skybow has with Sebastian Schneider a new Chief Executive Officer. Check out the latest talk between him and the former CEO Philip Nussbaumer.
You made an incredible career within skybow, which skills brought you to the CEO position?
"I think the main thing was that I always went for it. A lot of people see their tasks and after finishing their tasks their job is done. Even when I started at skybow I always tried to see the bigger picture and if there was something that I thought that needed to be done I went for it. It did not matter if it was technically my area of responsibility or not."
What do you think you are going to make better than the former CEO? :-)
"I would not say better or worse. I would say I will do some things differently. I got to know Philip as a man full of ideas and creativity. He always has something going on in his mind about what else a company can do. This is perfect in the start-up phase of a new enterprise. My feeling is that I am less creative than Philip but more focused on the things that need attention in the present. This can be an advantage for skybow in its current state because the motor is running and now we need to drive a couple of miles in the right and same direction."
And following the last question, which approaches will you leave from the former CEO?
"Two of Philip's main mottos are transparency and honesty. This always created a great spirit of involvement as well for internal employees as external peers. You knew what was happening with skybow and you were able to become an active part of it. I benefited greatly of this attitude and will do my best to keep that going."
Was it hard for you to step away from the CEO role?
"Yes, definitively. But on the one hand side there is always an optimal moment to leave things behind and start with new topics and on the other hand side I know that Sebastian as a CEO is the best thing we can do for skybow and in case of need I am still close :-)"
What are your takeaways of the skybow CEO experience?
"Oh, I don't know where I should start to answer. The last 5 years I learned so many things like never before. To work focussed on an idea and a vision to build a company like skybow is definitively an adventure. As a CEO - always together with an amazing team - I had the chance to shape an international sales group from the ground. Followed on one or more marketing strategies from conferences to Google ad-words. Furthermore we built a reliable development offshore team. A very exciting experience was to find investors for this ideas. And on top some legal issues, why not. I really made a lot of experiences and I'm very thankful for every issue I had. Only in retrospect for sure.
I had the luck that I had very good people around me. And I think exactly that is the main task of a CEO. Find and motivate the right people for the vision. As well here, I learned a lot about people, situations and behaviours. That "it's all about people" is not new but to implement that with full responsibility it's a challenge. That's certainly a takeaway, today I start projects with people slightly different.
The most important thing I learned for me personally is to handle pressure and stress. It's not the case that I had no challenges in my last jobs, no, but to be always the last in the row and to take the ultimate decisions for every topic in a short period of time is not easy. All my friends in a management role will agree with me. I think that I found a way for me to handle this. On to new shores!"
What do you wish Sebastian for his new job?
"First of all I want to congratulate Sebastian for his sensational way and career in skybow. In this time I've not only won a competent colleague, I won a very good friend. Basically, I want to wish him two things.
First of all that he can keep his very good balance between work and life. I think that he found a way to handle pressure and stress. We had not only easy times, but even then he remained businesslike and focused on a solution for the team and I appreciated that very much. If he can stay like this he will be a very valued new CEO.
At the end I wish him that he can reach a good mix between my and his strength. Be structured and chaotic, be focussed and creative and communicate straight-forward and friendly. Good luck! :-)"
What do you think is the biggest challenge for skybow and how you will beat them?
"I think the biggest challenge is the lack of awareness. It is still possible to sell custom code applications to customer and they do not ask the right question of whether or not there is a better way. I will try to tackle this problem on several stages.
- Microsoft: We will try to establish a stronger relationship with Microsoft so that we receive a place as a replacement of InfoPath and a legitimate alternative to PowerApps Knowledge: We will take part in conferences and hackathons to showcase live that our way is superior
- Partnership: We will increase our work with our partner network including project and technology partners. We want to become a solution that everyone loves to work with and is not affright to offer to customers. We will achieve that by giving ideas to our partners through customer stories and communication. If you are a partner reading this, do not hesitate to contact me and let us make a plan on what you need from us to make skybow a central tool in your portfolio.
- Friendship: This is close to the point before but I believe there is more to it. During our last years we came across not only partners but friends. Campaigns like the ambassador program are aimed to give these friends a platform to light fires of excitement in the minds of their friends and peers."
What do you think is the biggest challenge for you personally?
"One of my biggest strength will also be my biggest challenge. I am very decisive and if I see an opportunity I will go for it. This can be great because you are actually doing something instead of just talking about it but it can also mean that you can run into unconsidered threats. Luckily I have the perfect person as a management partner. I consider Matthias Walter as an Alpha to my Omega. He is the greatest perfectionist that I have met and can stop me if I am moving too fast. He always sees the bigger picture with all the details in it. I believe that together we are a great team that can steer skybow in the right direction."
Can you tell us your favourite skybow moment?
"Every year we come all together for a kind of a Christmas dinner - but not in Christmas time. We call it "Vision Break" and usually we are doing that in January. I think there are so many moments when I talked to my colleagues who I saw often just online. In this context you get so many ideas, inputs and personal impressions. Specially these moments I keep in my mind.
But if I need to make a decision for one moment: 2017 we had a steep curve up with revenues and employees. More than 30 people came together to celebrate skybow and the launch of our new product "Solution Studio". Every team (Partner Manager, Marketing, Sales Manager, Development, Customer Journey, Community, ...) presented their activities around that new area and launch of this product. And all this in a tower of the airport Zurich. The motto was "take off" and it was just great to see how this came alive. I enjoyed this moment very much."
What comes next?
"I love and live entrepreneurship. My passion is to bring new ideas to live, as a startup or within existing companies. There are some ideas in the backlog but are not ready to start something brand new yet. As a first step I go into a self-deployment and work in great mandates for different companies. Not only in the ICT branch; one project is about food and gastronomy and another in the government area. I am sure that one of these work streams will bring me sometime somehow to a new challenge like skybow.
For sure, skybow stays my "kid". One of the mentioned mandates is at skybow as an external advisor with many internal know-how. On top I will join the board team of skybow. I really look forward to have that new point of view."
What is your role for skybow during the upcoming time?
"I will work for skybow as a kind of 'strategy advisor' and help with the experience I have from the past. I would say that the most topics are around investors, strategy, a bit financials and focussed on strategic alliances. It's obvious since I am a member of the board from this month on. So I am still a part of the team but Sebastian will have his course, clear."
How you think about today’s market for skybow?
"If I look at skybow I mainly see chances. Yes skybow has developed over the past years and has become a contender in its market, but there is still a lot of untapped potential. I think we can all agree that there is a definite need for business apps in the world and this goes for every company. And we can also agree that this need is currently often fulfilled by custom development that is costly and inflexible. This is where I see skybow. We can take this market over by storm, because I believe that every business app build with skybow has a higher quality than a business app build without it."
What would you like to say to the skybow audience?
"It does not matter if you are a skybow employee, friends, partner or customer, it was the work with you that made my time here great and will continue to do so. I am grateful and happy to have so many awesome people around me and would like to thank you and let you know that am excited and thrilled for the upcoming years together."
What would you like to say to the skybow audience?
"Thank you. Thank you for all the talks at events, personal meetings or online. The community of Microsoft and specially SharePoint is pretty strong and I am thankful that I was a part of it. I am sure we will see us again in the future, maybe in another context, but very soon."