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Catch the Tornado Podcast

Catch the Tornado Podcast

By Catch the Tornado Podcast

We interview founders, entrepreneurs, and industry leaders about eCommerce, Enterprise Software, Open-Source, and Sustainable Business. A new episode airs each Thursday!

In Balance IT Agata interviews guests at the intersection of business and technology who are making our future more sustainable. In beCommerce Markus talks to CTO’s and industry experts about the most current news, issues and developments in the eCommerce sector. In Catch the Tornado, Piotr brings up topics such as Product Building, SaaS, Enterprise Software, Open Source, and Investments.
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Currently playing episode

2. Challenge Accepted. with Halil Köklü from LoveCrafts

Catch the Tornado Podcast

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61. beCommerce with Björn Dröschel, Managing Director Product & Technology at fulfillmenttools
61. beCommerce with Björn Dröschel, Managing Director Product & Technology at fulfillmenttools
In today's episode, Markus Lorenz speaks to Björn Dröschel, the Product & Technology Managing Director at fulfillmenttools. The platform merges eCommerce with their client's store network, supporting processes like order entry, shipping, click and collect, returns while offering a perfect omnichannel shopping experience for retail customers. In this conversation, Markus and Björn discuss the birth of fulfillmenttools, the unpredictable reality of setting up a company during the breakout of a global pandemic, creating technology that will be adaptable to increasingly rapid changes of the market, and building flexible eCommerce tools that can be used and customized by people without developer assistance. Tune in!
24:18
December 16, 2021
60. Catch the Tornado with Kristian Tysander, co-founder and CEO of Brink Commerce
60. Catch the Tornado with Kristian Tysander, co-founder and CEO of Brink Commerce
Brink Commerce is a high performing, serverless, headless e-commerce SaaS platform for medium to large enterprise customers. Today Piotr speaks to Kristian Tysander, who has helped build the business from the ground up, but has had a huge impact on the architecture behind it. Krystian shares with the listeners the 3 main principles that Brink Commerce follow in the way they have designed their ecom architecture that makes their system so reliable and unique at the same time. Krystian also shares his view on microservices vs monolithic architecture in terms of global scale, speed and efficiency and reveals why subscription management and adding marketing features to their offer is Brink Commerce's direction for the future. 
23:21
December 02, 2021
59. Catch the Tornado with Brad Buda, co-founder of Census
59. Catch the Tornado with Brad Buda, co-founder of Census
In today’s episode, Piotr Karwatka speaks to Brad Buda, the co-founder of Census - an operational analytics platform. Census boasts that it's the easiest way to sync your customer data in all of the available tools and claims to be the best app to get your sales & marketing teams on the same page. Today Piotr speaks to Brad about how joining Amazon, and the cloud web services team in the era of the early days of AWS in Seattle proved to be a formative experience for his entire career. They also talk about the early days of Census, its unique qualities, its impressive growth, and the dynamic role changes for a technical founder that naturally come during the process. Tune in!
44:41
November 18, 2021
58. beCommerce with Julien Lemoine, Co-founder & CTO at Algolia
58. beCommerce with Julien Lemoine, Co-founder & CTO at Algolia
Julien Lemoine, the Co-founder & CTO at Algolia, an Enterprise Search Software company, is an entrepreneur passionate about software development, product development, and algorithmics. In this episode, Markus Lorenz speaks to Julien about building a development team at a huge scale, the development of the role of the CTO in a fast-growing company, leadership struggles, as well as Algolia's search technology, and how the search engine positions itself against its competition. Julien also gives his view on how Algolia's technology helps businesses grow, generate profit, and increase conversion rates by helping customers find exactly what they're looking for, very quickly.
40:28
November 04, 2021
57. Balance IT on being Planet Heroes with their co-founder Przemysław Pyziel
57. Balance IT on being Planet Heroes with their co-founder Przemysław Pyziel
Planet Heroes is the world's first ecological crowdfunding platform. This start-up was established in Poland and has already been recognized by the United Nations. The platform collects funds for pro-ecological activities by allowing you to sponsor each other in exchange for cleaning different public spaces like parks or beaches. So how does the platform work? It is enough to first clean up the area, document it well - then enter the goal of your collection and wait for the payment. Today, Agata speaks to Przemek about the spontaneous beginnings of this initiative, plans for the future, the green startup landscape in Poland, and much more. 
35:48
October 21, 2021
56. Catch the Tornado with Michael Vax, commerce of tomorrow trainer, (ex Hybris, Spryker, Elasticpath)
56. Catch the Tornado with Michael Vax, commerce of tomorrow trainer, (ex Hybris, Spryker, Elasticpath)
Michael Vax has over 20 years of leadership experience across the Digital Commerce landscape. He has led the development of eCommerce platforms at Hybris, Spryker, and Elasticpath. With this extensive experience, he is currently helping customers up-skill their teams in Digital Commerce, develop innovative roadmaps and boost their market growth in his new consulting company CommerceIsDigital. Today, Piotr speaks to Michael about the digital commerce landscape, which keeps broadening into markets previously unheard of in the digital sphere. They also talk about the pros and cons of a feature-driven vs. industry-driven vs. architecture-driven approach, the lessons B2C can learn from the B2B business, and what would be the best first steps if you want your company to go through a digital transformation.
35:08
September 30, 2021
55. beCommerce with Philipp Barthold, Chief Technology Officer at mytheresa.com
55. beCommerce with Philipp Barthold, Chief Technology Officer at mytheresa.com
Mytheresa is one of the leading global luxury fashion e-commerce platforms shipping to over 130 countries. Founded as a boutique in 1987, Mytheresa launched online in 2006 and offers a highly curated edit of over 200 luxury brands with ready-to-wear, shoes, bags and accessories for womenswear, menswear and kidswear. Today Markus Lorenz and Philipp Barthold, the Chief Technology Officer at mytheresa.com talk about building vs buying, efficiency at a scale, building a reliable team and having technology serve the business it is designed for. If you're a developer looking for career opportunities, don't miss out on the ending, where we will announce Mytheresa's job openings for developers. 
31:32
September 23, 2021
54. Catch the Tornado with Humberto Ayres Pereira, CEO of Rows.com
54. Catch the Tornado with Humberto Ayres Pereira, CEO of Rows.com
In this week's Catch the Tornado episode Piotr speaks to Humberto Ayres Pereira, CEO of Rows.com. Rows is not just another spreadhseet. It's a revamped, and tailored to fit the needs of increasingly tech savvy users, no code/low code platform that lets people populate and analyze web apps using a spreadsheet interface. It offers many extended functionalities and integrations such as Lead Generation and Marketing Automation Tools. During this conversatin Piotr and Humberto discuss how the tool differs from products we all know like Google Spreadsheets and Airtable, as well as the rise of Open Source and Low Code products. Let's begin!
35:37
September 16, 2021
53. Balance IT. on hydroponics and vertical farming with Brent Downey, founder of Urban Stalk
53. Balance IT. on hydroponics and vertical farming with Brent Downey, founder of Urban Stalk
Urban Stalk is a Canadian company using leading technology in vertical farming such as precision-based agriculture, micro-controlled environmental production, circularity, IoT and automation to improve people's access to nutritious food and reduce the environmental impact of food production. Urban Stalk has incorporated food production processes from over 16 countries spanning over four continents to produce a world leading food production system. Today, I speak to Brent Downey about the impressive academic foundation that Urban Stalk was built on, the three pillars of its business model, the myths and misconceptions surrounding food technology and much more. Tune in!
48:57
September 09, 2021
52. Catch the Tornado with Nate Stewart, Head of Strategy at BigCommerce
52. Catch the Tornado with Nate Stewart, Head of Strategy at BigCommerce
BigCommerce is an eCommerce platform that provides SaaS services to retailers, including online store creation, search engine optimization, hosting, marketing and security for small and medium-sized businesses. In today's episode, Piotr speaks to Nate Stewart, Head of Strategy at BigCommerce. Some of the topics they discuss include the advantages of functioning in the Austin, Texas startup ecosystem, the importance of Open Source philosophy in BigCommerce's approach to providing SaaS services, and what it takes to build a great API when it's so easy to commoditize. They also discuss BigCommerce and Next.js cooperation and future plans regarding their products. Tune in!
41:09
September 02, 2021
51. beCommerce with Oliver Thylmann, co-founder and CCO of Giant Swarm
51. beCommerce with Oliver Thylmann, co-founder and CCO of Giant Swarm
Giant Swarm provides an API Driven Open Source Platform that enables businesses to easily provision and scale Kubernetes clusters together with a wide set of managed services. Some of its customers include leading organizations from Fortune 500 to technology-first companies. Today, Markus Lorenz speaks to Oliver Thylmann, the co-founder and CCO of Giant Swarm. The two have a very honest conversation about customer service, understanding customer needs, collaboration, identifying real pain points, and building strong, trustworthy business partnerships. Oliver also shares plenty of insights on building a fast-growing company, as well as building lasting relationships within the company itself, even in a remote environment. Tune in!
38:20
August 26, 2021
50. Catch the Tornado with Dominik Angerer, CEO & Founder at Storyblok
50. Catch the Tornado with Dominik Angerer, CEO & Founder at Storyblok
Hi! Welcome to the 50th episode of the Catch the Tornado Podcast! On behalf of our whole team, thank you to all of the guests who have given us their time and shared what was often a lifetime's worth of knowledge.  And to our listeners- thank you for sticking with us! This week Piotr speaks to Dominik Angerer, CEO & Founder at Storyblok- one of the first headless, visual content management systems on the market. Dominik shares what makes Storyblok unique, the company's business model, their approach to marketing, and community-building techniques. He also shares a great strategy for perfecting your pitch and finding the perfect investor. Tune in!
47:39
August 19, 2021
49. Catch the Tornado with François Lanthier Nadeau, CEO at Snipcart
49. Catch the Tornado with François Lanthier Nadeau, CEO at Snipcart
This Catch the Tornado episode features François Lanthier Nadeau, CEO at Snipcart. Snipcart is a developer oriented solution for building shopping carts for online stores and enabling eCommerce for small to medium brands. François' journey from a regular Growth Marketer at a startup to the CEO of a successful company is one that sounds almost unreal. Through curiosity, engagement and willingness to learn he built his own career from the ground up. In this week's episode he shares his perspective on the 8 years he's spent in Snipcart, but also the company roadmap, its unique product-market fit, as well as some insights as to how a SaaS company was able to build a vibrant community many Open Source projects could be envious of. Tune in! 
37:01
August 12, 2021
48. Catch the Tornado with Gordon Lucas, Head of Digital Engineering at Costa Coffee
48. Catch the Tornado with Gordon Lucas, Head of Digital Engineering at Costa Coffee
2020 was not an easy year for any business, but the Hospitality Industry was definitely amongst those suffering the biggest setback. Costa Coffee, a British coffeehouse chain giant was also still recovering from the Brexit when the pandemic hit, yet that did not prevent the company from implementing a very successful mobile app program and eventually becoming the number one application in the UK in 2020. In this week's Catch the Tornado episode, Piotr speaks to Gordon Lucas, the Global Head of Digital Engineering at Costa Coffee about how he and his small team made this happen, how Costa accelerated its digital transformation, both the positive and negative impact of COVID19, the challenges of implementing new technology at such a scale. Tune in!
31:56
August 05, 2021
47. Balance IT with Dirk Van Nievelt co-CEO of Sustainable Marketplace, Denda
47. Balance IT with Dirk Van Nievelt co-CEO of Sustainable Marketplace, Denda
In this episode, Agata talks to Dirk Van Nievelt about his journey to becoming the co-founder of Denda, a South American marketplace that offers only sustainable, eco-friendly products and services that aim to generate well-being in people in multiple categories ranging from healthy foods to energy efficiency. Dirk talks about his childhood dreams of becoming a monk, years spent in many Asian countries China, Tibet, India, Nepal, self-discovery, and then moves on to explain how he became a manufacturer, entrepreneur, and eventually a pioneer of sustainable products for the whole Latam region. He also divulges plans for the future, including expanding on to the global market, challenging huge players like eBay or Wallmart and becoming the number one sustainable marketplace in the world. Tune in to hear this unusual and very inspiring story. 
49:28
July 29, 2021
46. beCommerce with Benoit Jacquemont, the co-founder and CTO of Akeneo
46. beCommerce with Benoit Jacquemont, the co-founder and CTO of Akeneo
Before co-founding Akeneo, Benoit Jacquemont was CTO of Systems Integration company Smile and worked there for over 10 years. During this conversation, Benoit uncovers the story of how Akeneo was born as a solution he and his colleagues designed while still working at Smile, and dealing with clients from all sorts of industries. After some time it turned out that all of them had very similar pain points and struggles that had to do with gathering and managing product data. From fashion brands to auto-parts companies, they all seemed to rely on Excel, and the available at the time PIM's were way too advanced for their needs and skills. Tune in to find out how Akeneo was founded and how it transformed from an on-prem-based solution to a leading PIM and PXM SaaS company. 
35:10
July 22, 2021
45. Challenge Accepted. with John Surdakowski, founder at Avex, Shogun Investor
45. Challenge Accepted. with John Surdakowski, founder at Avex, Shogun Investor
Today, in the Challenge Accepted. episode of our podcast, we have John Surdakowski, founder at Avex, Shogun Investor. John has seen has over 20 years of experience in building the web, from Web 1.0 and Flash animation to the explosion of mobile and e-commerce. In 2015 John started growing his freelance business into a boutique digital agency, with a focus on fashion, lifestyle and premium products. Avex has partnered with many major brands such as Hugo Boss, Rocawear, HBO, Sony Music, and many more. In 2019 Avex was invited to become a Shopify Plus Partner becoming an agency specialized in helping brands navigate the e-commerce space. Tune in! 
30:19
July 15, 2021
44. Pioneers. with Michael Lukaszczyk, CEO and Co-Founder at GraphCMS
44. Pioneers. with Michael Lukaszczyk, CEO and Co-Founder at GraphCMS
In today's Pioneers. episode of our podcast, Piotr speaks to Michael Lukaszczyk, CEO and Co-Founder at GraphCMS, one of the first GraphQL based Content Management Systems on the market. Michael talks about the journey of building a successful company from a very small startup in the B2B business. He shares his perspective on the most important aspects you need to focus on when building a new product or company and talks about the perseverance it took to pioneer a market that was not yet educated about the benefits of GraphQL. He also shares some future plans for the company and discusses current tech trends that he finds most interesting at the moment. Tune in!
36:32
July 08, 2021
43. Balance IT. with Angela Ortiz, Social Impact & Sustainability Entrepreneur
43. Balance IT. with Angela Ortiz, Social Impact & Sustainability Entrepreneur
In this week's Balance IT. episode, Agata speaks to Angela Ortiz, Social Impact & Sustainability Entrepreneur. Angela is the author of "8 Principles That Will Make You An Effective Leader In Social Impact" and has over 9 years of experience in CSR. Her company, Stratechist Consulting, specializes in providing savvy solutions for companies & SMEs that help them enable effective CSR strategies and social impact programs. During this week's episode Angela talks about her journey from volunteer for local communities affected by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in the Honshu region of Japan, through CSR manager and advisor at H&M and Adidas, to building her own CSR consulting company. She discusses the most difficult obstacles both large and small companies face when building their sustainability program, employee engagement, and explains how to effectively align your impact initiatives with your line of business. 
42:04
July 01, 2021
42. Pioneers. with Björn Raupach, the CTO & Founder of E2N
42. Pioneers. with Björn Raupach, the CTO & Founder of E2N
E2N is a software company founded in 2009 specializing in intelligent employee management and effective planning of personnel allocation that is known for its amazing UX. Its main premise is digitalization and food and hospitality is their main industry sector. Today, Markus Lorenz speaks to Björn Raupach, the CTO & Founder of E2N about his journey since starting the firm with only two other partners. Björn answers questions about building a SaaS business back in 2009, the tech stack, serious company growth, and even gives some crucial advice to young developers and future CTO's about building your first product and finding the perfect product-market fit. Tune in!
38:06
June 24, 2021
41. Challenge Accepted. with Adam Maschek, CTO at Westwing Home & Living
41. Challenge Accepted. with Adam Maschek, CTO at Westwing Home & Living
In this week's Challenge Accepted. episode of our podcast, Piotr's guest is Adam Maschek the CTO of Westwing Home & Living. Westwing is an international eCommerce platform selling home appliances, furniture, decorations and much more. The platform could potentially face many tech challenges, as one of its most frequented API's processes up to 180,000 requests per minute in peak traffic. However, Piotr and Adam talk about more than just tech efficiency, front-end or back-end, purchased or in-house solutions. They also talk about leadership, HR, resources, and how technology is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to issues that every CTO of any size organization has to face. Tune in!
50:38
June 17, 2021
40. Challenge Accepted. with Mihaela Mazzenga, Chief Technology Officer at Sharper Image
40. Challenge Accepted. with Mihaela Mazzenga, Chief Technology Officer at Sharper Image
Today's episode features Mihaela Mazzenga, Chief Technology Officer at Sharper Image, MACH alliance ambassador, a solutions architect, and a product strategist. Mihaela has recently led her team at Sharper Image through a full-blown migration from an enterprise monolith into a composable commerce setup.  In today's episode, Mihaela and Piotr discuss the various operational issues, budget issues, and issues of scale that stem from such a transformation, from the perspective of the CTO of a highly customer-focused electronics, home and garden appliances platform. Tune in!
30:43
June 10, 2021
39. Challenge Accepted. with Vahid Gharavi, Director of Engineering at METRO.digital
39. Challenge Accepted. with Vahid Gharavi, Director of Engineering at METRO.digital
METRO revolutionized an entire industry when it was founded: the arrival of the cash & carry concept enabled customers to find everything they needed under one roof. Today METRO offers not only the goods but the complete 360° wholesale experience. In this week's Challenge Accepted episode, Piotr speaks to Vahid Gharavi - Director Of Engineering at METRO.digital about the role of eCommerce at METRO, its architecture, the optimal team structure at this scale, and the biggest tech challenges of a global company with almost 100,000 employees. 
37:08
June 03, 2021
38. Pioneers. with Matthias Patzak, Principal Advisor at Amazon Web Services
38. Pioneers. with Matthias Patzak, Principal Advisor at Amazon Web Services
Matthias Patzak is the Principal Advisor at Amazon Web Services. He is an expert on lean-agile operational models at scale and has led many successful cloud transformations that resulted in shorter delivery times and increased business value for the businesses involved. In today's episode of the CTO-CTO Podcast Markus Lorenz speaks to Matthias about some of the biggest challenges that companies who want to go through digital transformation face, helping mature companies become eCommerce centered businesses, how being customer-centric is the key to innovation, and why most companies don't think big enough when it comes to their own digital journey. 
26:56
May 27, 2021
37. Balance IT. on #RacetoZero and CO2 offsetting with Yook's co-founder, Antoine Verger
37. Balance IT. on #RacetoZero and CO2 offsetting with Yook's co-founder, Antoine Verger
In this week's Balance IT series episode, Agata and Antoine talk about building a green tech startup in the midst of the pandemic, and how looking for a more meaningful and fulfilling professional career can start with helping online shoppers calculate and offset their carbon footprint. while they're finalizing their purchase. April 2020 was when Varena Junge and Antoine Verger co-founded of Yook, a Hamburg-based online shop extension that makes climate action as easy as ordering your favorite shoes online. Tune in for some quick facts on CO2 emissions, but also hear the inspiring story of building a green tech startup from the ground up. 
39:57
May 20, 2021
36. Challenge Accepted. with Thomas Payet, co-founder & COO at MeiliSearch
36. Challenge Accepted. with Thomas Payet, co-founder & COO at MeiliSearch
ElasticSearch is the default search engine for anyone who wants to build a search box. Lucene is the algorithm behind ElasticSearch, and other popular search engines but, although this technology is great, it's been around for many years. MeiliSearch, an Open Source solution co-founded by Thomas Payet, is challenging the market monopoly in terms of search and is currently providing a popular and user-friendly search engine building experience for developers. In today's Challenge Accepted episode, Piotr speaks to Thomas about starting at the very bottom and developing your own OS solution, challenging huge market players, growing a faithful following, and plans of monetization. Tune in!
39:45
May 13, 2021
35. Pioneers. with Brian Flynn, Serial Entrepreneur and Investor at FounderPartners
35. Pioneers. with Brian Flynn, Serial Entrepreneur and Investor at FounderPartners
In today's episode, Piotr speaks to Brian Flynn, Serial Entrepreneur and Investor at FounderPartners, who has over 20 years of experience in business and startups and over 10 in investments. Piotr and Brian have a unique conversation about building companies, all stages of funding, the difference between unicorns and mustangs, and why letting go of your own ego and focusing on your customers when it comes to your company's growth can be actually the most beneficial in the longterm. Brian also shares the mindset that led him to a couple of multi-million exits for the companies he founded. Tune in!
48:57
May 06, 2021
34. Pioneers. with Nishant Patel, Founder & CTO at Contentstack
34. Pioneers. with Nishant Patel, Founder & CTO at Contentstack
In today's episode of the Pioneers series, our guest is Nishant Patel, the Founder & CTO at Contentstack™ – a leading CMS and Content Experience Platform (CXP). Nishant is a technology visionary with an extensive track record of spotting and setting industry trends and creating software products that power digital transformation and further the rise of the API economy. Today, Piotr speaks to Nishant about the beginnings of cloud and API-first technology, building products inside services companies, how Contentstack became a headless CMS leader in just few years, and together they even try to define the ultimate recipe for success. Tune in! 
41:15
April 29, 2021
33. Pioneers. with Art Boyd, Senior VP, Growth Partnerships at Mirakl
33. Pioneers. with Art Boyd, Senior VP, Growth Partnerships at Mirakl
In this episode of the Pioneers. series, our guest is Art Boyd, Senior VP at Mirakl. Although Art Boyd had a successful career in finance at Citibank, he decided to move on to a more risky environment of enterprise software development and spent many years working for ATG, Oracle and Magento. Art discusses with Piotr the importance of building your career on the right fundamentals and focusing on long-term benefits, and how he managed to meet 100% sales performance goals for 4 years in a row at Mirakl. He also explains why he puts so much focus on relationships, and how Mirakl became a pioneer and market leader. They finish off with current eCommerce trends and why the pandemic completely inverted the relationship between brick and mortar and eCommerce.  
48:48
April 22, 2021
32. Pioneers. with Finbarr Taylor CEO at Shogun
32. Pioneers. with Finbarr Taylor CEO at Shogun
In this episode of the Pioneers. series, our guest is Finbarr Taylor CEO at Shogun. Finbarr started his career as a software engineer who studied Computer Science in Scotland. As a software engineer, he worked for Groupon, Pebble Tech and Y Combinator. His experience in various Silicon Valley companies gave him the skills and network needed to start his own successful startup, and eventually, become CEO at Shogun. Shogun grew very slow until their break on the Shopify App store and eventually blew up closing two successful funding rounds last year. Tune in to hear the details of this founder story. 
23:52
April 15, 2021
31. Balance IT. on plastic footprint compensation with circulate.global CEO Christian Rühlmann
31. Balance IT. on plastic footprint compensation with circulate.global CEO Christian Rühlmann
In this episode of our podcast Agata's guest is Christian Rühlmann, CEO of circulate.global. This is an environmental service platform that offers plastic neutrality to both individuals and brands. What gave Christian the wake-up call that led him to become the CEO of an environmental startup? What really happens to the plastic that we conscientiously segregate? Who should be held responsible for plastic leakage into our rivers and oceans and why is plastic still the most widely used packaging material in 2021? These and many other questions answered, shocking truths revealed but also actions that you can take today to start making a change are all shared in today's episode. Tune in!
42:11
April 08, 2021
30. Challenge Accepted. with Stephan Schulze, CTO at Project A and Markus Lorenz (our new co-Host)
30. Challenge Accepted. with Stephan Schulze, CTO at Project A and Markus Lorenz (our new co-Host)
Welcome to the 30th episode of the CTO-CTO podcast. Firstly, we have another Challenge Accepted. by Stephan Schulze, the CTO at Project A who is an expert in helping companies develop faster and better than their competition. He is a CTO who is not only interested in tech but also in the wider ecosystem around tech (such as Product, Business Intelligence, Data, Marketing, ect.) and today he speaks to Piotr about the challenge of being a CTO in an Operational VC. Secondly, we speak to Markus Lorenz, our new podcast co-Host, who after years of leading Digital and IT in Lampenweld, just became Divante's General Manager for the DACH region. Markus and Stephan are long-time collaborators, and you will hear more about the details of their business journey in this episode. We are glad to see our CTO-CTO family growing, and hope you continue to grow with us. Let's begin!
48:51
April 01, 2021
29. Pioneers. with Filip Felician Dames, Entrepreneur and Investor at Cherry Ventures
29. Pioneers. with Filip Felician Dames, Entrepreneur and Investor at Cherry Ventures
Tech Crunch's recent news of Polish-American start-up Saleor raising 2.5 million USD in seed funding went viral a few days ago. In this week's Pioneers. episode, Piotr speaks to Filip Felician Dames, Entrepreneur and Investor at Cherry Ventures, the VC that made this and many other impressive investments happen since it was founded in 2013. Piotr and Filip talk the "founders first, investors second" motto, investing in Open Source products, and most important criteria for becoming a Cherry VC’s portfolio company. Filip also expands on the key qualities for a successful founder beyond just having a vision and being confident in your project, and reveals which investments he's missed and which he's most proud of. Tune in!
53:29
March 25, 2021
28. Challenge Accepted. with Kapies Vallipuram, Director of Software Development at ALDO Group
28. Challenge Accepted. with Kapies Vallipuram, Director of Software Development at ALDO Group
In today's episode, Piotr speaks to Kapies Vallipuram, Director of Software Development at ALDO Group. ALDO is a Canadian retailer that owns and operates a worldwide chain of shoe and accessories stores. Kapies was in charge of the ALDO Crew Loyalty, ALDO's global loyalty platform that integrates the offline and online customer's experience. Piotr speaks to Kapies about headless, API-first approach, what it took to make a successful implementation of ALDO Crew Loyalty in only 6 months, and why, instead of building it themselves, they chose the open-source platform to host their loyalty engine. Tune in!
34:47
March 18, 2021
27. Balance IT. Empowering Women in Tech with Natalie Pilling and Aleksandra Bis (Dare IT)
27. Balance IT. Empowering Women in Tech with Natalie Pilling and Aleksandra Bis (Dare IT)
Celebrating International Women's Day, this week in the Balance IT. series of our podcast, our guests are Natalie Pilling and Aleksandra Bis, the two founders of Dare IT, a mentorship program that is meant to help women start working in the IT industry and accelerate the growth of their careers. The technology sector is still struggling with gender equality, with reports by Statista and The National Center of Women and Information Technology showing only 25% of all jobs in IT held by women in 2020. Today I ask Natalie and Aleksandra some questions about the program, why equal representation matters, the impact of mentorship, and how to find the right career path in tech even when you're completely new to it. We even discuss our favorite TV series and why it's the best thing that's happened in the media for women in years. 
01:04:40
March 11, 2021
26. Pioneers. with Fabian Wesner, founder of ROQ, ex-CTO of Spryker
26. Pioneers. with Fabian Wesner, founder of ROQ, ex-CTO of Spryker
In this episode of the Pioneers. series of our podcast, our guest is Fabian Wesner, founder of ROQ, ex-CTO of Spryker. Fabian started his career as a freelance developer, who then became a part of the team building Zalando Lounge who quickly became the CTO of Rocket Internet. His vast experience in multiple companies led him to recently create his own business, a next-generation web app platform called ROQ. The ROQ platform is designed for SaaS enterprises and is based on some groundbreaking principles like single language restriction for the entire platform. He is a Clean Code and SOLID principles evangelist, who calls himself a very "hands-on" CTO. Tune in!
01:01:27
March 04, 2021
25. Challenge Accepted. with Harini Janakiraman, Head of Technology & Associate Partner at Antler
25. Challenge Accepted. with Harini Janakiraman, Head of Technology & Associate Partner at Antler
In this episode of the Challenge Accepted. series, Piotr speaks to Harini Janakiraman, Head of Technology & Associate Partner at Antler. Antler is a global early-stage venture capital firm that builds and invests in the defining technology companies of tomorrow. Harini tells us about her experience at Antler and their data-driven decision process for finding and investing in early-stage startup founders. They work with big data to find the top 1% of potential founders and also provide support, access to network and resources, coaching. Harini also shares some tips on how to find the right Technical Founder and how to minimize investment risk at the early stages. Tune in!
30:23
February 25, 2021
24. Balance IT. with Victoria Schmierer on Pre-owned fashion at Zalando
24. Balance IT. with Victoria Schmierer on Pre-owned fashion at Zalando
We are very excited to bring you Balance IT., where Agata will be talking to various guests about specific Sustainable business practices. Instead of just sitting around complaining about our own negligence, the deteriorating condition of our environment, and mindless consumerism, we want to shine a light on those who are actually making change happen. We will be showing examples of how technology is helping companies have a positive impact on our planet and the communities we affect by our businesses. We want to keep you informed and help you make the right choices as investors, business owners, and most importantly consumers. We would also like to inspire you to take action because there must be a million ways to start making change happen today. My first guest is Victoria Schmierer, Business Development Manager at the Zalando Recommerce team and Positive Psychology advocate. I invited her today to speak about the new Pre-owned fashioned offer at Zalando; the one European e-Commerce retailer that needs no further introduction. We will talk about how the idea of selling Pre-owned fashion originated and how it's being implemented, whether or not it's successful and what are Zalando's plans in terms of expanding into this new pre-worn clothing market. Tune in!
37:45
February 18, 2021
23. Pioneers. with Pierre Burgy, co-founder & CEO of Strapi
23. Pioneers. with Pierre Burgy, co-founder & CEO of Strapi
In today's episode, Piotr speaks to Pierre Burgy, the co-founder, and CEO of Strapi. Strapi is a leading open-source CMS, which proudly boasts a community of over 30,000 members on GitHub. Piotr finds out from Pierre about the open-source business models he has considered, and which ones he's actually adopted as well as how the team managed to build such outstanding user loyalty. They also talk about marketing strategies, how headless CMS's actually work, and what was Pierre's biggest learning of his career. Tune in!
39:05
February 11, 2021
22. Pioneers. with Filippo Conforti, CEO at Commerce Layer
22. Pioneers. with Filippo Conforti, CEO at Commerce Layer
Commerce Layer is a headless commerce platform and Order Management System that lets you add global shopping capabilities to any website, mobile app, chatbot, or IoT device. Today's conversation is with Filippo Conforti, the CEO of Commerce Layer. Piotr and Filippo talk about Filippo's experiences as a Ruby on Rails developer as well as implementing global commerce for one of the biggest fashion houses in the world, Gucci. They also talk about what makes Commerce Layer unique and so easy to implement for companies looking to go online who don't have the budget or the resources to manage a full-stack eCommerce system, they also talk about future plans and innovative technologies that Commerce Layer is currently trying out.
47:45
February 04, 2021
21. Challenge Accepted with Mathias Rönnlund, Systems Architect at Mirka
21. Challenge Accepted with Mathias Rönnlund, Systems Architect at Mirka
Finland based Mirka is one of the biggest sand-paper and tool manufacturers in the world. Today's guest is Mathias Rönnlund, Systems Architect at the company. Piotr speaks to Mathias about the B2B project based on SAP Spartacus. The conversation then moves to IoT and Microsoft Azure and ways of leveraging the Cloud-Native approach without getting into a vendor lock-in situation. Among many other topics, Matthias shares his rule of thumb for managing the organization which is: don't generalize too early. Even at their scale, this rule allows Mirka to operate at a startup's pace, yet with very well organized and set industrial processes. Let's begin!
56:16
January 28, 2021
20. Pioneers. with Jan Hegewald, Director of Engineering at Zalando
20. Pioneers. with Jan Hegewald, Director of Engineering at Zalando
Zalando has been setting industry standards since its early days in 2008. A huge part of the success of this retail phenomenon is its primary focus on software development. Zalando's recent migration towards microservices architecture is still a model-case for many engineering initiatives. This week Piotr speaks to Jan Hegewald, Zalando’s Director of Engineering of the Product and Category Experience. From this episode you will learn about the structure, processes and the day-to-day challenges of the 200 teams powering the biggest European fashion store. You will also hear Jan's thoughts on how to find the difficult balance between great architecture, clean code, and the need for speedy implementations. Tune in!
52:34
January 21, 2021
19. Pioneers. with John Williams, CTO at Amplience
19. Pioneers. with John Williams, CTO at Amplience
In Today’s episode, Piotr talks to John Wiliams, CTO at Amplience. This story starts with Amplience being a startup centered around building flash-based media software right before Steve Jobs announces the death of Flash and the reign of HTML 5. John talks about how the company took this seemingly devastating turn of events and made it their biggest market advantage pivoting into headless content management long before headless became a thing. Amplience currently provides services to over 350 of the world's leading commerce brands and is a proud member of the MACH Alliance. Other topics John and Piotr discuss are Headless eCommerce, Microservices, API First and the Cloud. Tune in!
01:03:41
January 14, 2021
18. Pioneers. with Alexander (Sasha) Vidiborskiy, Principal at Atomico
18. Pioneers. with Alexander (Sasha) Vidiborskiy, Principal at Atomico
In today's Pioneer's episode, our guest is Sasha Vidiborskiy, the Principal at Atomico VC (his biggest investments include Skype, Pipedrive ...). Sasha shares 10+ years of investing experience with us including the best and worst cases he's seen in his career. He discusses what is at the core of the Venture Capital business, explains his process for sourcing talent,  and shares why being ambitious, and having a game changer mindset are his most important categories for an upcoming entrepreneur. This episode guarantees great advice for anyone entering business and looking for investors, VC's and supporters who will help take their company to the next level. 
01:09:40
January 07, 2021
17. Challenge Accepted. with Christoph Gerber, CEO of Talon.One, founder of Lieferando
17. Challenge Accepted. with Christoph Gerber, CEO of Talon.One, founder of Lieferando
In today’s episode, Piotr speaks to Christoph  about the challenges of building a successful enterprise-software startup. Christoph is the CEO of Talon.One, a platform that allows you to manage marketing campaigns as well as customer loyalty and rewards solutions all in one place on an enterprise scale. Christoph also founded one of the biggest German take-away delivery startups Lieferando.de, and shares his personal insights on building diverse teams, investments and the need to reinvent your business in order to stay relevant on the market.
33:41
December 31, 2020
16. Pioneers. with Tim Neutkens Next.js lead and co-author
16. Pioneers. with Tim Neutkens Next.js lead and co-author
Next.js has become a standard framework for React applications. Wondering how this happened? In today’s Pioneers episode, we speak to Tim Neutkens, the very young yet accomplished Next.js lead and co-author. Among some of the topics, Piotr and Tim discuss are how adopting this framework impacted the hosting platform adoption and vice versa, how they managed to build a community around next.js, and what cooperation with Google Chrome and Facebook's React team actually looks like. Tune in!
01:10:27
December 24, 2020
15. Challenge Accepted. with Eli Finkelshteyn, founder and CEO at Constructor.i
15. Challenge Accepted. with Eli Finkelshteyn, founder and CEO at Constructor.i
Eli Finkelshteyn is the Founder and CEO at Constructor.io, an eCommerce search engine for improving conversion rates. Eli, a search engine expert is someone who started out his career with a rare mix of interest in both Linguistics and Computer Science. During this episode Piotr speaks to Eli about his passion for ancient languages, transparency with clients, Constructor.io’s business goals, and what helping people and being a programmer have in common.
38:02
December 17, 2020
14. Challenge Accepted. with Gabriel Engel, founder and CEO of Rocket.Chat
14. Challenge Accepted. with Gabriel Engel, founder and CEO of Rocket.Chat
Rocket.Chat is not an "Open Source Slack". It's much more than that. Today, we speak to Gabriel Engel, founder & CEO. With companies such as Audi, Deutsche Bahn, and the U.S. Department of Defense using this communication platform of the future, there’s no doubt the company's vision is strong! During this conversation, Gabriel shares his view on redefining communication and why building a truly open-source product is both the most impactful approach when helping non-profit organizations around the globe, but also great for business. Tune in!
54:46
December 10, 2020
13. Pioneers. with Adam Sturrock co-founder of Moltin
13. Pioneers. with Adam Sturrock co-founder of Moltin
In today's Pioneers. episode, our guest is Adam Sturrock, the co-founder of Moltin and MACH Alliance ambassador. Piotr and Adam discuss the beginnings of Moltin and what it was like to build a successful startup in Newcastle, England, back in 2013. Adam also talks about the struggles of moving to Silicon Valley, his first six-figure deals, empowering developers, consulting companies on headless architecture decisions, and the lifecycle of companies. 
50:31
December 03, 2020
12. Pioneers. with Carsten Thoma, co-founder of Hybris (SAP CX)
12. Pioneers. with Carsten Thoma, co-founder of Hybris (SAP CX)
Today, our guest is Carsten Thoma, investor, entrepreneur, co-founder of Hybris (SAP), an eCommerce platform that pioneered the market back when less than 2% of global transactions were executed online. Some of the topics Carsten talks about are solving complex issues on a low budget, the importance of proximity to the customer, and how genuine and foolproof company culture is built. Carsten’s journey from founder to entrepreneur to corporate executive is truly praiseworthy, so tune in to find out all about it!
41:04
November 26, 2020
11. Challenge Accepted. with Boris Lokschin, CEO and co-founder of Spryker
11. Challenge Accepted. with Boris Lokschin, CEO and co-founder of Spryker
In today’s Challenge Accepted. episode our guest is Boris Lokschin, CEO and co-founder of Spryker. Boris talks about the challenge of entering an already established and saturated eCommerce platforms market with Spryker, and how he managed to still win over this market big time. He also discusses why microservices are not for everyone and he even shares the biggest lesson of his professional career. 
49:32
November 19, 2020
10. Pioneers. with Peter Lepeska, CTO of Acceleration Research & Technologies (ViaSat)
10. Pioneers. with Peter Lepeska, CTO of Acceleration Research & Technologies (ViaSat)
Today’s episode is part of the Pioneers. series and our guest is Peter Lepeska, CTO of Acceleration Research Technologies at Viasat, Inc.  Amongst other topics, during this conversation Peter talks about how being a bike messenger with a hacker mentality has influenced the entirety of his career in technology and eCommerce. Other interesting topics include satellites, browsers, app fatigue, and advice on how to get out of your comfort zone when you want to keep creating innovative products.
59:00
November 12, 2020
9. Challenge Accepted. with Tobias Ouwejan, Lead Architect at SAP
9. Challenge Accepted. with Tobias Ouwejan, Lead Architect at SAP
Today’s Challenge Accepted. episode is a conversation between Piotr and Tobias Ouwejan, the Lead Architect for Commerce at SAP. After a decade working with customers and partners on Hybris commerce implementations, Tobias moved to the product team where he joined the Enterprise Architects team, which he is now leading. Today, Piotr speaks to Tobias about the challenge of implementing the Spartacus project, the application that allows you to build your own branded, JavaScript-based storefront for SAP Commerce Cloud. 
36:10
November 05, 2020
8. Pioneers. with Matt Gorniak, CEO of Threekit
8. Pioneers. with Matt Gorniak, CEO of Threekit
This week, as part of the Pioneers. series of the CTO-CTO podcast, we are hosting Matt Gorniak, CEO of Threekit. Matt has over 20 years of experience in the enterprise software space, and as he says, his aim was always to solve common challenges that turned out to be too difficult to be solved by his competitors.  Matt, a true pioneer, talks about his success with selling his ventures to Oracle and Salesforce, building the G2 business software comparison portal, but also talks future with 2D, 3D, and Augmented reality platform Threekit- his latest project. 
47:04
October 29, 2020
7. Challenge Accepted. with Philipp Triebel, Head of Engineering at Highsnobiety
7. Challenge Accepted. with Philipp Triebel, Head of Engineering at Highsnobiety
If you’re familiar with the term "street style", or you’re into sneakers, fashion, or culture, this episode is for you. Today’s guest is Philipp Triebel,  the Head of Engineering at Highsnobiety, an online lifestyle news site, which has gone a long way from a small team of 5 people writing articles online. In this episode of the Challenge Accepted series, Piotr and Philipp discuss the difficulties of turning an online lifestyle magazine into an eCommerce store while figuring out the best way to accommodate the specificity of the “drop” sales model on their website. Let’s begin!
57:06
October 22, 2020
6. Challenge Accepted. with Jonathan Ribas, CTO of Zadig & Voltaire
6. Challenge Accepted. with Jonathan Ribas, CTO of Zadig & Voltaire
Today, in the Challenge Accepted. series, our guest is Jonathan Ribas, the CTO of Parisian fashion house Zadig & Voltaire. Jonathan talks about the strategy of implementing a successful move of the Zadig online shops from Magento 1 to a headless Magento 2 framework, with a unified PWA Vue Storefront front-end. You will hear all about the challenges of this implementation while taking under account differences for various locations, like shipping, payments, and also the challenge of building the PWA with node.js for the first time.
31:40
October 15, 2020
5. Challenge Accepted. with Matthias Zielezny, Head Of Software Development at Marc O'Polo
5. Challenge Accepted. with Matthias Zielezny, Head Of Software Development at Marc O'Polo
This episode is part two of the conversations about the digital transformation at Marc O'Polo. Last week, we spoke about this challenge with Steffen Sandner, the fashion enterprise's Digital Intelligence Director, who spoke about the transformation from the perspective of brand-building, managing teams, and finances. This week's guest is Matthias Zielezny, Head of Software Development who unlocks this challenge from the technological perspective, discussing technical solutions, headless eCommerce architecture, managing developers' work, and custom-built solutions. 
32:48
October 08, 2020
4. Challenge Accepted. with Steffen Sandner, Digital Intelligence Director at Marc O'Polo
4. Challenge Accepted. with Steffen Sandner, Digital Intelligence Director at Marc O'Polo
For every problem you have to solve in your daily business you will find at least two exactly opposite solutions, and making the right choice is not always easy. Thankfully, in the Challenge Accepted. Series of our podcast our experienced guests analyze a specific problem they’ve encountered and rate various solutions they tried for themselves so you don’t have to. This week's guest is Steffen Sandner, Digital Intelligence Director at Marc O'Polo. Marc O’Polo is a Swedish-German fashion label that generates more than €472 million Euros annually. The company supplies more than 2,500 stores and retail partners in more than 40 countries and has recently embarked on the digital transformation journey with a focus on headless architecture. Steffen has been leading this unquestionably difficult process and this episode is all about how he approached it, all while building a brand, dealing with failure, and managing teams remotely during the global pandemic.
30:27
October 01, 2020
3. Pioneers. with Ulrike Mueller (former co-founder of Demandware)
3. Pioneers. with Ulrike Mueller (former co-founder of Demandware)
This week's guest is Ulrike Mueller, a former CTO known for creating innovative software products throughout all of her career. She started back in the 80’s as a programmer, and was part of the movement that pioneered the Software as a Service model for eCommerce on an enterprise scale. Building the technical foundations, software, even hardware, years before the SaaS model was a standard. The most notable platforms she helped create are Intershop in the 90’s, Demandware in the 2000’s, and New Store in 2015. This episode is packed with over 30 years of experience and insights, and key advice for young CTO’s on both technical aspects of the role, but also priorities, team building and the mindset needed to be successful in this career.
01:03:20
September 24, 2020
2. Challenge Accepted. with Halil Köklü from LoveCrafts
2. Challenge Accepted. with Halil Köklü from LoveCrafts
With the Challenge Accepted. series we put theory into practice in order to solve a specific problem, so you don't have to. This week's guest is Halil Köklü, the CTO of Lovecrafts, who talks about the challenges of implementing a headless e-commerce solution for his company. 
30:35
September 17, 2020
1. Pioneers. with Kelly Goetsch from commercetools
1. Pioneers. with Kelly Goetsch from commercetools
In the Pioneers. series we explore the mindset and technologies required to shape the future of ecommerce. This week's guest is Kelly Goetsch, Chief Product Officer of commercetools.
22:56
September 09, 2020