Meet Tatsiana Kerimova – CEO & Co-Founder of Orangesoft, an agency specializing in mobile and web app development. Working across Orangesoft’s company strategy, development, sales, and marketing departments, she takes a hands-on approach with both her team and clients. She has also worked in tech on the product side since she has been the founder of several early-stage startups.
Tatsiana co-founded Orangesoft in 2011, pursuing her passion for apps and new technologies and being willing to help clients solve business problems with digital solutions. Today, their mobile agency helps big brands like Hamley’s and Adidas, as well as mobile-focused early-stage startups.
She is a mentor in some Women in Tech projects and a mother of the Orangesoft Women in Technology Scholarship program, which aim to encourage dynamic personal and career growth for women in IT.
Where did the idea for Orangesoft come from?
Orange is the color of the Dutch royal family — the House of Orange-Nassau. Orangesoft was born out of a nod to our first clients, who come from the Netherlands.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
The COVID-19 pandemic has drastically changed my daily routine. I used to have inconsistent sleeping patterns and get work done at the expense of my health (which will inevitably catch up with you). Now, I go to bed before midnight and wake up around 7 am, which has had a good effect on my productivity during the day.
The biggest part of my day is usually spent on professional meetings with my team, partners, and clients. It’s also my favorite part of my day as I am all about communicating with other people and making this communication productive. Our team and I discuss potential improvement areas in our services and how new enhancements can help us deliver more value to our clients.
How do you bring ideas to life?
First of all, I am lucky to have the best team that helps bring all my ideas to life so I don’t have to forge a new path alone. I try my utmost to inspire others and demonstrate the value of new ideas so that our C-level managers know exactly why we’re pursuing this goal. Sometimes, inspiration needs to be supported by a stepwise plan that splits the idea into bite-sized tasks.
When it’s only me in charge of the idea realization, I also prefer first putting ideas on paper and breaking them into manageable pieces.
What’s one trend that excites you?
I am truly amazed by the immense transformation the health and fitness industry has seen through the widespread use of technology. With the swift progress of wearables, IoT, and data analytics, both professionals and individuals now have access to an unprecedented amount of data that helps glean actionable insight about our health.
In the long term, IoT-supported and AI-based analysis will become a common thing for health-related applications. This can transform the entire healthcare landscape and help leverage our vitals to detect early-stage diseases. I also believe that health and fitness tech startups will be all the rage in the coming years.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
I don’t keep all the ideas in my head. I put them down and organize them as a prioritized to-do list or delegate some of the tasks to other team members.
Another habit that helps me get the most out of my day is to book a 2-hour time slot daily for unexpected urgent tasks. If this time slot stays available at the end of the day, I spend this time dealing with ongoing high-priority tasks.
What advice would you give your younger self?
As personal advice, I’d tell myself to find a healthy work/life balance where I do not deplete my health because of the zillion tasks I have to handle. Professionally, I’d tell myself not to be afraid of letting go of great employees in the wrong jobs. Hiring good people is not enough, but landing the right person for your team, your vision, and your company as a whole is.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
When I talk about circadian rhythms as the body’s complex clock system, people look at me like I’m talking about dragons and fairies existing in real life. However, in the 1980s, the existence of circadian rhythms was proved scientifically by Jeffrey C. Hall, Michael Rosbash, and Michael W. Young. They were even awarded a Nobel Prize in 2017 for their discoveries of the molecular mechanisms controlling the circadian rhythm. I have been using this research as a valid point ever since.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Not to sound cliche, but just do it. Don’t be afraid of experimenting and making mistakes and inferences as you do it. The “just do it” mindset should also be supported by a positive attitude and a never-ending thirst for learning.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
On a high level, I have never been afraid to experiment and have always stayed consistent with my endeavors.
As a more practical strategy, I don’t focus on the short-term outcome of my company’s work. I always have a big picture in mind to guide me. I focus on building long-term, sincere value and helping our clients. After that, it’s simply a matter of taking action and putting in the work to scale.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
Each day when I don’t make a step forward to a better version of myself as a professional is time spent in vain. But such days happen, and it’s okay. However, it’s important to keep the bar high and do small things each day to become better.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
For restaurants or delivery services: you can present your dishes in a detailed manner. Appetizing descriptions make it easier for your diners to decide what they are looking to have. A digital menu will give a clear picture to your customers about the items, ingredients, and nutritional information along with the preparation time. This will lead to a better customer experience and increased sales because an audio description of a dish will tempt customers to taste more dishes.
If you’d like to explore this idea in detail, our team is always there to help you do so.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
Learning is always a great investment. The best $100 I’ve spent was a consultation with a strategic planning advisor for a narrow niche I’m interested in.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
ClickUp has been a real game-changer for our team. I like that the platform can be tailored to all use cases from simple to complex and its task management system makes it easy to manage the team, organize tasks, and track changes. ClickUp also allows you to generate a ready-to-use secure space to collaborate within.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
Getting Naked: A Business Fable About Shedding The Three Fears That Sabotage Client Loyalty by Patrick Lencioni has been one of the most insightful books for me. The book teaches the reader about the vulnerable, “naked” client management model that helps a consultant to gain higher trust and loyalty of their clients. Written in 2010, the book has never been more relevant than today.
What is your favorite quote?
“Hard work beats talent every time” – Jordan Belfort
- Put your health first at work. Staying healthy and happy doubles your productivity and creativity.
- The language of value is the only and the best language your customer understands. Focus on the value, and everything else will follow.
- Hire wisely and give more autonomy to your team to remove friction and maximize productivity. As a business leader, you won’t have the time to authorize each decision, anyway.
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.