shares. And concludes: “It’s about ownership. Understanding that the only thing you can change in the universe is what’s the input that you give to the rest of the world.”
Watch the previous episode to learn why entrepreneur and investor Daniel Lorer decided it is time to deploy his expertise to change Bulgarian politics.
Subscribe for The Recursive newsletter to get the episodes before anyone else.