Tiago Franco: A Tech-Geek improving Peoples’ Lives

Tiago Franco

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Being an exceptional leader is more than getting the job done. You have to balance the team’s needs with your goals and objectives. You have to think about things from other peoples’ perspectives and sometimes do things that—while being in the team’s best interest      —might not be great for you. The leadership styles have evolved over the years.

The IT industry, in particular, demands different leadership styles today than it did a decade ago. There are not many industries evolving as quickly as IT, which has posed a plethora of challenges for IT leaders today. While some leaders struggle to cope with these new challenges, Tiago Franco is a prime example of a veteran thriving through this shift with thorough adaptability and perseverance.

Software Engineer to Entrepreneur

As a software engineer, Tiago started his career on complex and quality-centric software projects. Quality-centric software is often challenging to use and human error-prone since it does not focus on the user. It is usually the other way around with companies—they focus on the users but lack quality. Having this in mind and knowing it could be tricky, Tiago wanted to balance both these worlds. This led him to establish Imaginary Cloud—to deliver software that improves peoples’ lives by balancing usability and reliability. Since then, Tiago and his team have helped more than 200 companies worldwide.

Changing how Digital Products are built

Imaginary Cloud was incepted in May 2010. The company emphasizes innovation by changing how digital products are built. It puts the users at the center of the decision process. Traditionally, software teams developed according to inputs and outputs to fulfil      specific requirements instead of delivering what users needed.

Imaginary Cloud-primarily offers four services: UX Audit, Staff Augmentation, Web & Mobile App Development, and UX/UI Design. The company’s tech stack includes React/React Native, Angular, VUE, Node, Rails, Python, IOS, Android, Docker, AWS, Figma, Adobe, etc. “Following a user-centric and agile approach, we can identify what users need and how the product will address their needs. That’s how you get effective and effortless user adoption,” asserts Tiago.

Surmounting the Challenges

Tiago founded Imaginary Cloud a day after quitting his old job. “One day, I was a Project Manager for international projects and CEO the next,” he adds. While changing roles was fast, becoming the role took Tiago a few years. He mentions that a project manager’s tasks and responsibilities are not comparable to the ones of a CEO. While the former is responsible for a myriad of aspects that ensure that a project runs smoothly from start to end, the latter is responsible for two things—setting the vision and keeping the team aligned and motivated.

Although Imaginary Cloud is facing strong growth, the top management still has a few departments on their hands. The company intends to grow to a point where it can finally assign these departments to more focused leaders. Tiago expects to double the team by the end of this year. Alongside being the CEO, Tiago also acts as the Head of Delivery, Business Development, and Growth.

Additionally, the pandemic crisis has pushed companies over the technology tipping point and transformed businesses forever. It has forced most companies to invest in their digital projects significantly, due to which the demand has grown exponentially during these times. Talking about Imaginary Cloud’s response to the increasing demand, Tiago asserts, “Currently, the main concern we are facing is keeping the pace. We are increasing headcount by 10 to 20% per month to respond quickly to the needs.”

A Seamless Transition

Imaginary Cloud successfully mitigated the challenges caused by the pandemic. The company transitioned to a simple and incident-free remote working model—which did not affect on its performance. From the client’s perspective, the company already worked remotely from the office or home—developing products/solutions for international markets. It did not lose clients despite the pandemic. Moreover, in addition to keeping its current customers, Imaginary Cloud earned more customers.

We even increased our team due to the growth in demand. All this was possible because we already had good infrastructure and tools in place,” adds Tiago. He further mentions that Imaginary Cloud had to review its financial plan. At the beginning of March 2020, the company adapted its goals to the new reality. It has a cautious management approach with healthy cash reserves, which allowed it to stay calm despite the industry’s panic. “It allowed us to make the best long-term decisions. All things considered, we have been dealing well with the pandemic,” continues Tiago.

Increasing Digital Adoption

The pandemic had adverse effects on society, and many people were affected by it. However, it also worked as a catalyst for the adoption of digital services. Many companies achieved—in a single year—the digital transformation goals planned for an entire decade. The result is growth in demand for highly specialized professional services.

Our customers are no exception and need additional specialization services. This month, we are launching a new UX Audit process tailored for clients who need to mature their digital products and optimize the user journey to improve conversion and retention,” asserts Tiago.

He adds that Imaginary Cloud is set to launch two additional services in the second quarter this year—one for Data Science and another for Artificial Intelligence. He further mentions that the company is growing its team and expanding in the international markets where it operates—United States, Europe, and the Middle East. Imaginary Cloud aims to duplicate its team and revenue this year.

Read full issue: The Top 10 Perseverant Entrepreneurs 2021

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