This week we’ve spoken to Elias Konstantinides, Founder and CEO of Zkylos about his surprising favorite productivity app, personal achievements he is proud of, and how being late for the crypto hype helped his company. Read the interview below.
Location: Cyprus About: Zkylos develops new common animal identification standard based on biometrics and provides administrative solution for every market participant (pet owner, kennel, association, governmental office). Experience: Extensive experience in Crisis Management and International Project Management. Negotiations specialist with 5 years experience as Strategic Management consultant. Website: https://zkylos.io/
Interviewer: Hi, Elias! In your own words, tell us about Zkylos.
Elias Konstantinides: It is one of those very few projects that actually aim for social transformation. We’ll be changing things in the pet industry big time. New common identification standard along with very powerful administrative out-of-the-box solution – it’s the next killer thing.
I: What pushed you to create Zkylos?
EK: This is rather funny, but I am “the end user”. I am the person who feels that such infrastructure has to be in place to begin with. Therefore, I believe I understand exactly the problems and pains that pet owners like myself are facing on an everyday basis.
I: Apart from investors, who would be interested in your ICO?
EK: In the ICO? Apart from the regulatory authorities of every kind, probably no one! The project itself is an exceptional one, with huge market growth opportunities. It uses a very unusual and unconventional approach to the problems it aims to solve. It’s the project that will be interesting for the broader masses.
I: How is Zkylos different from its competitors?
EK: Here’s the nicest part. Zkylos has zero competitors. We are offering a brand new type of service and creating a market for ourselves. Of course, there are competitors when it comes to the software related to our business and organization management, but it’s just a tiny part of what we are about. So, no. Competition? Not even close!
“I believe the biggest challenges are still to come. The road has been hard, I’ll admit that. But there is no time to ruminate, we have to keep on going.”
I: How have you grown Zkylos’s presence in the market?
EK: Before a startup can grow its presence in any market there are multiple other procedures they need to go through and things to accomplish. Growing market presence would require us to already have released our product and actively sell it. We have not yet passed these steps, but we are close.
I: How does your team work? Do you use any specific techniques?
EK: I am so happy to have such a great team of truly dedicated pros around me. Special techniques? Nah. There are none. We are just driven by our passion for success and common vision. For a team that means a lot.
I: What are the biggest challenges you’ve had to overcome as a company?
EK: I believe the biggest challenges are still to come. The road has been hard, I’ll admit that. But there is no time to ruminate, we have to keep on going. More challenges and achievements await us in the future. Just keep on moving!
I: How was it starting a cryptocurrency and trying to take your company global?
EK: I must admit that we were a bit late to the whole crypto party. We started just as that major hype wave for all kinds of crypto projects had passed. The timing was not perfect at all. But there were good sides to this: we weren’t rushed into launching and could pay a lot more attention to the project, perfect the concept and spend more time on the details. Taking it global? Eventually.
I: What’s next for Zkylos? What’s in the nearest future?
EK: Releasing an MVP. The specificity of our field and the market we are targeting create certain difficulties in this regard: in our case, the MVP is rather a complete product. The development of this product was estimated at $550,000 in budget and 9 months in time. We had to find a way to make it cheaper and faster. And we did!
“[If I had to give one piece of advice to a new entrepreneur, what would it be?] Let it flow.”
I: Where would you ideally like to see yourself in 5 years?
EK: In the office. Working hard to serve the interests of animals and their humans. [Laughs]
I: If you had to give one piece of advice to a new entrepreneur, what would it be?
EK: Let it flow.
I: Is there something you believe your team can do better than anyone else? What is your strength?
EK: We’re all very down to earth. Tremendous analytical skills. Somehow we all just found each other, and new team members have either gained or developed this powerful analytical way of thinking. Even without that I believe we perform better that your average team. But at this point I just have to say we are the best, right ? [Laughs]
I: What is the skill you wish you or your team could perfect?
EK: A particular skill? None, really. I am very happy with my team and our results. Sure, there’ll always be drawbacks, but no human is immune to that, nobody’s perfect. Overall, we are solid.
I: What’s the best and worst advice you’ve ever been given?
EK: Best advice: Think for yourself. As for the worst, can’t really think of one.
I: What is the most ridiculous advice you’ve heard from a colleague?
EK: My colleagues never give me ridiculous advice. We try not to give people unsolicited advice, it’s basic manners.
“…Sometimes you need to let yourself sail in the waters of sadness for a little while. Just to let it all out. Then collect yourself back together, find your powers again, and move on. Let it “make” you rather than “break” you.”
I: Do you believe failure can make or break a person?
EK: I can get very philosophical about this, it’s complicated. Generally speaking, you will have to overcome the pain of not delivering, not meeting the deadlines, losing or failing. Sadness is a normal reaction. You do what you have to do and continue.
But sometimes you need to let yourself sail in the waters of sadness for a little while. Just to let it all out. Then collect yourself back together, find your powers again, and move on. Let it “make” you rather than “break” you.
I: How do you know when you’ve succeeded?
EK: Depends on what you define as “success”. I have already succeeded. I am alive. Isn’t that the sweetest, luckiest success in one’s life? Business-wise, you understand that you’ve succeeded when you can move on. Just keep on moving. Always. That is true success.
I: What is the best investment of money, energy and time for someone who’s trying to succeed?
EK: Self-education. Period.
I: Do you have any weird or extraordinary habits? Any guilty pleasures?
EK: I wish I could stun you with some truly weird things here but.. No. I am just a man with a huge beard who loves meat and beer… I box and wrestle (at least I am convinced I do), love guns, dogs and pretty women. I’m sure that’s nothing out of the ordinary. [Laughs]
I: What’s the best decision you’ve made in the last 10 years?
EK: This is a little personal, but… In a few words, I managed to curb the vicious circle of dependency. I am very proud of that.
“ I myself am yet to understand how to [achieve that perfect work-life balance].”
I: What are the books you would say have influenced your life or your work ethic the most?
EK: Let me name two: Zorba the Greek by Nikos Kazantzakis and Dunno on the Moon by Nikolai Nosov. That last one is a miracle. I reread it every once in while and, despite the fact that it was written for kids, every time I find new things in it for me to think about.
I: What would you say is or has been your worst time-waster both at home and at work? Do you watch TV? If yes, what is your favourite TV show/movie?
EK: Gadgets and the Internet. You have to manage that. Big time.
I: What’s your favourite productivity app?
EK: I’ll be honest. Google Docs.
I: How do you wind down after a stressful day? How does one achieve that perfect work-life balance?
EK: I myself am yet to understand how to do that.