Piotr Sedzik is the CEO and co-founder of Applover. In 2019, the company was honored by Deloitte as the “Rising Star” in the CEE region. The next year, it was named the 24th Fast 50 company.
In 2018, Piotr Sedzik also received the honor of being a finalist in Forbes’ 25 under 25 list.
Aside from Applover, Piotr Sedzik is also the CEO of Smart Citizen, a “company that studies urban agglomerations to improve the quality of life of their citizens.”
Piotr Sedzik has always believed that he “would like to create something of my own.” He wanted to make “something real for which I will be responsible in the future.”
As a teenager, Piotr Sedzik began his life as an entrepreneur. He founded a company that “organized events for peers.” Then he went on a lot of startup ventures.
After gaining experience building products, Piotr Sedzik got 3 of his friends together to start a full-stack digital agency. That was how Applover was born.
Piotr Sedzik also felt the pressure of finding success in the dynamic IT industry. He knows it is not easy, since you have to make a lot of major decisions every day “within a limited time.”
However, Piotr Sedzik started running, which taught him patience. He has learned to be patient while running Applover, hoping to achieve the company’s long-term goals.
I always had an inner knack for entrepreneurship.
Jerome Knyszewski: Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive in, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your ‘backstory’ and how you got started?
Piotr Sedzik: From an early age, I had the belief in the back of my head that I would like to create something of my own.
I wanted something real for which I will be responsible in the future. I just felt like making decisions on which way my target project would develop.
Besides, maybe immodestly, but I always had an inner knack for entrepreneurship.
When I was a teenager, I started a company that organized events for peers, then there were several unsuccessful startup projects, and finally, based on my experience in building products, my 3 friends and I decided that we would start a Full-Stack Digital Agency — and that’s how Applover was founded.
Identify other factors that you care about — time, resources available, etc.
Jerome Knyszewski: Can you tell us a story about the hard times that you faced when you first started your journey? Did you ever consider giving up? Where did you get the drive to continue even though things were so hard?
Piotr Sedzik: Of course, I had thoughts about giving up in the past when the moment of doubt came.
The IT market is a very dynamic sector, customers, employees and projects are highly demanding and a large number of important decisions must be made every day within a limited time.
To avoid such thoughts, I decided to start running in which, to achieve anything, you need dedication, commitment and… patience.
I have learned patience through the running and this is how I see Applover today. We have long-term goals that we want to achieve.
I am aware that the road will not be easy, and this is what’s helping me overcome further obstacles.
Jerome Knyszewski: Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lessons or ‘takeaways’ you learned from that?
Piotr Sedzik: It is tough to choose just one mistake, as for over 4 years of operating there were just so many.
But probably one of the funniest ones, in my opinion, was when we went to a fairly large industry conference.
And at that time at conferences, we did not avoid alcohol. On the day before the main event, we let the steam go off at the party.
The next day I had a panel speech at 8:30 am with the mayors of several large cities and the president of the largest hotel chain in the CEE.
It was a prominent expert panel. As you can probably imagine, I did not look my best. I also spoke and communicated my thoughts not too brilliantly.
What is worst, the moderator of the meeting had mistaken the questions. Instead of asking me about technologies and startups, he wanted me to answer the questions that were supposed to be responded to by the absent Polish minister of tourism.
Completely hungover, I was asked about the road infrastructure in Poland and the legal conditions of the investment.
You can probably guess that I was not hailed as the best expert at the conference.
We quickly ran down the panel so as not to meet anyone’s eyes.
Luckily, at 8:30, it didn’t have much attendance in the room.
The lesson was learned, today, we are much more conscious about our speeches, we prepare as much as we can for them.
And we let the steam go off in another way — I started running.
I believe that delegation of tasks is a basic skill if you want to build a growing organization and scale it over time to an even higher level.
Jerome Knyszewski: Can you please share your “Five Things You Need To Know To Delegate Effectively and Be Completely Satisfied With the Results?” Please share a story or an example for each.
Piotr Sedzik: I believe that 5 things you need to know to delegate effectively are:
- Building the belief that you have a team around you that you can trust and to which you can delegate tasks.
- Precise and clear definition of the effect (maybe KPI) you expect, not the roads, let them choose the way themselves.
- Identify other factors that you care about — time, resources available, etc.
- Creating an atmosphere of support, so that the person who took on the task, but has some problems, knows who to report to and they have the feeling that despite the fact that in the end, they are responsible for the task, we are a team and we will always help each other.
- Objective settlement of goals achieved, providing meaningful feedback, rewarding for well-performed tasks.
Jerome Knyszewski: One of the obstacles to proper delegating is the oft quoted cliche “If you want something done right do it yourself.” Is this saying true? Is it false? Is there a way to reconcile it with the importance of delegating?
Piotr Sedzik: It depends, of course, but if we consider this statement on a company-wide level, I think it is false.
With such a wide range of tasks and such a wide area of competence that must be covered, one person, even the best, will not be able to cover them and do all of them.
So I believe that delegation of tasks is a basic skill if you want to build a growing organization and scale it over time to an even higher level.
Jerome Knyszewski: How can our readers further follow you online?
Piotr Sedzik: You can follow me on LinkedIn. I try to share some updates from Applover’s life there.
To be updated on what is happening at Applover, you can also follow us on social media and visit our blog.
Jerome Knyszewski: This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for the time you spent with this!