DISQO’s biggest event of the year – “Scaling Up: People, Tech, Product” – took place on October 6 in Tumo Center in Yerevan, bringing together the global leadership team of DISQO who arrived in Armenia to participate in the event.
During the meetup, the leadership team shared their years-long experience and presented the main challenges the companies are facing on their way to scaling up.
iTel.am presents the results of the meeting.
Giving back to the community
At the beginning of the event, Co-Founders of DISQO Drew Kutcharian and Armen Adjemian discussed what the venture status of the company was, what steps should be taken in the early stages of formation and how to change the attitude towards business when the company begins to expand.
“The processes currently ongoing in Armenia’s technological sector are very interesting. A number of companies are maturing, many discussions and meetings are held about the initial stages of the development of startups. At the same time, we see companies that are starting to grow. The goal of our event was to share our experience of how a small startup becomes a big company. In the early stages of formation of a company, you create many things from scratch, you try to understand how things work. Still, when scaling up you learn to do the same actions 100 times faster and more efficiently,” Armen Adjemian said, expressing hope that exchange of their experience will help newly expanding companies avoid a number of mistakes.
He added that contacts in this format are useful for them too. “As a result of the question-and-answer session, we get to know people and culture better which helps us understand what we need to do better in order to succeed.”
Drew Kutcharian emphasized that by supporting the companies in the initial stage of development and sharing their own mistakes, DISQO expresses gratitude to the Armenian tech community.
“We are really excited to be able to share the lessons we have learned over the years with a community that has supported us since the opening of DISQO’s office in Yerevan in 2018. This is a way for us to be grateful. The technological environment in Armenia is advancing rapidly, and we are grateful to be a part of this history,” he added.
Hayk Chobanyan, CEO of the Union of Advanced Technology Enterprises, highlighted the event in terms of transferring the successful models and experience to the tech specialists of Armenia: “Such examples provide perspectives for thinking and evolving as well as positioning Armenia in the global technological sector.”
Tania Sahakian, regional director of DISQO’s office in Armenia, added: “Despite the current tense situation at the border, the company’s leadership team, emphasizing the continuation of DISQO’s investments in Armenia, decided to come and conduct this event for the technological community to transfer its own experience and a roadmap to success to the specialists and companies of the sector.”Scaling up
The event focused on three key topics – work culture, technology and product. One of the speakers, Kevin Whitcher (VP, Product/Enterprise Apps, DISQO), presented the challenges on the way from a single product to a platform and spoke about the most difficult and challenging factors.
“Startups can evolve in very different ways, you never know what will happen next, but there are things that remain unchanged. The most important thing is a deep understanding of the customer’s needs, no matter what size you are. I think that trust in these relations should always be bilateral. If the company created good products in the past, the new customer should trust that data. In the case of DISQO’s approach, this is woven very nicely, because we work directly with consumers and thereby create an environment of mutual trust between our customers and their consumers,” he said, speaking with iTel.am.
In continuation of the topic Kevin Whitcher referred to, Nicholas Weaver (VP, Engineering, DISQO) talked about the engineering challenges of the “journey” from product to platform.
“In startups, many components work only when they are small, and when you start scaling up, it turns into a disaster. In such cases, the analogy of a dog with thin legs is very appropriate: the dog gains weight, but its legs remain thin, and it can no longer run fast. To avoid this situation, you need to make changes in 3 main directions: thinking, talent and communication. If, in the case of a startup, you sit in one room and make decisions there, understand opportunities and solutions, when scaling up, the processes become so complicated that you need to create a system, infrastructure and community, simultaneously being able to keep people involved in the decision-making and solution implementation processes. At the same time, team members should also gain a new professional level,” he specified.The role of collaborative environment
The role of professional talents is always important, but the collaborative environment is key to their work efficiency.
“In recent years, the idea of coming together has significantly changed. Many companies are still trying to understand remote or hybrid forms of work and how they are changing over time. I think from this point of view it is very important to always be sure that you have hired the right talent. The more a company grows, the more complicated the processes become, and it is necessary to be able to come together to solve the existing challenges. As the processes become more complicated, you can no longer work as a single team, because your work also depends on the efficiency of other teams, and you need to have that collaborative environment where people will gather and create success together,” Armen Adjemian said.
At the end of the event, the participants had an opportunity of networking with the speakers, establishing new contacts and getting answers to topical issues. Gayane YenokianPhotos: Emin Aristakesyan