Konabos' 5th Anniversary

Konabos Inc. - Konabos

2 Sep 2022

Note: The following is the transcription of the video produced by an automated transcription system.

Matthew McQueeny: Konabos will be celebrating its fifth anniversary this month. How did the company come about? Kamruz Jaman: So, Konabos, first started from vague discussions that a bunch of us were having on Sitecore, and one of the community members had come up with a vague idea of, you know, why don't a bunch of us get together Akshay Sura: As a whole bunch of MVP's trying to form a co-op company, but that didn't end up going the way we all thought it would. Kamruz Jaman: Then in 2017, I moved over to Canada, and during this time I've been speaking with Akshay and a few others, like fairly regularly, but Akshay one of the guys that I spoke almost daily, just about nothing and about work and other things as well. And 2017 was when I first moved over to Canada, so initially set up the company, you know, hoping that maybe, maybe something more comes about now that I've moved to North America. Then in October or November of 2017, it was Sitecore symposium, it was the first time again that we'd seen each other in a while. I was out to dinner with Akshay and somebody else and talking about to Akshay saying, "Hey, remember that thing we were talking about last year? Well, I'm in North America now. Do you want to like think about doing something together and starting something off?" Akshay Sura: Kamruz and I were both on the same wavelength at that moment in time, he went ahead and registered a company in Canada and went like, "hey, I registered on my end. What do you want to do?" So I went, "sure, I'll register one on my end". So, we just registered one in in the U.S. and that's how we both started. With the two of us building on projects. Kamruz Jaman: We understood each other. We understood that we needed expertise, good at the thing that was being delivered. So we had some shared value as just community members. We got on really well together and we figured, let's give it a try, right? It's not going to be that hard. But yeah, he did move. We did move very quickly in getting this done. So Akshay went back that week from off at Symposium, which is like, right, okay, I'm in. I'm going to set about the company. So, he just went and set it effectively. He set up a Konabos in the US. We started to work together and gave us some good momentum. But yeah, even things like getting the logo down, you know, we put out some design brief and some design specs that we had in mind. We gave out some ideas or things that we thought would work on. I think it was at 99 designs that we got the logo done. A bunch of people submitted their ideas, we narrowed it down. We worked with them to end up with the final logo that you guys will see. But that again, was, you know, that was done very quickly. We moved for that pretty quickly. That kind of established things like brand colors and the brand look. And I felt like it worked well for us. It's a bit of a fun, fun kind of look. Matthew McQueeny: On that point. Do you remember at that time what your thoughts of what it could be? Akshay Sura: So what we would have been really, really happy with is a company with probably like ten people, predominantly developers, just billing on Sitecore projects is what we thought at that moment in time is our next goal was, I guess. Matthew McQueeny: Dennis, when you hear that and then you came into the picture a couple of years in as a partner and you see what it's become. What do you think about that start to where we are now? Dennis Augustine: I think it's very cool in that I never actually heard him use the words before "starting off like a co-op of MVPs or something", because over the years we've kind of just started to, in a way morph towards some of that model. When I came in, I was the third company that was added to the other two. So we started working together and just building stuff out. Now we may not be this co-op framework, but you know, right now we're noodling things like the Konabos Alliance and all kinds of stuff, ways that we can work together, do things for ourselves in the community, but not by ourselves. And so it's kind of interesting to hear that it start out that way. And I think it's also really cool and interesting to hear that the goals were around ten people because we've like blown through that five times over by now and there's not really an end in sight or a limit for us at this point. So I'm glad to know that we've exceeded the expectations. I think exceeded all of our expectations, well I shouldn't say, I have very ambitious expectations. So I think it's nice to know that we've exceeded the expectations of the founders. I'm so glad about that and exciting things ahead. Matthew McQueeny: And Dennis, how about you? When you came in, I think there were, you were the third person, right? Or maybe four people at the time. And now we're ten times that. I think the people probably resonate with you. And what is it like seeing the roster and your connection with a lot of the people that came on and seeing them fit into this group? Dennis Augustine: Yeah, the people lesson is definitely one of the most profound ones. I had a sense for when I joined Akshay and Kamruz at that time, and Hedipo as well. That just picking the right partners and the right people would be the key to success or something. But you know, I have just been so excited about the type of people that we've been able to attract here at Konabos, some of the best hearted, really super smart folks. I used to fancy myself as developer and solution architect in my previous iteration, and right now I don't even dare to touch code around people like, you know, my partners Kam and Akshay and everybody else, because they're just so talented. So definitely the quality of the people, the passion of the MVPs. Many MVPs that we've been able to attract and the spirit of exploration in terms of checking out new technologies and always pushing for what's best for the client situation. That's been a real standout. Also, I highlight that my previous business was at a bricks and mortar office. And we were just like, everybody was in Toronto and local. And I met Akshay just in the flesh and we've been working together for a couple of years. In the flesh I met him for the first time just about a month before I moved here to Barbados. And our Company is fully remote. And we're doing something that is to me unprecedented. I think that we have... I'm so excited about the ability that we have right now to do software teams in a different way, in a way that's really suited for this new remote reality, this new cloud reality, this new composable reality. The way that our team is structured is just made for this time in software development. I think we're starting to reinvent that. So that sticks out for me too, that we have an opportunity here at Konabos. I think we are in the midst of reinventing how you should build a software team. Morgan Blackeet: Hey Hedipo, so you were the first Konabos employee. What were you thinking when you first joined this group? Kamruz Jaman: Yes. What were you thinking Hedipo? Hedipo Menezes: It was kind of weird, you know, because I just started to work with Akshay and Kamruz. Even before Konabos. And when I started to work with these guys as a freelancer doing some stuff, I just love it. The way that they work, the way that they talk with each other, the way they would request things and request meetings. How flexible they are, how we can communicate to them, make any questions without being afraid of things like a number of the question or something. And since I started there I just put on my mind, hey, this is what I want, I want to work with these guys, so I hope I'll do my best to work with these guys. If they went to Albany or anything. I will... I want to be there. I didn't even know about Konabos at that moment Then they decided to start the company. I was like "well, I'm here if you need". And then we just started to work and we are here, and you know, so I just loved these guys. The way that we work, the way that they bring people here, how open they are to hear everyone, what people think, what they think that we can do better, what we can always do to improve ourselves or anything. For me, the communication is the key for everything, so. I just love you guys. That's different. Morgan Blackeet: How has it been, you know, being the first employee and then watching the company just explode and go to so many different transformations and knowing that you were there as the first person, the first employee watching all the company just grow to this? Hedipo Menezes: Well, I don't know if you had that feeling of realizing a dream. It was kind of that, when they sent the contract the first time. I mean, I was "what?". Is this serious? I am here. This is what I will do. It is exactly what I was expecting. And then when we started it, we were small, right? I was afraid, right. We are way smaller. I don't know where we will go. I don't know what the plans is here, but I'm here, so let's go. And then like the last year and since the beginning I think. Things just start to literally explode and people join from everywhere and that I was "what?". What a crazy thing, you know, it's so cool that you can work with people around the world without even knowing them personally, but they are like friends, you know, and you can communicate with everyone as friends. It's unexpected, I think. Because it's completely different from the others experiences that they had working remotely. Here we are just a family and we are growing so fast, so fast that every day you can think, "hey, what will be the next step?". Who will join next month. You know, the things just growing, growing perfectly. And then that's my thinking at this moment. What will happen next. Who will be joining to us on this big family thats growing so fast. That my think these things. Matthew McQueeny: Where do you see yourself in five years? Dennis first. Dennis Augustine: I think we're doing a great job of reinventing how we do things in terms of the software team, this virtual team, we're doing a really great job of running this team of about 50. I would like to see us team up with a whole bunch of other people to another team of 50, and another team of 50, and another team of 50. Until we have an army of 1000 people. Hedipo Menezes: I envision we growing, like really a lot and not only where we are now, but around the world. Akshay Sura: Yeah, five years will be, I don't know if will be a thousand people, but it could add 100 or so people. Being very process oriented and executing effectively and a loyal set up of customers and team members. Kamruz Jaman: I do think we've been growing in a good way with our customers. So one thing that I think nobody in the company wants to do is just to work for the sake of working. We have been trying to work with every single customer as if we are a partner. We are truly their partner. We work with them as one team, fully integrated with their team. So, I think that's where our future is. We will be working more and more predominantly in that composable space and the headless space and within this DXP marketplace. But, you know, always with in mind that, you know, these customers are our partners and every single one of these projects are like us doing our own internal project. It's not just somebody else's project that we're doing just to build something ours and build somebody again. So that is where our strength is. I think that's where our growth will come from. Within the composable space. And what we're working with everybody as true partners. Konabos Team: Happy Anniversary Konabos!!!!!! Akshay Sura: That was a good one!

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