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Alex Cîrcei, CEO & Founder of Waydev, on How Richard Branson Changed His Life

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Alex Cîrcei is the founder of multiple businesses, currently focused on building Waydev – a software development tool that helps non-technical entrepreneurs better understand what their software development team does.

Waydev is dedicated to startups, technology companies, and digital agencies up to 30 employees. It’s a tool suitable for anyone who needs to work with developers, but finds it difficult to understand how their work is measured. Waydev uses weekly reports to keep its clients up-to-speed with the progress (sort of a Google Analytics for software development projects).

Alex is a serial entrepreneur, who founded and led several other businesses in the past decade, most of them related to the eCommerce space. He’s the CEO and founder of Copimaj, a digital eCommerce full service agency, through which he launched several other projects and services for brands.

He started by building an IT&C online store he launched 10 years ago, called LiveMag. He later started developing his own products dedicated to eCommerce: he launched Live2c, an eCommerce platform that helped small, local businesses create online shops integrated with their suppliers – it was the first SaaS eCommerce platform in Romania, his home country.

A few years later, Alex founded StoreBeez, a marketplace platform that led to a 3-months experience at the Birmingham Oxygen Accelerator – an intensive bootcamp for tech startups. Before leaving, he sold two of his previous businesses, LiveMag and Live2C.

Upon returning from UK, he went on and launched an email marketing platform called Lupsale at the TechCrunch Disrupt 2013 San Francisco conference. In 2014, after realizing a gap in the market, he built an accessible ERP (entreprise resource planning) and, one year later, he launched an invoicing app called BillMe.

One thing that helped build his business discipline is the fact that he’s an Ironman competitor. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the term: Ironman is the name given to the long-distance triathlon races – these are some of the most challenging endurance sports events in the world. It consists of a series of continuous sports trials: you start with a 2.4-mile (3.86 km) swim, continue with a 112-mile (180.25 km) bicycle ride, and end by running a marathon (26.22-mile / 42.20 km), raced in that order and without taking any breaks between them.

Alex talked to us about how Richard Branson’s writing inspired him to follow his intuition, how a book helped with his Ironman training, and how endurance sports are very similar to running a successful business. Keep on reading!

What’s your favorite book and why? Business and non-business, if possible.

Screw It, Let’s Do It: Lessons In Life – Richard Branson for helping me realize I’m an entrepreneur and I’m Here to Win: A World Champion’s Blueprint for Peak Performance by Chris McCormack for helping me in my training for an Ironman Course.

Was there a moment, specifically, when something you read in a book helped you? Can you tell me about it?

Sure, Screw It, Let’s Do It: Lessons In Life helped me a lot at a young age (19). I realized the decisions I made (by intuition), Richard made in the same way and I also realized I’m not crazy… from that day everything changed.

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What books had the biggest impact on you? (perhaps changed the way you see things, dramatically changed your career path)

All the books helped me a lot and changed the way I think, but the Richard Branson books helped me the most, to follow my intuition.

What five books would you recommend to youngsters interested in your professional path? Why? (no number limit here)

I know that you haven’t been reading that much in the past few years. What happened?

I’ve moved to audiobooks.

Do you prioritize books recommended by certain people?

Based on the person who recommends it, if I think she or he is successful – I will prioritize.

What book are you currently reading and why?

Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg, I would like to know more about the woman that helped Facebook succeed.

You’ve been training for Ironman competitions. Except for the obvious health benefits, what effects do sports have in other areas of your life?

Everything, the same mental struggle you face in an endurance event: it is the same in business life, day to day 🙂

Mistake you made while building your businesses:

Mistakes are normal but the most important thing is the attitude you have when you mess up, and for me it’s very simple, I try to learn as much I can for every mistake I make and I move forward.

Any advice for early entrepreneurs?

Focus on that thing you love to do, and if you love more things… take them one by one.

Links where you can follow Alex Cîrcei or find out more about his projects:

All books mentioned by Alex Cîrcei in our interview:

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