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

Oana Filip
team

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

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