- March 21, 2018
- by Kate Kurzawska
- No comments
Stay on Top of Work With Michal Oblak!
Another Wednesday, another episode of our podcast! Are you ready for another dose of great tips?
Today I’m talking with Michael Oblak, the CEO of sheetsu.com. Listen to the episode to find out how he leads his team and why he believes in human-technology cooperation.
Enjoy and let us know in comments what are your thoughts on today’s episode!
Are you an iTunes user? Listen to the podcast here!
Kate: Hi everyone. This is Kate and I’m back with another episode of the podcast ”Stay On Top Of Your Work.” Today my guest is Michał Obłąk, CEO of sheetsu.com. We are going to talk a little bit about productivity, innovation and work management, among others. Hi, Michał. I’m happy to have you here today with me.
Michael: Hi there. How are you doing?
Kate: I am doing fine, and you?
Michael: I’m good, thank you.
[00:00:38 – 00:02:25]
Kate: That’s great. For the beginning, can you tell us something more about you, what is sheetsu and what can we use it for? Also, why did you decide to create it?
Michael: First of all, I want to thank you for inviting me to the podcast. I’m really glad to talk with you today. So, Sheetsu is the link connecting website, or mobile app, or wordpress blog, or anything as you can imagine with the Google spreadsheets. The idea came to my mind when I was working in the previous company, where we were shipping hardware item and we need to keep track of the delivery and the items that we shipped, the items that are already shipped, and it was very hard to find any system that we could use for doing that with Google spreadsheets. And that’s how we created Sheetsu, because we needed to connect that spreadsheet into our system, into our payment system, into our shipping system. So, yeah, that’s how the idea came into my mind. Nowadays, how people are using sheetsu is: I’d like to share one of the examples from our customers, who is operating a restaurant and every day he needs to change his menu. So, he’s doing that in Google spreadsheet and his customers can see the menu like in the mobile app or on the website.
[00:02:26 – 00:03:16]
Kate: Okay, that sounds great. So, how can a company benefit from using sheetsu beside what you just said about the restaurant? But I’m wondering especially about innovation? Can it help a company become more innovative?
Michael: Yeah, I think it’s all about time and how fast you can deliver your idea into your customers, because with Sheetsu, you don’t need to set up all the complex systems, you don’t need to create any admin dashboards, because you can use the tool that everyone knows, which is Google spreadsheet. And I think that’s the big innovation that you can only focus on your idea, and the implementation is much simpler and much more faster for you.
[00:03:17 – 00:04:22]
Kate: So let’s talk about innovation. What’s your viewpoint on it? Where’s sheetsu in all this? Because, you know, we live in times where there is a huge technological progress and innovation is a huge part of it. So, can your app help in improving other companies or in the individual’s work and make it more innovative?
Michael: Yeah. I’m a big believer in the human-machine co-operation and how I see, where the world is going, is that all the mundane tasks, all the things that are boring and that can be automated, will be done by the machines. So people can focus on the creative part of the business and making deals between them and all that stuff that needs people to do that cannot be done by the machine. And that’s where I see sheetsu. So you don’t need to write all the boring stuff anymore.
[00:04:23 – 00:05:39]
Kate: Nice! So you’re Sheetsu’s CEO. I’d like to ask you what does it mean for you to be a leader? Because you have to lead people, lead a team. How does it work for you?
Michael: Yes, so, for me, it’s a very responsible task and, basically, it’s not easy but I really like it. I’m very happy that I have the best team possible and I work with really smart people. So, yeah, it’s not that hard, because of that. And I think that I have two main tasks. One of them is sharing the vision and the goal, and where we are going, where we want to be. That’s one of my tasks. I’m trying to over communicate it all the time. And my other task is trying to unblock anyone in the team. So if anyone is blocked and cannot achieve the goal, I’m stepping in and trying to help them.
[00:05:40 – 00:06:43]
Kate: It sounds like you’re a good leader. That’s good. But being a leader also means to manage a team. How do you manage your team? And also what challenges do you face as a leader and how do you solve them?
Michael: I’m trying to talk with my team on the higher level of abstraction. I’m the opponent of the micromanagement and I think that it’s good to have one common goal and, then, discuss with other people how we can get there, how we can achieve that goal. The people that I’m working with are good at what they are doing. I believe that they know how to do their work, how to split the bigger task we had into smaller chunks and achieve goals.
[00:06:44 – 00:07:36]
Kate: So let’s talk about productivity, especially in your work and in the workplace in general. How to avoid procrastination and be productive? Because I think it’s a huge challenge for every company. How do you manage that?
Michael: Yes. That is a huge, huge challenge. That’s true. I think that it’s very important to have only one big goal at the time, not to split your focus on two different tasks, trying to do one thing at the time. That’s what works for me and, also, I tried to do it with the whole company. So each week we try to do only one thing and the whole team is focused on that one thing only.
[00:07:37 – 00:09:08]
Kate: So now let’s talk about customers. In order to reach out to customers, a company has to act according to some marketing strategies and rules. How are you doing this at sheetsu and how do you meet customers’ needs?
Michael: We’re kind of proud of ourselves that we are very good customer support. A lot of customers told us that and, probably, that’s because we are open on all the channels like Twitter, our live chat, our e-mail. We’re trying to help the customers as fast as possible, we’re trying to respond to any of their message and questions as fast as possible. Besides that, we are offering the help with the implementation of our service into their workflow. When we are doing that, we are always skyping with our customers to get as much feedback as possible to know how their how they are doing the work, how we can help them and so on. So, yeah, I’m a big believer in getting feedback from customers and this way we are getting some feature request, we know what to implement next and how to better provide our service for the customers.
[00:09:09 – 00:10:24
Kate: And I have to say that communication between the customer and people at your company works great because I kind of acted like an agent and I did a research, and I talked to people, like I asked what features do you offer, and they responded really quick and that was great. I really liked it. So, you know, that’s a great class of your company.
What would you, as sheetsu CEO, would like your company, your product, to represent?
Michael: Yes, so the round value that we want to share is that we think that development and creating new products should be as simple as possible. It should be like sketching a picture on the whiteboard, and after that, you get a ready-to-use product. Creating product should be like telling about the user’s flow and the user’s journey, and, then, you should get product. What I want us to represent is building products simpler.
[00:10:25 – 00:10:54]
Kate: And are there any strategies that you use in your company in general, which you also applies to your own work?
Michael: Probably the most significant for me and the whole company is that is the simplest one, which is focusing only on one task. And it’s something very simple, it sounds simple, but actually, I think it’s not so simple to implement, to do only one thing and nothing else.
[00:10:55 – 00:11:18]
Kate: Do you think that maybe time tracking software, such as TimeCamp, can be helpful in that?
Michael: Yeah, I think it can be very helpful, because it can show you if you are on track or not, if you are doing stuff that you shouldn’t be doing, or not, that’s when it can be useful.
[00:11:19 – 00:12:46]
Kate: And it can also show you if you’re productive or not, because it can be a problem. So it will be good to use it and to try it out so I recommend it. Now, I’d like to ask you my favorite question, which is: what inspires you? And what books, maybe, do you read to get inspiration?
Michael: As I said before, I am a big believer in the human-machine cooperation, and what I think is that in the near future, in couple of years creating products will be more like creative task, not a technology task. So you don’t need to write a lot of code, you don’t need to a lot of developers to do that. And the book that proved me that I’m not the only one thinking that was Homo Deus from Yuval Noah Harari, and I think that’s a really good book. Also about good books that inspires me is The Life 3.0 which showed me what we will be able to do with the computers in the near and not so near future. So I recommend these books to everyone want to see where human and computers together can go in the future.
[00:12:47 – 00:13:26]
Kate: The last question, which I also always ask my guests, refers to the name of the podcast ”Stay On The Top Of Your Work” – how do you stay on top of your work?
Michael: My secret source is to split the tasks to be as small as possible and pick the time unit. My time unit is one hour. I’m trying all my tasks to take me no more than one hour. So, yeah, that’s how I’m trying to stay on top of my work.
Kate: That’s great. Okay. Thank you very much for your presence here. It was my pleasure to talk to you. I hope you enjoyed it as well.
Kate: And make sure to check out more information about sheetsu.com, because it’s a really useful software. We got some really interesting and nice tips for me how today. Have a nice and productive day and stay tuned for the next episodes. That was Kate from TimeCamp. Bye.
Michael: Thanks. Bye.
Thanks for listening!
Find out more about Sheetsu here.
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In the next episode I’ll be talking with David Taylor! See you next week and don’t forget to subscribe to always stay on top of your work!