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Fireside chat with Bogdan Negru

Who is Bogdan?

Bogdan Negru, is the Co-founder and Chief Operations Officer of LiftUP Solutions, an international IT consulting company that delivers custom-made digital solutions and digital transformation services for companies.

A seasoned international business executive and entrepreneur, he’s passionate about technology and its impact on business as well as people. With over 15 years of experience across Fortune 500 companies and small startups, Bogdan focuses on value creation and bringing clarity across ambiguous contexts

He is on the board of two organizations, one fast-growing SaaS product startup in the Food Tech industry and an NGO that innovates in the future of education.

Mentoring to entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs, Bogdan enjoys helping others with guidance for growing their teams and businesses.

Tell us more about your role in LiftUP Solutions.

At LiftUp we are at a stage when we are growing and hiring the leaders that will take over from my partner and I as entrepreneurs. As I look to bring the right talent onboard we always start with their alignment with our long term vision. People are what make or break a business. This is why my main role is to share our vision in a way that is clear, practical and easy to adopt.

LiftUp’s vision is to influence the approach to software development by leading an intentional and proactive technology process focused on the individual or business customer’s need.
In other words: technology with purpose.

On a day to day basis, I find myself working along with my partner to help others in our team grow as they understand and develop their own strengths.

What is the most difficult part of your job? But the most rewarding one?

By far, it’s letting go of the ownership of things I’ve been doing in the first stages of our business. I thrive on being hands on, yet as the business grows, I find that my focus is toward strategy, and aligning our short and mid-term goals to our long term strategy.

It’s phenomenally rewarding to see our team taking ownership, and pride in the outcome they have helped deliver for our customers. It’s a unique feeling to know that you’re part of that in an intangible way that simply is a win for everyone!

Is there anything that you would change about your professional path?

Not really. Early on I had the privilege of finding out about the Ikigai concept that the Japanese define as something that gives a person a sense of purpose, a reason for living. Usually that’s at the intersection of four areas: something that I’m good at, that the world needs, that I’m passionate about and that I can be paid for. It was clear that when I started working things weren’t as clearly defined. I was paid for a job, and I did it well, and was fairly good at, certainly not passionate. In my first business, I was an intrapreneur, and things weren’t particularly different. Today at LiftUp, I found passion as well as the other three. Yet it did take me all of the first 10 years of my professional life to figure out what that should look like. So no, I wouldn’t change anything if it meant I would end up in a different spot than where I am today.

What’s your key strategy for the development of your company?

Care for the customer. In software development, things have turned extremely transactional, almost like a commodities exchange. Way too it’s an exchange between someone who is ready to pay and someone who can delivery software. But technology at its core exists for one purpose alone: to make our lives easier. Going back to that as part of software development is the only way we can care for our customers. Starting with what is the reason the software needs developing in the first place: to improve their end customers’ lives, to improve their organizational performance or simply put to extinguish their most burning need.

That will set up the whole software development life cycle for the success of your customer, and their own customers. That is a winning strategy.

What do you think about the next period of time, keeping in mind the pandemic and the new business climate? How will your industry be affected?

It’s normal to be concerned about the impact of a recession on the IT space.

My 2 thoughts:

  1. Companies will continue to increase their it spending with laser focus on speed to obtain roi which will filter out it providers that lag behind in their understanding of their customers. This is a tremendous opportunity to reinstate a customer care-focused approach, that’s concerned about roi to the client and its end customers.
  2. The slowdown in hiring, and layoffs across tech giants (SMEs aren’t far behind) signal a clear indication that scrutiny during the tech talent hiring process returns to a healthier balance between skills/experience/abilities vs compensation/title/seniority. For those who have evaluated their own level of competence with professional humility, this is great news as they’ll stand out moving forward. For the others, the stark reality will hit them as they find themselves having to take deep cuts into their compensation.

Please name a few technologies which have the greatest impact on your business.

  • Production: React & Node tech stack for its flexibility
  • Task & project management: Trello & Jira
  • Productivity & communication: Google Drive, Slack, Skype, Zoom, Spark Email

What books do you have on your nightstand?

  • The ESV Bible
  • Scaling Up by Verne Harnish
  • 10X by Grant Cardone
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