Alexander Konovalov is the co-founder and CEO of vidby.com. Alexander has been featured in Legacy Ukraine: IT and Innovations and is an active member of the Forbes Technology Council. His Swiss-based startup provides an AI-powered platform for automated video translation and dubbing in 75 languages using gender-diverse voices.
What is your typical day, and how do you make it productive?
I start my day by planning the workload considering pre-arranged calls for the day. I also set aside time to handle emails and business tasks. It keeps me on track and super productive.
How do you bring ideas to life?
When I see a problem, my brain starts churning out ideas. Once I’ve got the best idea, I go hunting for funds to make it happen. Then, I gather a team to build a prototype and test the idea out. Once the prototype is ready, we can move on.
What’s one trend that excites you?
This trend is electric vehicles. People think they’re all eco-friendly and wallet-friendly, but there’s more to it. We still have to figure out how to deal with lithium-ion batteries without hurting our planet. I’m excited about finding better solutions.
What is one habit that helps you be productive?
I tackle problems head-on – no procrastination is allowed. The faster I solve them, the smoother things run.
What advice would you give your younger self?
If I could give my younger self valuable advice, it’d be this: don’t just follow so-called “experts.” Trust your gut, take risks, and start your own business early on. Don’t fear competition and the feeling of uncertainty.
Tell us something you believe almost nobody agrees with you.
In the IT industry, there’s this widespread misconception that ideas ain’t worth a dime. I believe that depends on whose hands and minds that idea lands in.
A diamond in the paws of a monkey is just another stone. If you hand it to a skilled jeweler, you can get a precious jewel! Likewise, if you’ve got an idea, believe you’re that jeweler, and treasure that diamond in your head.
Many people try to downplay ideas, so people spill them easily, and big companies swoop in to turn ideas into diamonds. For example, Google had all the tech power but didn’t see the potential in ChatGPT, while Microsoft embraced the idea, integrated it into Bing, and won.
What is the one thing you repeatedly do and recommend everyone else do?
I recommend analyzing trends and analyzing mistakes and failures of other companies. Everybody’s success story is unique, so don’t try to copy them. Mistakes are pretty similar for everyone. Knowing them can save you from making the same blunders.
When you feel overwhelmed or unfocused, what do you do?
When I feel swamped or unfocused, I work even harder! Staying positive and avoiding feeling down is key.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business or advance in your career?
I focus on making our company the best at what we do. Some people spread themselves thin trying to learn and do many things. I focus on nailing one thing like nobody else. That helps stay competitive without being afraid of surging unemployment rates and AI-powered tools.
What is one failure in your career, how did you overcome it, and what lessons did you take away from it?
Back in 2018, funding dried up just 2-3 months before the product release. We failed to launch our product in time to begin receiving income and ended up with zero sales and a whole bunch of debt. I also lost my dream team of 100 colleagues. That took us four long years to resolve the matter, and that was one of my toughest challenges.
What is one business idea you’re willing to give away to our readers?
My top tip is to focus on real, unresolved issues. Let me give you an example: even with the Internet and smartphones everywhere, real estate brokers are still in demand. Despite all the tech advancements, no one’s cracked the perfect business model for this yet. It all comes down to the buyers or tenants paying commissions. Today you might hear people discussing how AI will change the job market. But simple jobs like real estate brokers and notary publics are still standing strong. Tech hasn’t replaced them yet.
What is one piece of software that helps you be productive? How do you use it?
This software is a trusty task manager with a reminder function. It’s a true lifesaver and keeps me on top of business processes.
What is the best $100 you recently spent?
I recently spent the best $100 on supporting a children’s charitable foundation for the rehabilitation of war children in Ukraine. We’re working on a project to fund business education for war-affected high-school students.
Do you have a favorite book or podcast from which you’ve received much value?
I’d recommend “Funky Business” by Kjell Nordström and Jonas Ridderstrale. It delves into innovative thinking and how to rock the entrepreneurial world.
What’s a movie or series you recently enjoyed and why?
I enjoyed watching “No Smoking Here.” It’s a fantastic example of how talented people skillfully find solutions for selling any goods and how they ingeniously shape the opinions that matter to their audience.
- Your idea is a valuable asset and can be worth a lot when in the right hands and when you truly believe in it.
- Don’t blindly follow so-called experts but keep to your individual approach instead.
- Start your business early, and don’t be afraid to take the leap.
- When you make a mistake or face difficulties, don’t give up. Work even harder to overcome challenges.
- Embrace technology development and find ways to leverage it to your advantage.
Steve (Stefan) Junge hails from Germany and helps with the day-to-day publishing of interviews on IdeaMensch. While he and Mario don’t share a favorite soccer club, their enthusiasm to help entrepreneurs is a shared passion.