The Author of the Month Interview #1 – September Issue – Attila Szigeti

Welcome to our very first edition of our Author of the Month interviews!

These interviews will allow you to meet your favorite authors, get to know them better and learn from their background experiences and expertise.

For the September issue, we interviewed Attila Szigeti: Chief Operating Officer at Drukka Startup Studio, Entrepreneur, and Author.

Attila Szigeti Photograph

Watch the interview now!

Or read the transcript here:

Alice:

Good morning and welcome to the first edition of our Eloquens author of the month interviews! My name is Alice and I work in marketing here at Eloquens!

Zem: 

And I am Zem Rocha, the author manager. Our inspiration behind these interviews is to begin to spark some connection between our users and authors. Eloquens aspires to create an intense yet friendly environment with constant discussion and wide circulation of knowledge.

Alice: 

We added this series of interviews here so you could get to meet your favourite authors and perhaps benefit from their background experiences.

Zem: 

Our first guest is an entrepreneur and Chief Operating Officer at Drukka start-up studio in Budapest. He has authored several publications on the venture builder model and is now amidst an exciting new project with the release of his new book; the start-up studio playbook. Joining us today I’d like to introduce Attila Zsigeti. Welcome Attila! It’s a pleasure to have you.

Attila: 

Hey guys, thank-you for having me, I’m very excited for this discussion.

Alice: 

Now Attila, job title aside, we would like you to describe yourself and your profession.

Attila: 

I am an entrepreneur. Before that I was working for multinational companies but I came to realise that there is so much technological change in our world and so many opportunities that if I want to be in charge of my life, then really entrepreneurship is the best way; finding a good problem but creating a solution for that, so building a start-up. So, this is how I started to work 2 or 3 years ago, but I realised that the traditional, conventional start-up building way is, let’s say, challenging. When 9 out of 10 start-ups fail, I thought that they really have to be brave to succeed. That’s why I started to work with start up studios.

Zem: 

Very nice! So, could you tell us more about your career path and your studies that led up to this?

Attila: 

I’m a college drop out. I started engineering, but I realised that it’s too deep; it’s too technical for me. So instead of continuing my studies I went to work for IBAM. I did some IT security related technical work and then project management, and later I continued on the same career path at Citi Group. In 2014, I quit so that I could build my first start-up. The idea that I had was to build an online platform that helps people to develop their public speaking skills. For one year I was working on this idea together with a team. We went through the standard start up building steps like customer interviews, validation, prototyping and so on. But it didn’t work out. So, after that I was looking for alternative methods and models, and that’s how I learned about start-up studios. Organisations that build start-ups in a repeat way from internal resources. Like ‘Rocket Internet’ like ‘Betaworks’ like efounders, adVentures, and such. I realised that if this model works in Western Europe and in North America, then we can do the same here in Hungary, and this is why I started research gathering best practises, trends. I put all this in different publications, and in parallel to this, we started to build our own studio here in Hungary.

Zem : 

Wow! How exciting; a proper entrepreneur. Very nice.

Alice: 

Really interesting. Can you tell me what you are passionate about? In your personal life and your professional life?

Attila: 

In my professional life it’s about making a difference. You are doing something that gives value to people around me. Not just for me but for people around me. And also, freedom to do whatever I want to do is a big passion. Of course, it usually involves a lot of work, but at least its work about the topics I care about. So, freedom; making a difference. And start-up studios are a good accumulation of all these. In my personal life, I like to dance! And nowadays I am also learning how to paint, how to play the piano, so I’m trying to cultivate as many different talents- or potential talents- as possible to have a whole life.

Zem: 

Very nice, what kind of music do you like?

Attila: 

Classical, usually.

Zem: 

Nice, very good.

So, could you tell us a little more about the new book you published; Start-up Studio Playbook? Or about any other exciting new projects you have currently?

Attila:  

Yea, the book was like the grand finale of my research project. I interviewed a lot of successful entrepreneurs and start-up studios, and they were amazing people to share their knowledge and their wisdom, and I put all these interviews, all these best practises, in a book that helps people to build new start-up studios and to transform existing agencies into studios to show how investor and solo entrepreneurs can benefit from this approach. And that’s how I’m preparing the second edition, because I released the first version last year- November- but so much changed, that now there are so many new trends, lessons, new studios, that I want to continuously update this book to always show the best and the newest for people who are just starting on this path, and apart from that? We are building our own start-ups, here at Drucka this year we managed to convince external angel investors to invest money into our studio which is breaking the ice, finally convincing investors that they really can trust this model. So now we are building 8/9 more start-ups and I have really high hopes for this not just because of our own success but because it can show good enough case studies that entrepreneurs and investors can see, and they see that it’s really a huge return from the start-up studio model and that there’ll be many more of these organisations.

Zem: 

Wow! Yea sounds like you have your plate full out there. That’s great.

Alice: 

As you know Eloquens is part of a start-up studio as well so we would like to discuss your relationship with Eloquens…So, how did you find out about Eloquens and how do you use it?

Attila: 

Actually I was in touch with Antoine (Duboscq), and with your start-up studio. Actually your studio wrote a chapter into the book about creating a strategy for start-up studios and a few months ago when I started a crowd finding campaign for the second edition of the book. We talked with the team, and he mentioned that you had this new platform called Eloquens- I hope I pronounced it right- and that it is like a collection of business related tools and publications and my target group of the book and the other publications is entrepreneurs so using Eloquens to publish my work seemed like a very strong good choice. So, after that I registered and it was very easy. I think I uploaded one publication- my original research report about start-up studios- and I will upload some more materials as time goes and it’s a really convenient way to reach those people who should care about such topics.

Zem: 

Yea I agree with you, it’s a great place for entrepreneurs to meet people like yourself who can provide more insight on some things and such.

Attila: 

Yea and its very good that your platform has a strong built in option; opportunities to get in touch with the readers- with the buyers- so it’s a good way to create a community and engage those people who care about your work.

Zem: 

Definitely. So, speaking about your tool, could you tell us more about the tool you published? Start-up studio trends report?

Attila: 

Yea, when we started this whole start up studio thing we wanted to know what the actual market trends were; what do the numbers show? So, I collected a list of 50+ start up studios and 200 companies that these studios produced and I took publicly available data like AngelList, CrunchBase and similar data sources to find out how these studios perform. Is it really a better method to build start-ups? So, I compared a lot of numbers and I put all these results in a presentation- 25 slides I believe- to convince ourselves and also other people how start-up studios are performing. How many companies are built with this model? How successful are they? How they do in terms of fundraising and exits and all these results are in this report from 2015 and I believe that in the next few months I will create an updated version because a lot of stuff happened since then.

Zem: 

Wow very nice. Sounds good. Those tools are also available for purchase and they’re only $7 I believe? And they’re very, very useful I thought.

Alice:

Great! Sounds like you have a lot of experience which our users could benefit from. It’s been a pleasure talking with you today band I hope our users have enjoyed our discussion.

Zem: 

Yea thank you so much for joining us Attila I hope you continue to help guide professionals with your knowledge in the years to come! And that wraps it up for this edition of our Author of the Month interviews and thank you to our viewers for watching

Attila: 

Thank you and if you have any questions related to start-up studios or venture builders you can easily engage me on Eloquens and I am happy to answer any kind of questions and thank you very much for this great discussion.

Alice: 

Thank you

Zem: 

Okay great well thanks for watching and we hope to see you guys next month. Bye.

Alice: 

Bye