In our previous edition of Business Success, we spoke with Amir Salehi from Tradesmen Brighton, who told us about his modern plumbing business, built from 20+ years’ experience in the industry.
This month, we spoke to Georg Hansbauer, co-founder and CEO of Testbirds. He spoke to us about how they first started, what makes them stand out from the competition, and what his plans are for the future.
1. What’s the story of Testbirds, in a nutshell?
Testbirds was launched in 2011 by Georg Hansbauer, Philipp Benkler and Markus Steinhauser with the aim of optimising digital products such as websites, apps and connected devices. Today, with over 21 crowd and cloud-based testing solutions, Testbirds, under the slogan “Testing 4.0 – The Next Generation of Quality”, aims to take the quality of digital products to the next level.
2. How do you stand out from the competition?
Testbirds has always been a company that, first and foremost, strives to satisfy the needs of our clients. Therefore, we have always invested heavily in expanding and reworking our service portfolio to meet the needs of clients. This has led to a number of significant breakthroughs that have taken our company from the three-man show it was in 2011 operating from Munich, Germany, to over 65 employees located in offices in Amsterdam, London, Munich and Stockholm. The most recent innovation, Testing 4.0, has expanded our services from 3 to 21, providing a comprehensive and extensive testing experience that is catered towards the individual needs of our clients and their products. This approach has led us to have an extremely high customer satisfaction rate and the continuous use of innovation allows us to stay relevant and original in a market that is growing increasingly congested.
3. Describe your workspace. Are you tidy, or do you work in organised chaos?
I would definitely say I’m more on the side of organised chaos. There are often a lot of boxes and papers around. I’d say I have my own personal way to organise things.
4. Tea or coffee?
I’m a coffee man, all the way.
5. How do you keep a strong work/life balance?
It’s no secret that, as a founder of a company undergoing great growth, time schedules tend to be tight. However, I believe it’s extremely important to keep your weekends completely free and really use the time to get your mind off work, unwind and return into the week well rested and with a fresh outlook. Additionally, when I’m on vacation, I try my very best to refrain from checking e-mails and enjoy a relaxing break from day-to-day life and work.
6. Which workplace habit can you not stand?
It’s funny, because contrary to the fact that I work in organised chaos, I can’t stand it if it starts to get too chaotic or downright dirty in the office (say, littered with coffee cups and food wrappers). That would be the main workplace habit that gets on my nerves.
7. Who is your business idol, and why?
To be honest, I’ve never had a business idol. I’ve never given it much thought and when I do, there really isn’t anybody. It’s because I firmly believe that you have to do it your own way and find out what works for you. I was never focused on becoming like anyone else, especially in the business world, I’ve never had an idol.
8. What is your management style?
I’d say it’s the opposite of a ‘dictatorship’. I’d rather participate and work alongside my employees than try to micromanage them. It’s also the Testbirds way of doing things, having a truly flat hierarchy and trusting that your colleagues want what’s best for the company. Hiring people that I trust and then trusting them to do their job is without doubt my preferred way to do business. Of course, I’m always here for guidance or assistance, if needed.
9. What advice would you give to people starting their own business?
My main advice and, perhaps the reason Testbirds has been so successful, is to just do things, to try things, and to not be afraid of taking risks.
10. What’s your secret to success in one sentence?
In my opinion, it’s important to be who you are and not to be artificial. You have to really try to live that way and try not to be compatible to everything and everyone around you. The secret to success is, without a doubt, to know and accept your strengths and your shortcomings.
11. What will the future bring for Testbirds?
Our long term goal, let’s say our horizon, is to become the world’s leading provider of innovative testing solutions. The future for Testbirds will hopefully bring more business, international growth, and further expansion of our team, as we aim to satisfy our goal; to reach our horizon and perhaps even venture beyond.
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