AMA: Biro Florin, co-founder of Jexo

If you use Jira or Trello, chances are you'll be familiar with the name 'Atlassian'. But just in case you're not, Atlassian is a software company that's developed (and supports) popular tools used by teams worldwide. 

The Atlassian Marketplace is home to useful add-ons, extensions, tools for project management tasks and much more. And it's there that you'll find Jexo's apps. Biro Florin, the co-founder and CEO of Jexo, tells us how it all started.

Biro-Florin

Hi Biro! Tell us a bit about your company.

Jexo is a fast-growing SaaS startup enhancing Jira with agile project management capabilities. We build plug & play apps for the Atlassian Marketplace to be used in the Jira tool for task management.

There's currently 12 of us, including my co-founder Nikki and me, and we had two rounds of seed investment, the second time receiving funding from Atlassian.

How did the idea for Jexo come about?

Nikki and I used to work together in a team at a company in London. When we moved to different teams, we realized we wanted to continue to work with each other, so we started a side project.

As we launched our first app on the Atlassian Marketplace, thoughts started to materialize, so we decided we would create our dream workplace that we can utilize to experiment and grow as creatives and professionals.

It has never been about "disrupting" industries with our products. What drove Jexo from day one is the idea of working with a brilliant group of people in an open and safe environment.

We create impressive products because we simply do what we love, with people we like, and there's a great culture with no politics or pressure.

Jexo

Sounds like a dream! If you were going to invest in a startup business and you could only give one piece of advice to the team running that company, what would it be?

If you want to cultivate a lucrative business, prioritize intelligence over emotion at all times, in all settings. Here's a few examples of what I mean by that: 

  • Your funding pitch should have a grounded plan backed by due diligence. Don't tell me it will all work out because you feel you're going to make it big.
  • Take business decisions backed by data factors, not impulse.
  • Even when it comes to emotions, practice emotional intelligence to be capable of making real and positive connections with employees and partners.

Very true, passion alone is not enough. What about remote working? Can you share any practical tips for those who work remotely?

  • Bulk your Zoom meeting calls for a section of your week, say, have Mondays for calls and limit the rest of the week so that you're able to feel productive without calls and distractions.
  • If you're working from home, have a daily routine to help separate your work hours from personal time.
  • Use tools and practices to keep you social at work and bond with colleagues. An example is Dive, which allows you to have video calls and play interactive games simultaneously, have a watch party, or simply pop in watercooler chat.

zoom-1

Speaking of teams, how do you keep your team aligned?

We have a monthly team call that is exceptionally transparent. In this call, we discuss growth, financials, strategy, and what the next months look like. And because we're a small team, each individual understands how they're contributing to the growth and wellbeing of everyone else.

Transparency is key. Do you have a share or option scheme in place for your team? 

Yes, we use Unapproved Share Options with our international and remote team.

For the benefit of our readers, an Unapproved Options scheme is a super flexible share scheme that employees, contractors, advisors, consultants and international employees can benefit from.

What impact do you feel it's had?

We recently implemented the scheme, but we're seeing a general boost in the team's care about the company's, month-on-month growth and interest in finding new ways to contribute to the growth.

We also use a straightforward method to value the business and everyone's shares, and this makes it a lot easier to understand how each individual's contribution impacts the growth.

Fantastic. What would you say is the biggest mistake you've made as an entrepreneur?

Not investing enough in people's potential. My role is to help my team unlock their potential and accommodate their growth, but there was a period where I mistakenly saw fast ROI as the best investment.

Fast ROI is not sustainable. Nurturing talent and enabling professional growth will have stronger roots for long-term ROI.

team-laughing

Your team is your greatest asset. How do you start the day Biro? 

I wake up early and go to the gym, where I spend 1 hour and a half. If I'm back early, I will walk for coffee with Nikki near the seaside. The combo of exercising and breeding the fresh sea air helps me kick-start the day full of energy.

Final questions. Who's your favourite band or musician?

James Bay.

And what's your favourite film?

Stay.

Thanks so much for your time Biro, it's been a pleasure. Do check out Jexo's YouTube channel where Biro and the team share updates and top tips.