Let's meet tech entrepreneur Andrew Filev, the founder of the social project management app Wrike.
Andrew Filev developed the ‘social project management app’ Wrike after being frustrated in his search for project management software that combined power with the flexibility of social networking. Today he discusses his company’s meteoric growth and how it all comes down to the people you bring together: The team.
Q: Tell us a little bit about your background and the start-up story behind Wrike?
Andrew Filev: My professional journey in project management and business started with my first software development venture, back in my college years. It grew fast, and soon I had a large, distributed, international team to manage. At that time, I faced project management and collaboration challenges that are so familiar to many companies today. We had multiple projects running simultaneously, and we needed a system that would help us connect our work (including e-mails) in one spot. After a long search for a project management tool that would meet the needs of our dynamic distributed team, I realized it did not really exist yet! There were many solutions that offered, for example, advanced scheduling features, but none of them really paid enough attention to collaboration. This is how the idea of Wrike was conceptualized. I wanted to create project management software that handles the challenges I mentioned above and helps teams collaborate in real time.
Today, Wrike is a talented team of 50 people and a market-leading product helping thousands of companies all over the world collaborate on their projects easily and efficiently.
Q: How do you separate yourself form your competitors and what makes Wrike different?
Andrew Filev: We call Wrike a social project management app. It offers more than just a set of powerful project management features, such as Gantt charts, workload management, reporting, etc. It also emphasizes and facilitates the collaborative aspect of project management. Thanks to the friendly collaborative features (for example, real-time activity streams, built-in discussions, easy file-sharing), Wrike is as easy and natural to use as a social network.
The best source for answering your second question would be the feedback from our customers. We often hear that they love Wrike for its simplicity, flexibility, handy e-mail integration and wide capabilities for document collaboration. They love how Wrike helps them effectively juggle multiple projects. We share some of those stories in our blog, as well as some general productivity tips and tricks.
Q: How many users are currently on this platform and how do you plan to keep the numbers growing?
Andrew Filev: Wrike is trusted by thousands of organizations in different industries. Our customer base is notable for its wide diversity. Our tool proved helpful for small businesses, as well as teams from large global corporations, such as Kraft Foods, EMC and Adobe. Another “feature” of our customer base is the global span, as these are companies from more than 50 countries.
We grow very fast, with several thousand new accounts joining every month. We constantly lead an open dialogue with our customers to learn how we can make Wrike even more convenient and useful for them. Their feedback greatly supports our high pace of innovation. That’s one of the powerful engines driving Wrike’s success.
Q: Please share a few tips and advice for first time entrepreneurs on how to bring new ideas to life?
Andrew Filev: Passion and perseverance are important for the long-term success. It’s also important to never stop learning. And don’t forget that the most important part of any business in this information economy is its people, your team.
Q: What’s your definition of success?
Andrew Filev: Doing something that helps others and makes you happy.
Q: What is your favorite success quote?
Albert Einstein said, “Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value.” I think this is important.