Making Best Process Management Tool
Startup Wolf Interview — Pipefy.com CEO Alessio Alionço
Today we introduce Alessio Alionço — CEO of Pipefy.com.
Pipefy.com is an easy process management tool for startup companies.
I was very inspired and impressed by Alessio since his vision is very big and global.
Q: How did you start your service and how is the reaction so far?
A: At my last startup, I often felt frustrated because we couldn’t manage properly our processes. There were some instances when the team didn’t follow the right workflow, forgot tasks assigned in emails, or made mistakes using controls based on manual forms and fragile management spreadsheets. These problems caused so much inefficiency, lack of information, and rework.
At the time, I tried to solve the problems using management systems (custom ERPs and BPMs) to replace forms and spreadsheets. I ended up discovering that all options available were too expensive and hard to adopt. Beyond license costs, we were required to spend thousands of dollars with IT consultants to customize and implement the solutions.
I also tried using project management tools, such as Trello and Asana — great tools but made for project management, not for managing companies’ routines and processes. These programs don’t have task templates or workflow charts to keep everything organized. I was forced to use inefficient controls and redo work because we were using solutions not built to solve our problems.
At the end of 2013, I sold the company and started to think about my next startup. In regard to the problems I had, I started to hink: What if there were something easy to use? Something to organize and run all the processes in just one place, without the help of the IT guy or professional services? I talked with some friends also owners of startups and discovered that they had faced the same problems and didn’t find a solution too, and then I started to draw sketches of what could become the ideal tool. That’s how Pipefy was born. =)
Q: Please let us know your big vision.
A: WordPress accounts for 18.9% of all websites in the world. People use it to build blogs, institutional websites, e-commerces, forums, listings and other dozens of different usages allowed by their flexible structure based on thousands of templates and plugins. We are flexible like Wordpress, but for process management. It’s just download the template needed and start using in minutes. We have lots of templates based on the best practices of marketing, HR, software development and others.
As almost SMB needs a website, they also need to run their internal processes like sales, operations, customer support and so on. If you look, now these things are mismanaged through e-mails, spreadsheets, manual form or with vertical and expensive tools. I believe that there is the opportunity, to be the leader in a market with at least the same size of the CRM industry. Like Wordpress did offering a framework for content, we will be for management.
Q: Do you want to promote something?
A: Yes, Pipefy! Not just because we built it, but because it can help a lot new startups. Take the example of our A/B Testing template, it is based on one of the 500 startups lectures shared on Distrosnacks. All our templates are based on the best practices of companies like Ebay, 500 startups, Airbnb and other great tech companies. So why reinvent the wheel instead of follow the best practices of top performing startups? PS: We use these templates to build and run Pipefy.
Q: What is your motto?
A: Build something huge, that will globally change how people work and manage their businesses. We didn’t create Pipefy to be a company that just pay its bills, break-even, provide us a job or make us rich. Or we will impact millions of businesses or we will break the company trying to reach this vision. Thats our motivation since the beginning, that’s why we born global since day one.
Q: How do you keep high performance in your work?
A: Everyday I review what are the most important things that I need to accomplish. This helps me a lot to keep focused.
Q: What is your leadership style?
A: I try to be always results oriented. We measure our KPIs everyday, like the impact of new features or improvements released, measure how much we are growing and other important metrics that tells us how we are doing. Ex: Our good UX didn’t came on the first day, actually its the result of dozens of improvements done and measured during the last 6 months.
Q: What is the key for success in collaborating with your staffs?
A: We clearly know where we want to go, and how much effort and commitment it will take to be there. It’s impossible to make something exceptional by being medium. We always keep in mind that exceptional goals demands exceptional execution and it will require hard work from all the team.
Q: Being creative is very important as business person. How do you keep yourself creative?
A: I don’t believe so much in creativity. I thinks its more a process with constant mistakes and successes, where you need to keep yourself always open minded to accept trying new things. For sure lots of things will be bad ideas with terrible results, but your successes will make you constantly improve. It’s not about have a new idea, but let yourself take the risk to give it a try to flourish.
Q: Startup has up and down. How do you keep yourself right mindset?
A: I have a good metaphor. Every important decision you take in your life always brings positive and negative emotions and moments. Always. Date someone, have a baby, achieve a personal goal. For sure these decisions always have their negative things but in the long term they will make you happy. So when these bad moments come, I always try to remember that they are part of something bigger, that makes me happy now or will make me happy in the future.
Q: Japanese young generation tend to choose “stable” job.(like working for government or big bank) I personally think they should be more aggressive for opportunity. What is your opinion and how young people should plan their career?
A: They should think like an insurance company, serious. An insurance company calculates the positive and negative impacts of different scenarios and how much each one costs or worths. Then they take into account both scenarios before taking a decision.
Thinking in terms of creating a company, your lost is limited. Think… In the worst, worst scenario you will lose 50k, 100k. Its impossible to create a startup, fail and lose 10 billion dollars. To lose 10 billion, you need to be a billionaire first. Thinking in terms of time, if you fail maybe you can “lose” one or two years of your life. But you are young and you got more experienced. Even if this negative scenario happen, you will have a good knowledge accumulated, probably get a new job soon and in 2 or 4 years everything is fine again. You are just starting your life. This is the NEGATIVE SCENARIO!
On the positive one, your gains are unlimited! Un-li-mi-ted gains agains limited loses! Think… you can’t lose 10 billions dollars in the negative scenario, but in the positive one you can make it! Ok, you can maybe just create a stable and profitable business (that you can sell in the future or leave to your child, its not bad) but you also have the chance to create the next Google. Why not?
Its interesting of how the fear of failing makes people don’t consider the consequences and differences of these two scenarios.
And there is other advantage for young people: When you are young its even easier to decide because the risk taken is smaller. You don’t have significant bills, you don’t have a high standard of living, you don’t have kids and other big responsibilities. Its just you to feed and you to take care. And If you fail, the negative scenario happens, its just get a new job and start your career, you are young and is just starting your live. Take the risk, carpe diem!
Q: Can you pick three important points for 20’s business people?
1) Don’t be mediocre. Exceptional dreams require exceptional commitment and execution.
2) Be open minded to try new things and keep in mind that just a few will work, but these ones that makes you constantly improve.
3) Try Pipefy! You will be 3x more productive.
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