Interview: Cesar Fernandes, CEO of GoldArk

September 10th, 2015

Web / Mobile / Interview // Grossum Possum

Startup Interview with Cesar Fernandes
(Photo credit: Divulgacao)

Recently Goldark in partnership with Grossum and i9Ação have developed an app - Conarh ABRH App 2015 that got in the 1st place among Business Apps at Brazilian Play Market. We have interviewed Cesar Fernandes, CEO, about his experience with this particular app and about his business in general.

Tell us about the latest product: Conarh 2015 App

Our partners i9ação and us, Goldark, wanted to make an event mobile app for the Conarh 2015 conference that is one of the biggest HR conferences in the world and the largest in Latin America. However, we were not interested in creating a traditional app that would just tell the schedule of the event. We wanted something more.

We chose to go along with three components.

  1. Event information – this was the basic information about the conference, speakers, and schedule.
  2. Real-time interaction – users could post questions to presenters. There were moderators who approved of the questions in the process, but it was a real-time experience that was a great value-added feature for the users.
  3. Gamification – we also introduced a game element into the app. The goal was to connect to as many people as possible that were present at the conference. The winners were to get prizes, so naturally, it sparked a great interest in connecting. Altogether there were 70,000 connections made within the four days of the conference. In order to handle the load, we had to scale our server system three times, and still, we got a few complaints that the information like photos and contacts were not loading quickly enough. This was partially caused by wi-fi absence at the conference, but also because, while we anticipated that people would use the app, we did not anticipate such an interest. There are certain things we have learned from this experience.

What difficulties did you encounter with the development?

The most difficult part was that we had to do it in 1.5 months, so it was a race against time. I knew that the backend would be our own, Goldark’s, but we needed frontend developers and I offered to work with Grossum because we had an established relationship already. My partners were apprehensive about making this move because they thought that hiring a company so far away, in Ukraine, is not a good idea. However, I decided to push this idea forward and we were pleased with the cooperation that we’ve got. We opted for the Xamarin development because this way we would get a cross-platform app in the shorter period of time. The process went quickly from then on and we had a ready application right for the conference.

Did you always want to have your own business or the desire came after some time?

Before Goldark, I worked for a software development company, similar to Grossum, as a business development manager so I was involved in the projects from pre-sale to upsale, so I knew all the business processes from inside out.

Around the same time, Leonardo Rossetti, a childhood friend of mine, was getting tired of working at his previous place of work. He is a software developer and one day I told him “Let’s do something together.” And that’s how Goldark was born. We decided that we would focus on developing a backend solution because, from what I observed, it was relevantly one thing that was similar in all Apps. Change the front end and you’ve got a completely different project.

What is your favorite part about being a CEO of your company?

Knowing that it is my responsibility to deliver and help others become successful. My partner and I are Goldark and we strive for the best results.

Where does the name GoldArk come from?

There are two versions – official and non-official :) One is like a Golden Ark where you can find your solution. Another comes from our nicknames from Quake – it was a mixture of my friend’s and my nicknames. I don’t play Dota / Quake anymore, but it was a good time.

What would you advise to those who are thinking of founding a startup?

Focus on MVPs. Start small and develop. Don’t build everything and right now.

And don’t forget about making sure you’ve got adequate measurements in place. Don’t measure your success by income only, but, rather, by achieving goals you’ve set.

Some startuppers get overly excited when their project receives funding and they forget to plan accordingly for various contingencies, forget about strategy and tactics. You won’t build Instagram overnight or make an app that would have integration with WhatsApp, but if you focus on the purpose for your product and develop from there, you have all chances to become successful. Don’t let your ego get in your way.

Goldark is a company that provides a powerful complete backend solution for any kind of application: mobile, desktop or web app.

Goldark empowers any kind of developer to create and manage all the backend layer. It saves your time, money and resources, removing the pain of coding and managing the backend layer.

Interested in working with Grossum?

Author: Grossum Possum

Grossum Possum. He loves using Symfony2 for his projects and learning to implement Symfony3. He also likes developing web and mobile applications using other programming languages and frameworks, such as PHP and Java. In his free time, Grossum Possum likes to write about his experiences in the blog.

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