A short, but spicy talk with Vlad, Co‐founder of Pixelgrade

We love to share our inside stories in a humble and honest way. No fancy package, no pretentious speech. Just a direct and friendly approach. Travel with us and discover a tiny part of our daily puzzle through Vlad’s lens.

Who’s who at Pixelgrade?

There is no Who at Pixelgrade, and we are trying hard to keep it that way. There are only hard working people determined to do interesting things.

Sure there are times when personal egos get the better of us when one tries to “climb” higher through talk and attitude alone, not results. We are only humans. Thankfully the team helps you get down to planet Earth 🙂 and let common sense prevail.

Do you feel like living in a roller coaster?

That is what we all signed up for. A life of constant leaps (or pushes) into the unknown, into uncomfortable but possibly rewarding areas. We are very much afraid of “settling down” as we don’t trust our minds to do differently.

Also, and I am not afraid to admit it, there are times when you wish the ride would just stop, or at least, take a break. It comes with the territory. Probably those times give you a heads up that you need to go on a trip, or simply take some time off. The roller coaster isn’t going anywhere.

What gives you drive?

The thrill of taking on hard problems and pushing through them. It’s all about the challenge up ahead and the way you manage to overcome it. I find it hard to get excited about easy, day to day issues (though we all need to take our fair share of those).

We are not after the enterprise market, we are after delivering awesome products to regular folks like you and me.

You said you don’t give a f*** about market sense. How come?

Well, I’ve explained it pretty extensively not so long ago, but I will try and summarize it again. We don’t give a fuck about all the mainstream, corporate, chart‐driven, upper‐management‐approved view of the market. That is just dull and, most of the time, dead wrong since it removes the very essence of the market: people. It turns them into numbers.

We are not after the enterprise market, we are after delivering awesome products to regular folks like you and me. And by regular I don’t mean dull, but people that want to do things, what to take on challenges, that seek to embrace all that this beautiful and fulfilling around them. Those are the kind of individuals we are after.

Please tell me what do you give a f*** about.

I think it’s quite clear from the previous answer that I give a fuck about people and their happiness. The Pixelgrade team included. I care about doing the right thing, about sticking to your principles especially when the going gets rough (actually that is the only real test of your principles and beliefs). I care about helping the ones around me reach new heights (and I hope they will do the same for me). In the end, it all adds up to feeling good about yourself and the trails you’ve walked on.

I find it refreshing to not know when you have reached your goals. It liberates you from constantly asking “Are we there yet?”

One of your fav quotes is:

The fishermen know that the sea is dangerous and the storm terrible, but they have never found these dangers sufficient reason for remaining ashore.

— Vincent van Gogh.

Did you face any kind of tsunami in your business or team?

I wouldn’t call it a tsunami. I usually avoid seeing things so dramatically. There were moments of tension, of insurmountable friction. I am mostly taken down by internal team issues because those are the hardest to tackle and overcome. I am used to dealing with the anxiety and outcome of our products (we know some of them will fail, but we are not ashamed of trying). The people, the team, are the real challenges in my daily life.

Where to, captain?

To infinity and beyond… (I’ve watched the Toy Story series recently with my son and it stuck with me). Frankly, I don’t know what the future holds and I kinda like it that way. All I know is that I and the rest of the crew will continue to explore all the fun stuff the Web has to offer. I find it refreshing to not know when you have reached your goals. It liberates you from constantly asking “Are we there yet?”

Oana Filip

Oana Filip is a digital storyteller @Pixelgrade and community builder for creative industries. A true believer in the power of making the world a better place.