How I Started a Git Analytics
Platform For Engineering Leaders
Hi! Who are you and what business did you start?
Hi, my name is Alex Circei. I am the co-founder and CEO of Waydev. Waydev is a Git Analytics tool – it analyzes codebase, PRs and tickets, to help engineering leaders bring out the best in their engineers’ work. Using Waydev, engineering leaders can improve visibility across engineering work, increase development velocity, and drive engineering productivity up.
What is your personal story and how did you come up with the idea?
In the last 12 years, I founded and led several other businesses, most of them related to the eCommerce space. I was the CEO and founder of Copimaj, a digital eCommerce full-service agency.
I started my entrepreneurship back in 2007 by building an IT&C online store called LiveMag. Later, I started developing products dedicated to eCommerce as Live2c, an eCommerce platform that helped small, local businesses create online shops integrated with their suppliers. It was the first SaaS eCommerce platform in Romania, my home country.
A few years later, I founded StoreBeez, a marketplace platform that led to a 3-months experience at the Birmingham Oxygen Accelerator – an intensive boot camp for tech startups. Before leaving Romania to the U.K. tech scene, I sold two of my previous businesses, LiveMag and Live2C. Upon returning from the UK, I went on and launched an email marketing platform called Lupsale at the TechCrunch Disrupt 2013 San Francisco conference. In 2014, after realizing a gap in the market, I built an accessible ERP (enterprise resource planning) and, one year later, I launched an invoicing app called BillMe.
I’m a non-technical manager, and for the last ten years, I have been struggling to stay in sync with the progress that my engineering team is making. Because of this, I’ve created Waydev, to help managers like me gain better visibility in the development process.
What challenges did you face when creating your product/service?
Wow, there are so many…the hardest part was to find money each month in order to survive.
We had an angel investor but last year he decided to stop founding us and my job was to find money in order to keep Waydev alive. I made a lot of sacrifices. I moved in with my parents and didn’t spend any cent for myself for a long period of time. Thankfully, we’re now profitable and we have a very good growth rate.
In terms of obstacles, the hardest part was to find valuable engineers with the same values as myself, but this is part of any successful startup
Who is your target market?
Our target market is represented by engineering leaders, such as CTOs, VPs of Engineering, and Engineering Managers. Generally, organizations that we work with, employ at least 50 engineers.
How do you market your business and which approaches have been the most successful?
We use more channels to market Waydev. We constantly post valuable content on our blog. We share these articles on social media, such as LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook. We also share our articles on Hackernoon, one of the leading tech blogs. We are also official partners with GitHub, GitLab, Microsoft, and Atlassian. We’re also listed in GitHub’s Marketplace. We managed to become #1 Product of the Day on Product Hunt. We also run PPC campaigns on multiple websites.
Since you launched, what has worked in not only attracting but retaining customers?
I believe that providing continuous value to our customers is key to retaining them. We work to improve our product every day, and we launch new features weekly. We strive to provide the best customer service possible, replying in less than 5 minutes to any question on our live chat. We believe that working with our customers’ feedback helps us build healthy and long-lasting relationships with customers.
What kind of culture exists in your company, and how did you establish it?
First of all, at Waydev, we value employee output over input. We believe that constant over time has a negative impact on employees’ productivity, and we enjoy positive feedback, but we embrace and encourage critical feedback.
What software, services or tools do you use within your business?
What are the most important lessons have you learned on your business journey?
I don’t like to use the word “mistake” because, in a startup, everything is about keeping the startup alive until you succeed. Any “mistake” is part of the road: the road of keep going until you find a way of making money; because money is the best metric related to a startup’s success. You need to have a lot of things coming together in order to generate revenue.
Mistakes are normal, but the most important thing is the attitude you have when you mess up. For me it’s very simple, I try to learn as much I can for every mistake I make, and I move forward.
What is your favourite aspect of being an entrepreneur?
The adventure of growing every day.
What is your LEAST favourite aspect of being an entrepreneur?
None, I love it.
What books, podcasts or other resources have inspired and influenced your business journey?
Screw It, Let’s Do It: Lessons In Life helped me a lot at a young age (19). I realized that the decisions I made (by intuition), Richard made in the same way, and I also realized that I’m not crazy. From that day everything changed.
Where do you see your business 2-3 years from now?
We’re hoping that we will grow Waydev to at least 200 employees in the following 2-3 years, while acquiring more than 1,000 customers.