IT Digest Interview With Joaquim Lecha, CEO, Typeform

IT Digest Interview With Joaquim Lecha, CEO, Typeform

What sets Typeform apart is that we’re designing a more human digital experience.

Hi Joaquim, could you tell us a little about your journey and where it all started for you?

My journey with Typeform started as a board member. I was brought in because of my experience in the local startup ecosystem. Being in Barcelona, I already had a geographic and cultural proximity to the founders. In fact, I was working only about 900 meters away from Typeform headquarters at the time, so I could easily take a five-minute walk to meet with David and Robert any time. Eventually, I was ready to make a change in my career and the founders invited me to join Typeform as a full-time employee, which is what I did in 2018.

How has the pandemic affected your team and your productivity?

In many ways, when the pandemic hit, it brought our team together. People were super engaged and wanted to contribute to the best of their ability. In the face of uncertainty, it was important to have that support and community providing reassurance and stability, and in general, productivity actually rose. We’ve always managed by objectives, not so much by hours, so people had more opportunity to decide how best to use their time, which made them very productive as well.

What sets Typeform apart from competition?

What sets Typeform apart is that we’re designing a more human digital experience. The world is becoming more and more impersonal, especially online, but businesses still need to make human connections with their audiences to engage, learn, adapt and grow. We provide solutions that treat people like people, so that businesses of all sizes can achieve one-to-one engagement at scale without having to hire massive teams of programmers and designers.

Typeform creates beautiful, conversational forms, surveys, quizzes, and asynchronous video interactions that get more engagement and better responses. We combine thoughtful and efficient design of both product functionality and brand aesthetic to deliver simple, beautiful, personalized interfaces that integrate and connect with existing data and workflows. All of this empowers brands to easily create engaging online interactions that improve conversation, which in turn, improves completion rates, volume of responses, and the quality of data collected.

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How do you see Typeform’s idea of ‘personal connections at scale’ over the years to come contributing to business growth?

We are on a mission to bring people in with better business conversations and be the gold-standard for online interactions. The importance of those goals will only grow over time, both for Typeform and the customers we serve. Now and in the future, Typeform is for brands that care about how they show up, and that want to engage people in ways that reflect their brand values and personality in order to grow their relationships, brand and business.

Engagement with customers is essential for the continued growth of any business, no matter the size. There has been a clear paradigm shift, and with so much of our lives now being spent online, brands that don’t make personal connections with their audience through digital channels will struggle to bring new customers in and keep existing ones coming back.

We are purpose-built to help brands rise to this moment. We’re helping to redefine how brands interact with their customers in a digital world by designing new ways to make online interactions more human. There’s no going back to the old way of doing business, so brands need to adapt and make sure that every customer touchpoint presents the opportunity to interact with customers in ways that drive engagement and connection. We’re excited to help elevate the quality of human interaction with brands as we continue powering personal connections at scale over the years to come.

What benefits do SaaS platforms pose for end users?

SaaS platforms are accessible and scalable, giving power back to scrappy users, whether they’re entrepreneurs or running marketing teams within a Fortune 500 company. This technology provides opportunities for people to move from idea to results quicker, more easily and more cost-effectively than ever before.

For example, with a solution like Typeform, a customer could create a beautiful, personalized interaction that enables them to start collecting rich customer insights almost instantly. If we think about the end user of that – the respondent to our customer’s form, in this example – they benefit from having a great interaction with a brand they love and feel connected to. It’s truly a win-win.

The ability to deploy simple but powerful no-code solutions like Typeform, and integrate with existing tools and data, allows anyone to create world class experiences, embed them throughout their digital environment. and integrate the results into their business- critical workflows. As a SaaS company, Typeform is giving businesses the power of an enterprise-level design and functionality with fully customizable solutions that can be deployed without complexity or coding.

As a business leader, what metrics do you use to define success?

It’s always been important to me that growth be balanced with efficiency. Scaling quickly can be a sign that you’re building an impactful product and taking advantage of opportunities, but to me it is just as important to maintain focus on keeping a healthy runway and predictable returns.

Along any journey toward success, there will be many milestones worth celebrating as your teams continue to deliver and hit key metrics, and each might be a useful barometer of success. But if you’re focused on building a consequential company, success is measured on a much longer time horizon, which requires everyone to be bought into the long-term vision. That orientation gives you the ability to both celebrate wins together while keeping the big picture in mind, as well as to learn from setbacks and take them as constructive lessons that prepare you for the opportunity ahead.

Ultimately, long-term success is measured by how well we did for our customers, employees, shareholders and communities. Typeform wants to greatly contribute to all of them.

Top 5 apps that you use for business?

A key function of my job is to communicate, so communication apps are definitely among the top five that I use for business on a daily basis. Working remotely, Zoom, Slack and Gmail are of course in the top five. I also read a lot of information that is prepared in Google Docs, which also lets me contribute to the work and collaborate with our teams. Hiring is also an important part of my job, and therefore tools like LinkedIn and Crunchbase are essential, which helps me learn more about different companies and backgrounds.

What advice would you give to someone who aspires to be a ‘marketing success’?

The best advice I could give is to truly try to understand – deeply understand – the customer. The customer is the main reason we have the opportunity to do our work; without helping them to be successful, happy, and satisfied we can’t be. Of course it’s also important for any marketer to have an understanding of broader context and circumstances, and you position your product and service based on that.

Your top pick for a book on leadership that everyone should read?

I love to read, so picking just one book is difficult for me! But when it comes to leadership, there are a few essentials that come to mind. To me, Peter Drucker is the quintessential business advisor and Adventures of a Bystander is one of my favorites. I also read all of the annual letters from leaders like Warren Buffet and Jeff Bezos. There’s a collection called Invent and Wonder that has all of Jeff Bezos’s letters. The sports world can teach us a lot about leadership as well — the former San Francisco 49ers coach Bill Walsh wrote a book called The Score Takes Care of Itself that shares his leadership philosophy. I would also recommend John Kotter’s writing on change management, which provides helpful approaches for leaders. I always turn to biographies to learn about impactful leaders throughout history, like Eisenhower or Churchill.

Could you name one person that you would like to see featured here?

There are so many people leading great companies in Barcelona’s amazing startup community that could be featured here, such as Laura Urquizu from Red Points. It’s hard to recommend just one person though, so in general I would love to see more people from the local ecosystem being given the opportunity to share their perspectives.

Thanks Joaquim!

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