Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Dima Syrotkin, Co-Founder and CEO of Pandatron, located in San Francisco, CA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
With clients like SAP, Universal Pictures, and Skanska, Pandatron supports the adoption of digital, agile, and cultural transformations by 1000s of employees with conversational AI coaching. Scalable and personalized 1-on-1 coaching conversations also allow us to collect data on systemic issues. Our vision is a world where everyone is highly self-aware, thanks to the constant engagement with an AI coach.
Tell us about yourself
Long-term, I aim to increase the self-awareness of everyone on the planet as it seems to lead to flourishing talent, leadership, better politics, and a ton of other good stuff. My primary vehicle for this work is my startup Pandatron. Mid-term, our vision is a world where leaders see a 100x return from investing in their people. Short-term, we aim to make coaching affordable. Oh, and our product is chatbot coaching.
Besides that, I think life is great, and it would be potentially nice to live a bit longer than 100 years. I am supporting the longevity (or aging research) field. I hang out with aging researchers in OnDeck Longevity Biotech and Foresight Institute communities and invest small tickets in the companies in the field, i.e., in LongHack.org.
I am also working on a Ph.D. focusing on studying the processes and practices in so-called self-managing organizations. Examples of alternative management systems I study include DAO, Teal, and Holacracy. Real-world examples of organizations employing these management systems would be, respectively, VitaDAO, NAPA, and Spindle.
Some more random facts. I invite people building projects big both in impact and scale to my podcast called Moonshots. I am interested in metamodernism and the work of Hanzi Freinacht. Sometimes I write articles on Medium. I am exploring ideas around rebuilding Ukraine after the war. I do therapy twice per week and value peace of mind. I travel between Enerhodar (Ukraine), Helsinki, Berlin, and San Francisco.
P.S. There is no place for fun and humor in my life. Just kidding.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest accomplishment as a business owner is not giving up and surviving two major pivots.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
You have to take ownership because you are the owner. There is no one to delegate the responsibility to.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- First, sell. Then build. Then hire. And only then raise investment.
- Work on yourself. Get a therapist, coach, or both.
- Business is sales and products. Learn one, the other, or both.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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