What makes a great CEO and what does your typical day at UX Passion look like?
Not very much is typical at UX Passion – for better or worse – so I can’t say what my typical day looks like. I work long hours. I’m happy when they are filled with direct work with my colleagues and I am working on a variety of projects. I often have responsibilities which are just mine and challenges that I can’t really share with anyone else. Then there’s handling the business administration, dealing with all sorts of business development, client and state paperwork. However, I love my role running the show, being able to imagine and recognise trends and make bold bets and steer our UX Passion ship.
ReadingBuilt to last; Work for Money, Design for Love; Inc Magazine; Fast Co.
What did you do before UX Passion and why did you start it?
At university I studied physics with several majors like astrophysics and biophysics. It was something I wanted to do just for myself, not really to build a career around it. After a short time at the Institute of Physics, I joined Microsoft – first here in Croatia then I got the wonderful opportunity to pack my stuff and move to Denmark to work at Microsoft’s research and development centre in Copenhagen. I learned a lot and experienced a lot but I always had this entrepreneurial part of me which kept telling me to come back and start something on my own. So, I asked Antun who until his recent departure from UX Passion was my closest business partner and friend, and Darko to join me and create what came to be known as UX Passion.
Most of us here at UX Passion are misfits in one way or another. We have people with the widest imaginable ranges of personalities, interests and expectations.
ListeningGod is an astronaut, Maybeshewill, Bad Religion, System of a down, Radiohead
You have passion for several things – not just user experience, start-ups and business. Tell us about them.
I’m big fan of old computers – retro-computing as I like to call it – and playing with Commodore 64 and numerous old emulators really makes me happy. In fact, my first computer ever, the one on which I learned to code, was an ancient C64. In recent years I’ve discovered that I’m pretty good at “aqro-hacking”. I don’t know if that’s the proper word but I love my garden and experimenting with my fields of strawberries, chokeberries and, well, almost any other berries! I try to use as little water as possible and to have as low an impact on nature as possible while growing large, healthy and wonderful fruits which I happily share around the office.
And of course there’s cycling. I’m avid cycler with passion for long rides. And by long I mean 100km and more per day. I often become lost in my cycling and that, in fact, helps keep me sane and find myself and my purpose.
And then there’s music.
Tell us, what are the three last artists you’ve been listening to.
Let me see – Bad Religion, Maybeshewill and God Is An Astronaut. There are several genres of music I really appreciate – post-rock, punk-rock, old jazz and some classical pieces really make me feel good.
You get to set the direction, create strategies and galvanise people in the team making sure they all share the same vision. Where’s UX Passion heading in the future?
That’s a very difficult question. Most of us here at UX Passion are misfits in one way or another. We have people with the widest imaginable ranges of personalities, interests and expectations. To a bystander we might seem like a really chaotic crowd – but there is this culture of mutual understanding and ability to adopt. Usually, as a CEO you might expect me to talk about business plans and strategies and have outlines for my company five years into the future. That’s not who I am. I have a strong vision and idea of where I want to go and I’ve set very high goals for myself and my team. So, as long as we are able to reach those goals with the guts and the same passion we had when we started, we will run this show.
If we see this initial spark of passion start to fade out we’ll reinvent ourselves and find other ways to make meaningful contributions and put a dent in the Universe. I’m builder and creative in my heart. I thrive in hectic and high-pressure situations, but first and foremost, I live to change, to create and to contribute. And for as long this team can do that, I’ll stick around.