Innovators. They come in many forms. They dream big but they aren’t just dreamers. They form raw ideas into cool products with disruptive business models. They shatter entire industries and leave established leviathans running scared with their tails between their legs. The Innovators interview series connects you with the most driven people on the planet. What makes them tick? What advice do they have for tech founders? What tools do they use to get the job done? Read on to find out.
Ilya Beyrak, CEO of Resultly has been a software engineer and entrepreneur for over 12 years. In his last endeavor, as CEO, he founded and grew an ecommerce company from 0 to $12MM in revenue in 1.5 years by combining his business acumen with software design and development experience. His passion towards optimization and efficiency allowed his previous venture to thrive against its less tech savvy competitors and to quickly become one of the most recognized tech savvy companies in the sporting goods industry.
Ilya attended school at DePaul University in Chicago where he studied Business Administration. His software engineering skills came to him at an early age when he started playing with computers and he was instantly drawn to being able to write programs. He saw that he had a natural talent to understand programming languages as well as systems architecture and used this to score his first job as a programmer at the age of fourteen. During his late teens and early twenties, Ilya operated several successful online ecommerce companies in which he sold things ranging from cellular phones, computer equipment, and printing supplies.
Ilya currently lives in Chicago with his wife. During his free time he enjoys, skiing, tennis, and driving fast cars. He has advised clients such as DSW, Darden Group, Best Buy, Macy’s, American Idol, Pier One, Starbucks, Bushnell, and Nikon.
What do you enjoy most about your work and why?
I love coming into the office early before the rest of the team arrives and having those few hours to really focus on achieving something to show them by the time they come in. My team is what makes my work enjoyable and what I love most about it. You will often find me working side by side with them through complex tech problems and issues. We also frequently grab lunch and dinner during the long nights so we truly need to enjoy each others company.
Where does your passion come from? What drives you, inspires you, excites you?
My passion comes from technology and elegant solutions to complex problems. I am driven by performance and technology. Some will understand this, but there is nothing more satisfying then cranking out a piece of code that outperforms the old code by a large multiple.
Someone reading this wants to start a tech company. What’s your best advice for them?
The best advice I could give anyone starting a tech company is that they need to be prepared to work. Most people don’t realize the amount of work that goes into starting and running a tech company and you must be extremely passionate to put those hours in. Many times it means sacrificing the other things you love like time with family and friends. Those starting a tech company should be prepared to constantly answer why it is they can’t do the things they should be doing outside of work. You need to have your heart in it to be able to commit the way you need to for your startup to have a chance of succeeding.
What are a few tech startups that you’re really excited about right now and why?
The tech startups I follow are typically ones that are able to change an industry. I love what Square and some of its recent competitors have done to shift the credit card processing industry and how simple they have made it for users to get on board and charging credit cards. The same goes for Airbnb that I believe is capitalizing on an industry that has long been ignored.
What tech tools (websites, apps, gadgets, etc.) do you rely on both for work and in your down time?
If anyone checks out some of our older blog posts I talk about the tools that we use here in the office. This starts off with lots of Macbook Pro’s and ThunderBolt Displays. I rely on my Macbook Pro Retina now and it is almost always with me. During my downtime I am always on it doing some sort of work, research, or brainstorming my next big idea. I’ve tried to make things like an iPad fit into my daily life, but I still don’t enjoy using it and you will rarely find me with one despite the fact that I own one. Also, I am always on either my iPhone or BlackBerry. If the next BlackBerry finally gets a well polished operating system and browser, you may see me drop the iPhone again in exchange for a BlackBerry. I love physical keyboards.