Today the world celebrates Ada Lovelace Day (ALD), an international day of blogging to draw attention to women excelling in technology. Ada Lovelace is often referred to as the worlds’ first programmer, as she wrote a series of instructions for Charles Babbage’s proposed mechanical computer that would calculate Bernoulli numbers back in 1843.
The fact that the inventor happened to be a woman doesn’t necessarily make me feel prouder that I’m a woman, but I admit it’s a an argument I would probably bring on the table in a gender debate. On the other hand, I do find ALD to be a great opportunity to think about other wonderful women that I follow, admire and respect in the worlds of online marketing & software business.
For the “yes, you can” attitude I like to turn to the wonder women of Outspoken Media and for my daily inspiration I feel close to both my colleagues Adriana (actually she’s my boss:) and Carmen (our CEO) who really know how to push things forward in the most non-intrusive way possible.
But the best part at Avangate is that we get to work with great clients and wonderful people who know how to build and market great software and most importantly, really care about their customers. One of these clients is Movavi, developer of best seller video converter software, which happens to be managed by a woman, Natalie Khudyakova. She was kind to answer a few questions about how it feels like to be part of Movavi and to share insights about leading it. Here is the mini interview:
- Please tell us a bit about yourself and how you started working in the software industry.
I was brought up in Novosibirsk, one of biggest IT centers in Russia, the so-called Siberian silicon valley. I’ve always been fascinated by devices and information technologies, so after university I joined a gaming software company as an online marketing professional. It took me two years to gain experience and knowledge of the software industry, so in 2004 I decided to join efforts with my good friend Sergey Pavlishin, who is now Movavi CTO, and start our own company.
I knew how to market software products and he knew how to turn ideas into code and make products work. Our first program – EnhanceMovie (now Movavi Video Editor) – was ready just in a couple of months after the company’s launch and that’s how it all started.
- What were the most important actions you’ve done that contributed to Movavi’s growth from a startup in Siberia to an internationally known business?
- I believe our success is due to
- , understanding the
needs of our users
- and a
- . We take genuine interest in what our users think about our products, listen to what in their opinion our products lack and we keep on improving. When we started working on our second product –
- – we carried out a series of researches and polls that showed that users needed not only a multifunctional, all-in-one video converter solution, but one with a pleasant-looking, intuitive interface.
Movavi Video Converter
- surpassed user expectations and became an overnight success – four years after the launch it has over 5 million users in 95 countries.
But we also did a great job developing a website, organizing efficient online marketing campaigns and defining the most appropriate sales channels.
- Movavi functions internationally through a network of tele-workers around the world – would you recommend this practice to other businesses?
For small to mid-sized companies, I’d say “Yes”. When a company needs to enter a new market, the one thing it definitely lacks is the insider knowledge of the market and relevant business ties. One can try and enter a new market all by itself, but that’s a bad idea as it takes too much time and effort. When opening a representative office is unjustified, a network of professional, seasoned tele-workers is a sound idea. You only have to find such people and they will do the rest of the job.
- In your opinion, is there a difference between software businesses run by women in comparison to those run by men?
- Honestly, I don’t think there is any. Either you’re a good manager, successful leader or your company is a complete failure. But probably women-leaders are more emphatic and they more often cultivate a democratic atmosphere inside the company which in its turn adds to a more creative employee attitude to their responsibilities and projects.
So my Ada Lovelace is Natalie from Movavi and a big thank you goes to her and her team for being a wonderful partner!
Now it’s your turn: is there someone special you admire in the software industry that you feel like mentioning today?