The first time I’ve ever talked with Matei was in early 2009, at a RoBlogFest event (an event for the Romanian blogging community). He was an interesting guy, doing something about online competitions (Konkours.ro was the site at that point). I found out about CautaReduceri.ro later, an online deals aggregator for the GroupOn kind of sites in Romania. Finally, a good friend of mine started working with him and I’ve heard even more good things about him.
Yesterday I’ve read this profile of him on inventures.eu (you should read it fully), but these are some things that I think are interesting in what he said:
Once you are starting on your own, you need to become an orchestra: you need to know how to do the product, how to build it (if you are a programmer) and, most importantly and often overlooked, how to sell (always be pitching, right?).
He had to put on his own “one-man show” in order to be noticed by the marketing and media agencies of his clients. His schedule was tight: A 6pm briefing from one agency meant a timely delivery of flash banners in five animated simulations at 8am the following day. Because Matei didn’t have a fixed budget he couldn’t hire anyone.
Don’t be afraid to go full steam ahead in another direction, if you think it is the right one:
Seeing the potential, Matei shifted his focus from Konkurs to cautareduceri.ro. On the first day in affiliation, the site made 100 RON (20 euros), on the next day about 200 RON (50 euros). After a week, the site was making about 400 RON (90 euros) daily. Matei could finally make a living with this project. It was completely different from Konkurs, where he “worked his ass off for money.
Finally, if you don’t really like the company you are in or the space you are in and you receive an offer that is good enough, sell.
But somebody wanted to buy: Matei’s biggest competitor, Adulmec.ro. After several-month-long discussions for several months, in July 2012, the two companies agreed to make the transaction. For Matei, it was his first exit. At age 24 and with a six-figure paycheck, he gave up his office and went on a Eurotrip with his girlfriend.
Good article, great story. Read it fully on inventures.
Photo credit: Horia Stan