CEO Spotlight: Alexander Yumashev, CEO at JitBit
Q: Mr. Yumashev, when and how was the idea of JitBit born? Did you have any relevant experience before? Why have you decided to launch that kind of business? What were your main goals and problems you wanted to solve?
Alexander Yumashev: I’ve always wanted to be self-employed. I kept starting side projects, little shareware apps, and web-based tools, almost 30 in total. A year later, I found myself in the epicenter of a software business.
Jitbit Helpdesk first started as one of those side-projects. I still remember that day when I was scanning the existing tools for tech support and found out that they were not up to the mark in many aspects.
Before I elaborate more on the details of getting into this sector, I must say my previous work experiences were of great help while building the helpdesk from scratch. Being a developer, I still worked closely with the customer service department in an IT division. This opportunity helped me see how different departments work within the corporate ecosystem from the ground level.
The discovery I made within the IT sector fueled my inner passion for creating a potentially viable solution that will serve as a benchmark for all web-based software. During this time, I also realized that all the available applications in the market were loaded with unnecessary features that made them look inept and immature. Thus, with the launch of JitBit, my only aim was to introduce a helpdesk that makes end-to-end communication easier between companies and end-users.
Q: What were the main milestones in a company’s development?
Alexander Yumashev: Well, the most significant milestone for me as a founder is the idea of launching my business. When I first decided to go online with my product in 2006 and 2007, I wanted it to be a tiny side project.
But then, around 2010, I achieved the second biggest milestone in my career when I quit my job and decided to convert this into a full-time venture. We had already tried 30 different products by then but went ahead with JitBit Helpdesk because somewhere deep down, I knew this was the thing we needed to focus on. I was so confident with our flagship product. I hired my business partner, built a team, and decided to give full attention to this project.
Q) Will you kindly talk more about one or two unique service pieces you are incredibly proud to offer your clients? What reviews do you usually get from your customers?
Alexander Yumashev: Before I answer this, let me walk you through all the technical aspects of JitBit that make our product unique in the current scenario. From a technological standpoint, I can proudly say that we offer both a SaaS and self-hosted version of the same product. The self-hosted version can be downloaded and installed on the local servers for everyday use, a configuration only a few companies offer.
Secondly, the product we have built is very promising, and we invest a lot of time in keeping track of the speed. Today one of the biggest quandaries faced by companies in product management is keeping the UI free from unwanted features. This huge problem is addressed through JitBit as we have a diligent team of people who try to keep the User Interface less clumsy and smooth to navigate.
But like every other company, customer reviews play a key role in our success. You will be surprised to know that we do not invest in traditional marketing approaches for promoting our product. The consumer base we have earned today is purely through word-of-mouth publicity, which is the major force behind driving sales.
Q) Would you give our readers brief advice on choosing a good help desk software? What should we spend our attention on?
Alexander Yumashev: First off, I would like to specify that almost 90% of customer support happens over emails these days. Even though there are many channels such as WhatsApp messenger, Facebook, or Telegram, email still plays a pertinent role in catapulting new users.
So, whenever you choose a helpdesk solution, you must pay attention to how well the system integrates with the email. Also, another thing to keep in mind when writing software around email is anti-spam and proper HTML parsing.
The second requirement is the presence of features such as live chat, knowledge base, and automation. I believe if a helpdesk software can do things for you without any manual intervention, then it is a good pick.
Q) What are the main values of your company nowadays?
Alexander Yumashev: The only value we have adhered to since the beginning of our project is serving the best to our customers. And the fact that we are a self-funded organization gives us the power to make decisions independently. Not everyone knows this, but all our capitals are regulated internally, eliminating the additional burden of pleasing investors or targeting any IPO, exit, acquisition, or other “liquidity events”. All we do is keep customers at the center of the business as they are the ones who will eventually decide the fate of your product.
Q) Where do you derive your motivation from? Mr. Yumashev, how did JitBit influence your life and the lives of people around you?
Alexander Yumashev: I have always believed that motivation comes from within. No matter what everyone says, you can motivate yourself to strive for better things in life. Saying that I would like to stress the fact that I started JitBit all alone and once the product started to gain momentum then only, I decided to rope in my business partner and the rest of the team. Honestly speaking, the driving factor for me in this whole journey has been customer satisfaction. I know it sounds a bit cliched but I feel immensely happy when I can fix a bug successfully in the software, and thousands of people see this instantly. This is why I still write a lot of code and do programming, as it fuels my inner passion.
Also, I must say that JitBit has provided my team and me with freedom of movement, which otherwise would not have been possible. My whole team today is located in different countries, so, in a way, this project has helped us successfully incorporate time independence and work-life balance into our lives.
Q) Your most challenging phase in this journey?
Alexander Yumashev: The most challenging phase in this journey is definitely “Now”. It has always been “now”. I know it sounds weird, but with the rate at which the market is evolving, it becomes challenging to keep up technically.
Secondly, as our customer base keeps growing, we faced some scaling issues in the past which have been currently resolved. So, this is the most difficult time I have met in the entire entrepreneurial journey.
Q) One message for new entrepreneurs?
Alexander Yumashev: It’s really hard to pick just one. But a golden piece of advice for young minds is to start working on your product immediately. Do not waste time searching for the “Big Idea” that will disrupt the industry. The majority of the work that has to be done is product-agnostic anyway. Launch a company website even before you have a product, start blogging, promote your website. Invest all your energy into building ASAP; the rest of the things will fall in place in no time.
Q) What would you call your company’s motto and your motto?
Alexander Yumashev: Frankly speaking, I am afraid I don’t have any motto. Since the beginning of my career, all I have done is stay focused and love my work. These are the only factors that have played a crucial role in my success.
But I would like to add that my vision of keeping the company self-funded has proved to be a healthy decision. So, everyone on the cusp of starting a venture shall know that lack of funding is never a problem. On the flip side, it saves you from the hassles of chasing the investors and proves advantageous for your business in the long run.
Alexander Yumashev is Chief Executive Officer at JitBit.
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