My name is Artyom and I’ve recently (April 2016) took a CEO position at Serpstat — it’s a Keyword Research Tool for SEO, PPC, Content Marketing, Competitor Analysis and etc. The product itself is not new, but we have a huge challenge of conquering a new market. We’re targeting USA and Western Europe and it’s not easy at all, considering that we all live and work in Ukraine and have no physical presence on our new target market, at least not yet.
Our CTO (Oleg) will join me in this interview since I’m not that familiar with a product yet, Oleg, by the way was a CEO of Serpstat until recently, so now that I’m here, he can focus on making an awesome software and I’ll be working on growing it.
So, why the change in company structure, why did you decide to change CEO for new market?
Oleg (CTO): Me and Artyom are co-founders of Serpstat (with even shares), but he was working on a different projects and never really had a time to commit, so I was in charge, an I think I did a good job of growing a product to where it’s now. But progress stalled when it came to promoting on western market, I didn’t have the time to keep an eye on marketing and development. This is where Artyom comes into play. Of all the people I know, he’s probably the only one in Ukraine who knows how to grow a product. He successfully created an agency that’s been dominating a local market of SEO services for years now.
Artyom (CEO): I don’t think anyone ever launched and promoted a startup in Ukraine. Of course there are talented software engineers and marketers who can create awesome stuff and sell it for millions, like Looksery did, or move it to California and settle there. But I haven’t seen anyone launch a startup and run it successfully from Ukraine with resources available here, that’s what I want to accomplish. I know a bit about Marketing, and I’ve had a chance to chat with a lot of successful startupers on my recent trip to US, so I know what I want and how to accomplish it.
Where did the idea for (Your Business) come from?
Artyom (CEO): Back in 2006 I started an internet-marketing agency, the one Oleg just mentioned. It’s called Netpeak, and it now has 250+ employees, offices in 4 countries and provides SEO and PPC solutions worldwide. Agencies like Netpeak perform same tasks manually over and over again, so we managed to automate some of those tasks and turn them into our products. In 10 years, Netpeak released a few products, including Serpstat.
Oleg (CTO): It was a necessity. I was working on scripts to automate some of the tasks SEO specialists have to repeat constantly and so I came up with the idea to create Serpstat. Some time later we decided that it was worthy of a public release.
Why did you decide to start this business?
Artyom (CEO): It had a potential, it was obvious early on, and I’m always interested in working on something new.
Oleg (CTO): At some point I was tired of just working and decided to work on something instead. It’s always nice to create something.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
Artyom (CEO): Now it’s all about trying to make Serpstat better and make it grow. While Oleg and his developing team work on making the product flawless I work on making it popular. First thing I have to do in the morning is deal with all the emails, then I run a short briefing with my team and start working on one part of my marketing plan.
Oleg (CTO): Working on a product. We have a lot of major updates and new features coming, so I barely have time to answer the emails, this where Artyom takes over. We’ve only worked like this since April but I feel that having more time to work on the software already brings huge results.