Our super CTO has sat down with us to tell us his secrets, his tricks at work and what he likes the most about computers. He follows the Japanese proverb that says fall down seven times and get up eight, and explain his best practices in this interview. We introduce you to Pablo Clemente, CTO and partner of Wave Application.
1.- Hi Pablo, tell us a little bit about you! How did you end up leading one of the most inspiring tech companies in Spain?
Hi! I’m a telecommunications engineer from Madrid with three masters degrees. I have always believed that the only way to stay ahead of the curve in this demanding and ever changing technical world is to keep an always learning attitude. I have always loved startups, sometimes people forget that even the largest trees were actually born from seeds, and companies are no different.
Being there to witness and be part of that process is an amazing treat. I have worked for many companies but when I finally met Luis and Manuel and heard their initial idea for Wave, it was clear this was the best possible place to be.
2.- What do you love about Wave?
I have always loved the idea that a smartphone enables us to carry a full fledged computer in our pockets. The potential of this has always been staggering and has opened a new era of innovation that will change and make people’s life easier.
Wave is the culmination of that philosophy, we have created a product that helps people meet each other. In a world where social networks and messaging apps are leading to seeing less people in the real world, it is a joy to finally have a product that encourages you to meet the people you care about. Wave is the anti-social network.
3.- How did you managed to start Wave?
A project like Wave is both the challenge and the opportunity of a lifetime. I always felt all my knowledge, courses and experience were there to led me to Wave. I’ve always been a very curious person and that has enabled me to become a full-stack developer, and then a CTO, so that gave me the upper hand when tackling such an ambitious project, as I could undertake many tasks.
However, Wave at the same time built me. I have learnt and learn so much in the day to day of running it that every day has been a very enriching experience.
4.- How do you manage a team of different profiles?
This is a great question. Many developers are extremely specialized, so it is important to help them understand that Wave is a constant team effort. For instance, there is no point in creating beautiful designs and interfaces if the servers running everything are being oversaturated.
As a CTO I always try to convey a birds eye view of everything to everyone who works in Wave, so that as specialized as they may be, they get the idea of what they are doing and how that fits in all the cogs that make Wave run like clockwork.
5.- How can you actually implement technically your product considering that there are great global differences?
We have always had a laser like focus on creating the best possible location product, one that was the ultimate expression of simplicity, security and effectiveness. We love talking to our users and understanding how they use Wave, what they want to see and how they want it.
Being a worldwide app means that we have huge amounts of information to go through, but it is a very rewarding process when you feel you have nailed what people want.
6.- What is the thing that most inspires you about your team in Wave?
It is the privilege of a lifetime to work with such a talented team as a CTO. They are all amazing professionals and incredible people. It is awe striking to see how everyone seeks perfection at every turn, taking care of Wave as their own personal product, always questioning everything, striving to make something that carries our fingerprints and we can feel immensely proud about.
7.- What are the challenges for the next months / years?
We are in the midst of undergoing a huge revamp of the App. This years have been a huge learning process for us, we have learnt so much about what geolocation is to people, and how we can make meeting easier and do so in such a secure way even the military would not hesitate to use our apps.
However, sometimes it is time to rethink the core experience, using your knowledge to help you reach new heights. We are almost on the verge of releasing a new product that we think will raise the bar of what we expect of a geolocation app.
We are also very focused on a business to business approach, as we are currently working with schools, insurance companies, and deliveries to provide them with the best geolocation technology to empower them to embrace a whole new world of benefits.
8.- Does Wave plan to evolve into a personalized experienced for the users, based on their habits?
Of course, as you mentioned in a question earlier, we are a worldwide app, having to accommodate a diverse spectrum of countries and cultures. Furthermore, when you think of it, every user is different, so why should the app be the same for all? We are working on a way of making sure that Wave is not only a cool app, but it is YOUR cool app.
9.- As Facebook privacy crisis arises, people are more concerned than ever about sharing their data online, so how does Wave manage the privacy of their users?
We believe managing sensitive data is a responsibility, and one that should not be taken lightly. Privacy is at the core of Wave’s mechanical heart. Sharing your location is a daunting proposal and the only way we can expect people to trust us and use our App to do so, is by committing to highest possible standards of protecting that data.
We use SSL, end to end encryption, and a complex variable token mechanism to ensure that only the people you are sharing your location with are able to see it. We will never compromise on security, we owe that to our users for their trust and support.
10.- How do you see the mobile landscape in the near future in terms on location based services?
Right now location based services are booming, from localised tweets and posts, to all types of map interactions. It is clear that user’s demand a leader in geolocation technology that they can trust, and this has led it to become the next big gold rush. Many companies like Facebook, WhatsApp and Telegram are gearing towards location sharing.
This is great news for us, since they have validated a model we have been working on since 2014. Now we are stronger and more experienced than ever, and the future looks bright, both for users and for us.
11.- Do you have a sentence that describes yourself?
Yes, there is a Japenese proverb that says fall down seven times and get up eight. I think you are constantly failing and you have to do lots of trials and it’s important to make sure that you never stop and you always keep on pursuing your goals
12.- A final thought about building companies & teams?
When building any type of team or company, for me an absolute must is keeping a humble attitude, and letting both the team and the company teach you too. Entrepreneurship is about diving into uncharted waters, and no one can be best at everything.
The amazing thing about a startup is that the more time you put into it, the more it will reward you with experience. Some experiences will help you push forward, others on the other hand will teach where not to go, or what not to do. But every small fragment will define you, make you into a better leader.
Always keep an open mind and remember that building a team and a company is not a one way street, you have to build yourself at the same time working hand in hand with everything and everyone.