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Many things that seem urgent are actually not that urgent at all
Today's entrepreneur is Konstantin Krauss is the founder of Ciara. Ciara is designed for motivated salespeople, the platform allows users to focus on talking to customers and closing more deals. Users are guided through the calls with access to winning playbooks and equipped with context-aware, real-time objection handling.
Krauss has been active in the technology sector for more than 14 years. He got his start by co-founding Travian Games, one of the world's leading providers of online games. Shortly after, he sold his shares and served as CTO of Propertybase, the leading global cloud platform for real estate brokerages, for nearly nine years. Using his skills acquired in business startup and technology, he then co-founded Ciara in 2019.
Krauss also serves as an ambassador and company scout for The German Accelerator which aims to empower German startups to scale globally. Krauss helped to recruit many success stories into the accelerator including Celonis which is valued at more than $1 billion, N26 and NavVIs to name a few.
He studied computer science at Ludwig-Maximilians Universität München. Find more about Konstantin below.
Why did you choose to be an entrepreneur?
There are 2 themes in my life that have accompanied me since my childhood. First, I love new things. I consider myself an early adopter, always interested in the latest developments and newest products. Second, I am a fan of change. If I hear that something is being done in a certain way because it's always been done that way, I see a chance for disruption. Entrepreneurship is the perfect combination of these two, because I can change the way we work/live/are by building new products.
What are your favorite startups?
Ciara (of course), Notion, Github, Airbnb.
Why did you start your current company?
Konstantin: I firmly believe that digital assistants will change the way we work forever. With Ciara we can lead that change and become a major player in this new field.
What's most frustrating and rewarding about entrepreneurship/innovation?
Konstantin: During the first couple of years as a startup, you face difficult situations and troubles. For example, although your investors and advisors say they’re there for you through thick and thin, often times this isn’t the reality when you have bad news. This can be very frustrating. On the other hand, you will learn to overcome these hurdles, watch your own company grow and shine, and will build a team that does some amazing work. This is the most rewarding part of entrepreneurship.
What's the No. 1 mistake entrepreneurs make?
Konstantin: They forget to talk to their customers. I’ve seen so many teams build a product for years, in secret, and then when they finally bring it to life, nobody wants it anymore.
What are the top three lessons you've learned as an entrepreneur?
- Stay calm and don’t be hasty. Many things that seem urgent are actually not that urgent at all. Keep your focus on the things that matter most.
- Hire slow and fire fast. This is an old one, but everyone has to learn it on their own. It’s hard to fire people if you are a first time manager.
- Avoid “mistake No. 1” I already mentioned. Talk to your customers before you start writing your first line of code!
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Ciara, your personal assistant, has your back. Designed for motivated salespeople, Ciara allows you to focus on what you do best - talking to customers and closing more deals. You are guided through your calls with access to winning playbooks and equipped with context-aware, real-time objection handling. After your call, Ciara removes the monotony of note-taking by having already transcribed everything for you. Then, with a click of a button, automatically updates everything in your CRM. By combining all of these features, Ciara, for the first time, lets you achieve a true all-in-one conversation. Level up your sales game. With Ciara.