1- Hello German, can you please tell us a bit about yourself?
I’m a software engineer by profession and an entrepreneur by passion. I’ve worked several years in the software services industry around the world. I loved the job, but at some point, I knew that I needed to start working on my own ventures. For several years I prepared myself for this option, studying hard and seeking the right path. And the opportunity came; a friend of mine, already a successful entrepreneur, presented me the idea of SlideModel. It had several challenges but also great benefits as working with great people and a really interesting value proposition. My main motivators were independence (of time), the challenge, and the opportunity to work side by side with my friend. The other benefits would be a by-product of the combination of the previous three.
2- What are your focus areas and why?
My focus is set on adding Value for Customers and Growth. This means, firstly trying to understand our audience’s needs and adjust our business model to meet those needs. Secondly, reaching a bigger and more targeted audience through digital channels.
3- How do you describe your journey in few words?
The journey has been delightful. Working with the best partner, learning a lot and solving challenges on a daily basis. Being up to date in a constantly changing business is also an important part of the journey the introduced me to a new world.
4- Where do you think you are making an impact?
We are working on a mature market, with a highly educated audience. Our impact for sure is in the area of business productivity.
5- Can you tell us about “SlideModel”?
SlideModel is a platform and services designed to help professionals, executives and managers create top notch presentations, in little time, and without the need of graphic designs skills. We provide a constantly growing gallery of PowerPoint Templates and deliver them to our users through a simple to use the platform. Also, the service is empowered with a superb customer service, ready to help our users take the most of each template.
6- Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?
SlideModel has been growing in the last 5 years and we plan to continue on that road. The market has heavy players but we are ready to compete adding more value every year. This year we have improved our templates compatibility in order to be usable in Google Slides, allowing our users to have a greater control over the designs platform they prefer. In the next years, I will continue on the road of Growth Hacking the company in order to reach maturity. As I mentioned in the focus question, Value Proposition and Growth will continue to be the focus of my activities in the upcoming years.
7- What were some of the biggest challenges you encountered while working on “SlideModel”?
The biggest challenge is to reach the right audience. We have an awesome product and service, but if we do not reach the right audience it would have been impossible for us to grow. Secondly the ability to scale. For a global product like us, being able to scale our gallery for our user’s needs, and follow this growth with the proper support (24/7) was an interesting challenge. We have a solid designers team and a superb customer support team that are the heart of this success. Choosing the right people to join our cause was another interesting challenge. We work distributed, so aligning needs and priorities have been something to learn about. Finally carving our value proposition for the correct audience is still a challenge and we continue on it. We know we have a good product, but we are good for some things, and not for others. Learning when to say NO also was important.
8- What can you tell young people who are pursuing their dreams?
I would summarize it in three concepts. Study a lot, knowledge is the base of any business. Work hard and take your time to work for people and organizations that will face you to the real world. Finally, take the risk for your dreams, but remember that they should be a manageable risk, always understand the size of the risk you are facing and its benefits.
9- What are you most excited about at the moment?
SlideModel is 5 years old now and our gallery continues to grow with amazing designs. We are leaders in Professional Business Presentations, and we are taking new risks into other designs segments. Also, we are planning to include new assets as 3D objects and new animations to enable users to create more professional storylines.
10- The last word or final thoughts?
For new Entrepreneurs, know that the journey is not easy. Make sure to share the path with amazing people, otherwise, it would be painful.