13 - Virtual Stack - The Journey from Network Engineer to Startup CEO

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On the 13th episode of Virtual Stack Podcast, Dimitar (Mitko) Vasilev joined me to talk about his journey from a Network Engineer to a Startup CEO. On this slightly longer episode, Mitko explains his journey starting from university, Cisco, his first startup - OA Digital, and his current endeavour - Data Mining Platform. We talked about several personal, inter-personal and technical aspects of building your own startup, which I believe you’ll find interesting as much as I did. You can reach out to Mitko on LinkedIn (https://www.linkedin.com/in/mitkovasilev/), Twitter (@iotcoi) and mitko@dataminingplatform.com. Mitko will soon start his own podcast called “Day 0” so keep an eye on that as well. Hope you enjoy the show. Feel free to share your feedback via Twitter, LinkedIn or virtualstack.tech. Show notes: Intro:
  • 02:10 - University, first jobs and Cisco.
  • 09:50 - Cisco openBerlin
  • 19:30 - Story of OA Digital
  • 25:20 - Story of Data Mining Platform
The Journey:
  • 29:15 - The motivation at the beginning of the startup journey.
  • 33:15 - The process between having an idea and validating that there’s a business lying behind it.
  • 35:50 - How does it feel to go into a different domain - from IT/Networking/IoT into real estate and smart buildings?
  • 39:05 - You have a good idea but you’re not the "maker” (e.g software engineer, electronic/mechanical engineer). How do you find the right people and form a team?
  • 41:50 - How would you work on your start up without interfering with your day-to-day job?
  • 43:50 - Knowing the right time to jump off the corporate train, leaving the good salary and perks. Financial planning.
  • 47:10 - Dealing with stress and emotions, communication with family and friends.
  • 49:10 - How does an engineer teach himself/herself to be a CEO? E.g. leadership, finance, marketing, business acumen.
  • 53:50 - Knowing the right time “to pull the plug” and close down your startup.
  • 57:00 - What would you do differently if you started the journey again?
Future:
  • 01:00:30 - What’s the next big thing that will evolve the technology in the near future
  • 01:04:10 - What would you study if you were 18 again?
  • 01:06:50 - Closing notes
Books:

21 episodes available. A new episode about every 13 days averaging 42 mins duration .