The new installment in the series of interviews with the team behind SkaDate Dating Software shines some light on the company’s top management, represented by Skalfa Chief Operating Officer Den Juikov.
Den, how did you end up at Skalfa?
By accident. I was a 19 years old student overwhelmed by the feeling of finally being young and free, and that’s when I was offered internship as a junior developer at Skalfa. Right from that moment everything started changing in my life. Skalfa really matured me as a person. At the time it was like madly falling in love with someone much more experienced than me. This type of thing makes you do all sorts of crazy stuff and turning everything upside down just to stay in this relationship.
What are your responsibilities as the company COO?
Chief Operating Officer is responsible for managing all hands-on operational aspects of the company. It’s all about communication: effectively and efficiently delivering your ideas, and then gathering proper feedback, while understanding what the rest of the team wants to tell you.
With Skalfa we have a group of very different, creative and talented professionals. My job is to find a key to each person. Through effective communication, respectful and energetic leadership, administrative and operational control I try to ensure that the company achieves best results in everything we do: from the best support possible offered to our clients, to the strategic product planning.
What does your regular day feels like?
It feels like a hockey game really. You help in defence, then move to attack. Sometimes you realise that the best way to proceed is just to step aside and watch the game unfold as an observer, to see and understand what you might be doing wrong.
What is the most enjoyable part of your job?
What can be more inspiring than seeing the real results of your work?! At Skalfa we create products that help ordinary people achieve their dreams and ambitious business goals. Every day hundreds of people start new sites with the help of our products. Some of them are experienced entrepreneurs, while others are startupers. I believe we are moving in the right direction and we shouldn’t ever stop. The world around us is changing fast, and solutions that worked today might no longer be good options tomorrow. We have to create something new, in a new way. That all is a part of the progress for me.
What is the biggest challenge in working with projects like SkaDate?
Our customers want the product with dozens of features, which, on one hand, is certainly great. It makes the product functional. On the other hand, it made the previous SkaDate iterations somewhat bloated and complicated for an ordinary user. Staying closer to simplicity in the end-use is especially important. Millions of dollars are spent today for optimizations and UI. The hardest task for us is to combine functionality with said simplicity. That’s real science right there! We faced this challenge and very soon you will see how we managed to successfully tackle it.
Should we be excited? What are the latest developments at SkaDate?
As I said, very soon our customers will see the long-awaited new version of SkaDate. Based on years of user feedback, we took into account many wishes and requests of real site owners. I believe we developed an amazing product while keeping it simple and easily manageable at the same time.
You have been working at Skalfa for 9 years. How does it feel?
It feels like 9 years of marriage :). Probably with a couple of kids too! Doing what we do in this environment, you are bound to become wiser and more responsible. It just makes you more confident and lets you look into the future with a lot of passion and energy.