“Finding the Right People Means Everything to Your Company” The 5 Lessons I Learned Being a 20-Something Founder

I had the pleasure of interviewing Zsolt Rabi.

Jean: Thank you so much for doing this with us! What is your “backstory” of how you become a founder?

Thanks so much for the opportunity! I’ve always loved being around computers. As a child, I liked to play games on them, later I liked repairing them, making upgrades or tried to tune the performance of the existing parts to make them better and faster. Later, when I discovered programming and found out how it works, it was love at first sight. I’ve spent a lot of time building simple websites for my hobby of tinkering with computer parts, and I just kept going. I was always seeking the best, always found ways for improvement by implementing new unique ideas or taking some existing ones a step further. Later, during my university years when I was studying to become a Computer Engineer, I got hired by a large multinational company to join their new R&D office in Szeged. It was a very intensive 4 years of my life. I was still doing my studies while working as a full-time software engineer at that company. While I loved working there and learned a ton, I just felt like there were better ways of doing software engineering. That’s why — on top of all this — I’ve started my own business, “RabIT software engineering”. My goal was to find the most efficient way to do software development, and help everyone enjoy it the same way I do — or in other words, making software engineering better for everyone.

Jean: What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?

I think there are many points that make us special. First of all, we’re a group of enthusiasts, every one of us loves what we do, it’s more than a job for us. To keep this up, we have a pretty strict hiring process, so we don’t hire just anyone. We hire people who we think can fit into the team, with having the right competencies and sharing the same attitude and enthusiasm. The third very important thing is that we’re always looking for improvement, we want to be better and better. Not just with technologies, but with processes and everything that relates to our work as well. We’re continuously tweaking and analyzing every one of our steps, and trying out new ways and methods that we think can help to improve them. As a result, we have developed our own unique way of work and processes. We do the same with each client, on each project. We aim to perfectly personalize every aspect of our service for them, to find the best and most efficient way of work, technologies, comminication, workload, resources, schedules, deadlines, and so on. We take “custom” in our custom solutions really seriously.

The last thing I would like to mention is that we build up and maintain a friendship-like relationship with the clients. Our cooperation goes beyond the project. The goal is really to help them succeed over the long term, to make their product the best possible, help them make strategic decisions that affect their product and company. Decisions like should we adapt a certain technology, do they really need that, or how can they improve their user experience. We dare to say no when a client wants to spend a lot on a new hyped technology, that would be a bad fit for their product or service. A lot of this happens after development is pretty much finished, and we have already stopped billing them. This is why we value passion and enthusiasm in our employees so much. It’s not about getting the paycheck, it’s about helping others.

Jean: Are you working on any exciting projects now?

Of course, we’re always working on exciting projects! Our main focus is custom software development on whatever technology fits the best for the solution, so it’s always something new, something exciting. Some of our clients are startups with unique ideas and we’re building their new MVPs. Our project range includes web, mobile and desktop application development, but we’re negotiating with clients who would need hardware engineering as well, like small kinematics robots or intelligent agricultural tools.

Other than our client projects, we have many ideas of our own as well. We spend free resources on our R&D projects, which also help us become more efficient. We’re planning to release some of these software products to the market at a later time. To give an example, we are working on a project code named RITA, in which we implement all our experience we gained with project management. It will work the way we think every project management tool should.

Jean: Do you have a favorite book that made a deep impact on your life? Can you share a story?

This is a good one. I think it was either the “How to […]” series from Dale Carnegie, or “Boundaries for leaders” by Dr. Henry Cloud. These helped me a lot with communication, understanding other people and business thinking.

Jean: What are your “5 Lessons I Learned as a Twentysomething Founder” and why? Please share a story or example for each.

  1. There’s always a better way. No matter how good you think you are at doing certain things, there’s always room for improvement.

2. Theory rarely works in practice. Even when you’re aware of this fact, you will get surprised. What seems to be flawless in theory, it rarely works that way in practice. You have to be ready to adapt to the real life challenges that behave or happen differently than you’d expect.

3. Marketing is as important as your product or service. You can be the best in the world, or offer the best service, the world won’t hear about you without marketing.

4. No matter how hard things are, always keep going! If you’re a realist, then you can assume and imagine that it is probably hard to lead a company. When you get there you realize, it’s much harder than you ever imagined. This is much more than just a job, this is a lifestyle, and it’s so far from that ideal picture that everyone has of it.

5. Finding the right people means everything to your company. It is very important to have a great strategy and vision on your mind, but it’s much more important to have the best people on your side. A good strategy is useless if it cannot be executed.

Jean: Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might see this. :-)

It would be awesome to have a lunch with 2 guys at the same time. One of them is Elon Musk. I think he’s a great entrepreneur and problem solver, I would love to learn a lot from him about how to do business, and I admire the way how he works on making the world a better place.

The other guy is my other favorite, Gary Vaynerchuk. Since I’m shifting the majority of my focus to marketing, I have just discovered Gary’s work recently. I think he’s one of the best marketing minds on the planet, and I love the way he talks. :)

— Published on July 19, 2018