Change of Concept for the Blog

The time I was not posting here was very productive in a sense of growing business. How ever quite frequently I felt bad. Bad about not posting here. Therefore I declare a change:

I`ll write not more then three paragraphs. And I will try to be as brutal honest as possible.

Three is enough to cut the crap and go straight to the point. Easier for me, maybe easier for you to?

Risks of loosing focus. Business and sports

8517733992_e4db3ce19a_oThis post is inspired by the football. I see a lot of connections between the sports and business. After following the match today between FK Ekranas and FK Kruoja I see one more parallel – there are a lot of people/business who get blinded by the current result even the match is not finished yet. And this is very dangerous.

Before going to the causes and how to avoid I jut would like to highlight some of the negative affects this “dream” could cause:

  • Loosing to other competitor because you underestimate him;
  • Loosing concentration and therefor lovering the total result (not reaching the full potential);
  • Increasing the amount of resources needed to achieve the final result;
  • Creating the inside conflict among the team members.

It is scary when you think. If you are not reaching your (team) full potential this means that you are loosing. Loosing against yourselves…

Continue reading


I want a garage! Or a proper working environment

Working on JobRely

JobRely team working in HUB Vilnius

I want a garage. One like in the movies about a birth of the great IT business. If there is no garage available/left I would love to have a basement (skladukas – nice Lithuanian word). Sadly I must balance my work routine between home, co-working spaces and cafes. I`ve been working in a lot of different environments. And I still want a garage.

A Garage is a place where you can be surrounded only by your working idea. A Garage is an area where all the external world problems are left outside. Garage is place where you can do shit not giving a single fuck about what your neighbors think. If I need loud DNB music to be energized – I just pump up the volume. Garage is the place where I can invite my friends, colleagues when I feel that I need them. Need them for the work I am doing.

In reality, if you want to work in a garage and you are located in Lithuania you will get really cold. At least on a winter like this. I like warmth so I had to find some alternatives. And I did:

  • tried working in coworking spaces (hubs),
  • tried working from home,
  • tried working from a shared office,
  • tried working from university library (it is better than it sounds like)

From these experience I can sum up: I still want a garage. 

Continue reading

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Living on a budget

budgetI am not writing about my personal budget. Relax. This blog post is about the budgeting for a startup while you have extremely limited resources. Through the examples of my life I want to identify the main priorities for the budget planning.

During the last 4 years I had only one startup with a budget  formed from the external resources. This means that to cover our spending we had and still have to take cash from our (and our families) pockets. Also we are accountable to ourselves and we face issues when dealing with numbers. But lets start from the beginning.

When you are starting a new venture you usually run through the different phases:

  • Planning (idea setup, team formation, etc),
  • Building a product (development),
  • Building the audience (marketing, user base, suppliers, etc),
  • Rebuild/update (you got the feedback and you listened to it. So start updating!).

After the launch you also have to execute (monthly expenses). This means that you have daily/monthly spending’s.

Continue reading

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The main assets we have and operate

Hello everybody,

I was rarely posting during the last week. As you don`t want to hear about my daily routine. And as I had no time for anything else except work and football.. I wasn`t posting here. How ever the content returns! And it is related not only with startups, but with other business and daily life too. So:

As any project manager I always like to list for myself assets I currently have to achieve one or another task. The flow I was working on before was quite simple:

  1. Identify people and their availability (hours)
  2. Identify the budget
  3. Identify how you can use your stakeholders
  4. Identify and prioritize tasks (in a time constraint)

Simply I used to think what do I have to dedicate for a specific project and how much time is available.

Currently I have a bit changed mindset. I do not forget all those things above. How ever the main asset for me is trust/credibility. The idea is simple:

In a decision making process (to do something or not to do) I identify how much credibility “points” the action/project might earn or loose. Sometimes it is better not to make a risky action if you have a credible name. If you have no name – why to be afraid of risking? How ever do not take actions of which you will regret in the future. Eg. If you plan to invite few sluts to your opening party for media attention and you plan to become a biggest child crowd-sourced charity organization in future… Well you are fucked up right from this party. Or a marketing genius.

I do not take trust or credibility for granted. You can not expect that people will trust you for nothing. Or plan that they will be extremely suspicious about your actions (while actually they will love you). I try to get along with the stakeholders and find out what do they think about my project, organization and people (most important!).

Reinvest of trust is an action where the person/organization gets a second chance. If you do not valuate your trust – you keep reinvesting to the same burning “asset person/organization”. And you are/might be loosing again and again. I tend to give a second chance of a relative small amount. It means that the responsibility and potential affect to result is so small that fixing a second failure will not cost much for me. It is a second shot (a trust and nice action), but it is not as critical as returning a full trust (and responsibility) to somebody for a second time. Hope that he will not fail is really dangerous while you have a nice person (which is great. But I want to have a trustful professional!) in your team.

trust-politiciansI like (who doesn`t?) to find out as much as I can about my partners. And there I draw a line between their credibility and trust. A person can look trustful, how ever if I have doubts the credibility part is a decision making factor. It is a catastrophe (for me) trying to find out how much do I trust the person and to make a logical decision. How ever when it comes to credibility you have something to check, evaluate and rely on.

And don`t ever dream about the great results if there is no trust in your team. On a few harsh moments I lost faith in some team members. And in the end either I was wrong/overreacting or the person did not meet the team needs (was a nice person, but nothing more^^). In one case or another either affect was small or trust and credibility management was not implemented to decrease the risks.

So yeah, IMHO it is better to understand sooner then later that your startup business has a limited amount of trust and only by growing its credibility you can manage your activities best and attract other measurable resources “cheap”.

P.S. Sorry for the long post. It could be even longer!

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Working with Employed Team Members – CoFounders

Always have a time for beer with your team members!:)

As I wrote (or not) before, I have a great team for the JobRely. As for CraftsWorld I have a great cofounder and we are a team of two. In both cases my colleagues are also employees for some other companies and their main income is generated not from our activities (yet). As of this situation a lot of issues were/are raising. And these issues can kill the best idea you are working on if you are not careful with your team.

The main problem you are facing is dedication or priorities. Next thing that disturbs you is the availability of your team members (or some would call them resources) .  You want to have some rest or time for yourself at the evenings. And finally you start thinking – I dedicate more time so I deserve more. And if I would have a full time dedicated team – I would rule the world.

These thoughts were pooping popping up in my minds too. Sometimes I believed them, took them serious. And I was wrong. The problem lies in a team management, not where people work.

If a person works for a full time job and gets salary there – his main priority will be to stay safe, to earn a living, to pay the rent. The more professional team member you get, the less chances you have that he will quite his job to join your startup (till you are not able to pay a base salary). Who would risk on his family life? I wouldn`t. The bright side is that his experience lets him to do his work 2-3, sometimes 4 times faster then for an amateur. And he will do it professionally on his first attempt. Do you see? Your responsibility is to set the right priorities for him. And have realistic expectations.

Please note that you need team members more then they need you. And vice versa. This leads to a symbiosis where you steal some time of his working day, he steals some time of your evening rest. You and your team must agree on this. In my case we combine it as following: meetings in the evenings on Mondays, Skype calls on Thursdays, lunches on concrete topic during the week. Meetings on concrete topics after 4PM. And one weekend day per month with those who doesn`t have family.

When it comes to the time dedication I have one saying – “the value is not created by the time spent”. Myself I was accusing my cofounder of not dedicating the needed amount of time. We had some fights, bad emotions. After the time has passed I must agree that I was wrong. I didn`t set clear priorities what must be done first. Also I didn`t have a time buffer for not urgent but needed tasks. This leads to the fact that no matter how much time your team can dedicate it is up to you to set the right direction so actions would bring results.

To summarize: set the right goals, realistic expectations. Adapt the management style to your team reality. Constantly look what works, what doesn`t. If you need additional resources – find them. There are a lot of people willing to help you for free:).

The hope that “we will work it out” might become real for once, twice, but at the end it will not work. So don`t kill it because at the end of day you will be the one to be blamed. Not your team.

Tips? Well in each case they are different, how ever:

  • Set the same meeting day for each week. Set the time so you would have some space to make it longer (f.e. start from 6PM, not 8).
  • Have virtual talks more often. Pick up your phone and call more often too.
  • Get beer with your team not once or twice per year (tho do not make it a habit).
  • Use some task planning and progress measurement tools. Don`t use too sophisticated ones.
  • Be more human friendly. How ever keep the rules. One missed deadline is ok. One each one day for a week – you need to have a serious talk.
  • Don`t write long status updates. Use bullet points in your mailings. Even separate emails according to he need of people.
  • Use some kind of messenger that lets the participants to ignore the chat (Skype f.e.)
  • In this case micro management is not an option (IRT to last commenter. I read your comments^^). Overmicromanage and you will loose a member. Also your productivity will not be directed towards growth.

P.S. Some people said that I write too long. Isn`t this post too short?:))

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Distractions for a startup

Hi everybody. I was posting rarely lately. Got tons of work to do, therefor my priorities were changed to bad ones. Bad for you. And this happens because of the simple human nature – distraction and bad prioritizing (in the long term. It always looks that for the moment you choose the right priority.).

I always adore people who can do only one task. I also adore people who can effectively manage the information and task stream without any problems. And I hate the time when I am focusing on one task, how ever this stream comes over my head. And you have to say bye bye to your productivity. Or to your sleep. How ever you can identify in startup world quite a few areas from where the distraction comes.

Startup events was a major distraction for me. Was for a some time when I had a belief in: network, people, investors. During the events you tend to network everywhere, search for ideas, market validation. You seek for money as well. How ever the thing is that first you need to have a strong product. Then to have a strong team. Then you need to select the major events because you could run each day to a different evening. And you will meet the same people. The crowd usually in Lithuania is the same. The same people crash different events from time to time.

Outcome: You spend time with them, you get new ideas, new leads of which majority doesn`t work/are not needed till you finish what was started.

Startup gurus/wannabes fuckers are people who are always interested in what you are doing. They will be eager to meet you over and over again. They will be asking for ideas, feedback, information, status updates. Also you will get a huge load of “interesting” articles to read. From them, for free, for your time. And it is really easy to join the circle of meetings which leads nowhere. Just to mark ups in your notesbook which will be never 9 out of 10 times not used.

Solution: ban them. Ignore them. Add to the lists that helps ignoring them. And don`t be afraid to tell them to fuck off. In a polite or a mean way.

Colleagues who ask for a baby sitting. By baby sitting I mean micromanagement and coaching. You need to grow your team, how ever the best growth for them is while they do stuff. If you start micromanagement, if you have your colleagues lined up for advice – you basically do the job for them and instead of one man hour (the amount of work done by one person per one hour) you get two.

Outcome: you grow not the team members but robots who need to be instructed. Also you grow your workload. If this is happening – you are with the wrong people and rethink your team.

Investors & Contests are evil. Evil and destructive if you did not finished your other tasks you carry from before: development, analysis, processes management, etc.. It is really easy to be fooled by potential money and start doing things that are not so needed. You start renewing presentations, competitors analysis, development roadmaps, etc. You start meetings with your team to prepare for a meeting with an investor 1, investor 2, investor n… You are fooled by the light of gold in front of you. But it is a fools gold if the process takes too much of energy from you.

Suggestion: dedicate time period for investment & contests. Spend time only then. And don`t include in the action fool team. One person (or two) should do it all. Then other team members will be focused on the things that matters most – the growth of your product AT THIS MOMENT.

Clients from freelancing are demanding and evil too. They always need more time from you. They are also really righteous. Because they pay for you, because you are lazy/late/not so good at planning/can do things/whatever. They will climb over your head to get their product. And you will waste time communicating with them. Even if they were late at some parts.

Suggestion: set the rules at the beginning. Follow them and NEVER slip. If you slip once, the client will climb over your head from time to time. And will build a nest on your head. This nest of his problems, his needs will shadow your reach and really fast you can loose control of work for your startup. Even when you need the money from the client badly you still have options. But there is no option to stop/delay your project growth. Trust me.

Home (girlfriend/family, food, house cleaning, etc.) – the things that you are facing while working from home. And you will be doing works there, trust me. Home is a free workspace where evil distractions are everywhere. Your TV, your toilet (you have no clue how many books I`ve read there..:))), your fridge, your dirty bed, your bike that needs fixing… And it always takes time from you.

Idea: separate a working space for your self. I don`t have this option so I dedicated a corner in a kitchen. It is quite good, how ever my belly is growing. Football and cycling doesn`t help^^.

The only universal solution I found to work is to have a regime. Divide your day. Dedicate parts of day for specific kind of tasks. You don`t do specific things at specific time of day. And even if you have to prioritize something else – well don`t. Strong continuous walk straight to the target is better then fast dancing around. Or else when you dance to the point – somebody else will have his flag planted. And you will need a new target ^^.

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Electors Manifesto


This blog post will be unusual. I will not analyze or reflect my experience in startups. Today I am writing more about my view as an active citizen and as a person who votes. Votes with a belief for the progress. Votes with a hope that things will change for the good. And who gives his trust to some party/political figures.

I will try to polish during the days this manifesto. How ever please understand that this is important for all businesses. Fair and strong politics are key figures for the economical growth of a country. Also they (politics) set the rules for our playground in startups by pushing/changing different laws. And at the end we have either positive or negative impact to our (I mean small businesses/entrepreneurship/educational) growth. Continue reading

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Moday: Why there are no universal “1-2-3 Success!” path

Good morning,

I received a comment made by Povilas about his expectations towards content in my blog. The main idea (as I heard it) is: you shouldn`t write about yourself, you should write more about the startups world, tips and tricks,… And he has a point here. The reason of blogging here should be not to show off. It should be to share experience.

And actually it is sharing of experience just maybe I set a bit too high requirement for myself to write each day twice. Why I did that? Well in different startups (mine as well) I see quite much actions which are not planned. Or planned for the wrong time. And personally see this as an issue: “even if you want to use the opportunity, you shouldn`t close/cancel what you have done so far”. So to find this needed balance is the biggest issue for me. And I believe for quite many self funded startups.

Another thing is the different nature of startups, their experieces, etc. Remember yourself in uni/school. Any of you might seen the situation where the colleague have studied less and got the higher grade then you did. Here you could draw a line by saying “He got lucky / he had the experience”. I would suggest to start analyzing the situation and start looking for the small bits you could use. Continue reading


Friday planing


I didn`t write yesterday cause was really busy working and had nothing to share with you except tasks lists. And from google analytics + some other tool (I track you ^^) I see that majority of you are not interested in tasks. I will not stop doing this so somebody would get an idea how does it look to work for yourself. But for now if I am really busy – I am not posting and doing stuff. If I have my minds flying somewhere around (decreased productivity) – I`ll focus on blog. And productivity will return!

So yesterday we made a step front with the visualization part at JobRely.  Got a new contract for development works. Managed to get closer to one more finished eCommerce project. Also started playing with Jira bugreporting visual tool (Thank you Vaidas). And installed OC for Andzelika.

What is happening today? Well I already did some communication part, how ever most of the focus will come to finalization of a few payed works:

  • to agree about the design with G (Matas made a few examples),
  • to finish hf template coding,
  • review what can be done with OC installation (DNS issue),
  • if time left – some diggin` into the JobRely code.

This evening I am going to Toma`s parents, so I am not sure if Ill be able to write a blogpost and updates.

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