Dior Dress 1972
Winter was about exams. Throughout fall and deep in winter I lived under the “it’s now or never” feeling for my masters degree at EPFL. It was then, but it’s hard to say if all the worry was really worth it. I didn’t like Switzerland. I proved myself that yes, I can live in the most expensive country in the world, but does that on its own make me happy? When you know that you can get the same thing somewhere else for half the price, does it really mean that much that you can afford the premium price? Or is it just the feeling that you’re constantly getting a bad deal?
In business, you try to optimize a simple formula: revenue - costs. Once I realized that my company has outgrown me - half of my and Alex’s families work with us - there was only one place where I should be: Romania, back home. When your revenue stays the same wherever you can possibly be, the only parameter you can further optimize is the cost. And that’s exactly what we did - right after we were done with the exams, we packed our bags (it actually paid off that we bought this large SUV last year) and we said good bye to Switzerland. And we never looked back.
Last time I’ve been this excited to be in a new country was the first time I went to the States. I’m excited because for a first in a long time I can actually talk to everyone around me! Facebook ads make sense and I’m discovering all the Romanian online stores: order flip charts, dresses, skirts, pretty much everything. I don’t have to wait for the English version of a movie. Restaurants, food catering every day, house cleaning services, bazaars and vegetable markets, golf, caves, mountains, tennis courts. Let’s say that in the past months I had the feeling that I am actually getting the good deals!
Other than that, summer holds some other cool things in store. We start with a business trip to London and then a wedding in Sofia! Afterwards the plan is to buy Take Off Labs a home! I’ll let you know how it goes :).
That’s it, folks! Have a nice summer!
March was a great month for Take Off Labs. You have probably seen photos and impressions from our event on Sunday. We now have even more exciting news! On March 1st we launched our first own software as a service product, HandicapServer.com. Since we have been working extensively in the golf software business in the past years, we noticed some of the needs golfers have. You’d be surprised how complex the golf sport is! One of the crucial aspects of golf which ensures fairness among players is the handicap index. This is a number which can be computed in various ways and it describes how good a golfer is. With our first product, we are offering a handicap index computation service. That is, we plan to collect all formulas for computing this key number. We started with the standard methods used in the US and the UK and we are now looking into the various custom methods golfers use.
The pricing model for HandicapServer.com is $3/golfer for the entire season and the fee includes any kind of assistance golfers need in using our service. Today we received our first payment from a group of 75 golfers, so you can imagine we are all really happy!
Working at HandicapServer.com was so far invaluable. Talking and understanding customer needs not only help us build better software, but also help us understand better all our clients at Take Off Labs who seek our help to implement their ideas.
Today was a great day for my company. We were amongst the sponsors of a student event for the first time! The event was hosted at Babes-Bolyai University in Cluj-Napoca, one of the most renowned universities in the field of Computer Science and Software Engineering in Romania. Eight teams presented their autonomous robots and did live demos of their creations. It was an amazing experience to see the products they created with such passion.
As sponsors we had the freedom of choosing a team to award and it was a difficult task, as all teams impressed us with their technical skills and creativity. As we are ultimately a software company, we chose the team which seemed to have the strongest software design skills, but this was obviously a subjective opinion. All teams deserved to win and the plethora of sponsors rewarded all skill sets.
For us it was an honor to be among well established companies such as BitDefender or Gameloft. It was an amazing experience to be on the other side of the fence because not so long ago we were the ones competing for the sponsors’ awards. It was a learning experience and we are looking forward to sharing more of our resources with the software community in Cluj and in Romania.