Successful remote work and the technology boom require an essential change in the way entrepreneurs manage their own companies. Talent-oriented rather than geolocation-oriented recruitment, flexibility towards change or fast market expansion are some of the strengths of remote work and Latin-American startups are taking advantage of them.
According to Forbes magazine, Mateo Bovio, current partner and Chief Sales Officer in The Flock, is a serial entrepreneur, has a fulfilling career path and looks older than 28. Mateo, who is an Argentinian industrial engineer living in Italy, defines himself as a “digital entrepreneur”, if he comes up with an idea, he does the impossible for achieving it. He speaks five languages, got two master’s degrees but what really defines his profile is his passion for what he does.
Commercial profiles have a key role in this new asynchronous, remote and technological context where the world becomes small and accessible. Since June, he has been in charge of looking for new clients and new business opportunities.
– What is your experience like working remotely for a startup such as The Flock, living in Italy but looking for clients all over the world?
– The experience is amazing. The new digitalization model allows us to go beyond the reality structure and change that model and I love that. The commercial part is crucial for any enterprise, everything can improve but if there are no sales, there is no business and for those who work in the sales area, we know how to deal with that pressure better than others. On the other hand, working remotely is something I am used to and I find it easier when it comes to commercial management and results. I attend certain face-to-face meetings or events when it is really worth it as I know they will be useful. I also use current digital tools a lot. The pandemic also contributed to it and the clients got used to a video call or attending an online event. Besides, if you are good at selling, making the most of marketing and media and if you support your business with a comprehensive commercial strategy, you can then choose good referrals and, on top of that, you get surrounded by great partners. In that case, you are a whiz.
– Which one do you consider as the most disruptive model of this new technological context where speed and flexibility are key concepts of this tech era?
– The most disruptive model is the social one. Nowadays I am writing a book about that which will be released in Latam in December 2022. Football is to low-class what technology is to middle-class that intends to be skilled, it is a chance for climbing the social ladder. Today there are plenty of young people who set up their own technology business after school or university and that deeply moves me. They are the main characters because they know how to use technology with impact in every aspect. We must know how to use technology, it is an evolving and emerging tool and there are more and more new things coming up and we must be constantly reading about the new trends. Talking about the most disruptive technical model, I would mention blockchain, it is a technology that, due to its transparent and transactional features, can change and is actually changing the society organization.
– The queens of the entrepreneur ecosystem seem to be the startups and scaleups, both of them attract the best talent since these kinds of companies have flexible policies and fully remote jobs. Which makes the difference in The Flock from the other platforms?
– For sure, the startups are the queens of the entrepreneur ecosystem and we young people imposed a paradigm change with flexible policies and fully remote jobs where the premise is working to live rather than living to work. It is part of a generational and cultural shift. In accordance with this, there is The Flock, which is the top Latin-American freelance talent platform. Within this company, there coexist product, development, design, business and data profiles that are validated in advance and in a technical way on the platform. They are also asked about their preferences related to coding to be able to assign them certain projects or enterprises. I have never seen in Latam an IT talent platform where there is such a huge freelancer’s community and where freelancers are treated the same way as in-house employees. We keep on working on this line to provide usefulness and certainty to the flockers. We in the Flock are clear that 50% of IT talent will be freelance in the next five years. So we must help organizations not to be left aside from that talent recruitment but we always take care of our talents by taking our catchphrase into account: “free refers to freedom and not to the lack of charge.”
– Startups are a new way of doing businesses and technology is the foundation of this type of company. Which is the biggest challenge that you face?
– Startups face a big challenge and that is to become profitable in a short term and I agree with the fact of having that challenge. I cannot understand startups that are not profitable and raise funding rounds. I prefer bootstrapped startups that do not do this and sell until they reach a balance without the help of investments or the ones that do it but only for making their profitable business grow, like we do in The Flock.
– You are a prime example of the possibility of working fully remote. How do you manage your schedule with so many different time zones?
– Any common person in my shoes would be in shock. However, luckily I do not consider myself as a common person. I put a lot of passion and energy into my job and that makes me work happily, although it is essential to manage my google calendar properly in order to work out, sleep well, spend time with family and friends, travel and work in an efficient and productive way. It is not easy to have a commercial profile but I take advantage of an innate talent and I work on it. I have just finished a master’s degree on neuroscience which helps me to sell more and better but, at the same time and on the personal aspect, to deal with stress and anxiety and use them as a daily propulsion. Time zones are a complex topic but if you are organized, constant and have a good attitude, you can make it.
– Do you think that entrepreneurship and innovation must go together? Or is it more important the way you set your own business rather than the product or service itself?
– For me, the important thing is to find a need and focus on it to solve it. Also, at the same time, to see if someone is willing to pay me for that solution and if so, I ask myself how difficult it is to reach it. That is entrepreneurship, innovation is another thing.
– What do you think about the metaverse? Do you think it will have an important impact on the daily life of entrepreneurs?
– I see the metaverse as really marketing-oriented. If we split up the word, the second part is “verse” which in Argentinian slang (verso) stands for something that people speak a lot about but it is not true. It is an old concept but, more recently, it has been introduced strongly into the market by Facebook, that now is called Meta. I consider it is very similar to virtual or augmented reality we were used to in Pokemon GO or some innovations in the tourism area.
– Which do you think is a daily catchphrase that an emerging technological startup must follow?
– Always forward.
– If it is very hard for Mateo Bovio to give up an idea that has come to his mind, which would be some advice for someone who has a project in mind and does not know where to start from?
– First of all, they must consider if it is sellable. Then, if they have attitude and perseverance, they will find the proper team to put it into practice. My advice is to set up your own business as a lifestyle.