Tanaza: “Our Success Depends On The Success Of Our Users!”

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Sebastiano Bertani, CEO of the software startup Tanaza, explains what their services offer to IT professionals, how they came up with the concept and why a pivot sometimes is the best decision:

Describe Tanaza in 50 words or less.

Tanaza provides superpowers to consumer-grade Wi-Fi Routers and Access Points, enabling IT professionals to deploy cost-effective Smart Wi-Fi Infrastructures and to run Smart Applications on top of them.

Why did you decide to pursue your own dreams rather than someone else’s?

Because they are my own dreams.

7 years from now: How did your startup change the world?

Tanaza changed the SMB/SME Wi-Fi infrastructure market, providing Smart Enterprise-grade infrastructures at a disruptive price, enabling SMBs/SMEs to run Smart Applications, boosting productivity and competitiveness.

Describe your typical working day from coming to the office to leaving it.

I’d like to have a typical working day, but this is not the case. A high-tech startup environment is extremely variable and activities can vary from team meetings at the coffee machine, product design, defining sales processes, taking care of special users/partners. Also, don’t forget about recruiting, fund raising and management of Intellectual Property. Life here is quite exciting, as at each level there are constantly new challenges that make this job beautiful. You have to like challenges and teamwork to be successful here.

In what ways do you measure your success and how do you make sure you don’t lose track?

We like to count the number of Wi-Fi locations that make use of our Wi-Fi software: whenever that number is growing, everything is fine. If the growth rate slows down, it means that there might be an issue on the usability of the product, or some reason that is preventing our users from being successful.

We constantly monitor our users satisfaction in order to be sure that they are getting as much value as possible out of our software, and usually this tracking enables us to anticipate any issue and to correct it. We are 100% aware that our success depends on the success of our users, and we act according to this concept.

Already pivoted? Did customers use the service like you imagined it in the beginning?

Yes, we did pivot in 2011. All our assumptions were wrong. This was a lesson of humility and, in the same time, an incentive to work hard and to make mistakes as fast as possible, proud to do them as “proof” of the learning acquired.

Bootstrapped or financed: What fuels your startup now and what will in the future?

In the beginning we used smart seed capital, coming from FFF, plus some grants we could get thanks to our results. We then joined our first round fund, SeedCamp, in 2014. We are right now closing a larger round to boost our growth.

With ferocious competition and a booming trend to build new companies: How do you make sure you don’t get lost in the shuffle?

We just try our best, putting energy and passion. We try not to burn our team trying to grow faster than what is sustainable, preserving our culture.

What do you look for in team members?

Knowledge, passion, honesty.

Why would a talent join your team?

Because we are passionate, because we push everyone to show his or her potential, because we have fun every day, because this project has a global disruptive potential.

What was your most memorable moment so far?

When we reached 1.000 units deployed in more than 80 countries. We felt to be like a multinational even if we were just a bunch of people.

What advice would you give fellow founders for their startup?

Make mistakes, learn as fast as possible, don’t worry.



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