Business / technology

Move fast, be kind and do more.

Q agency

International students visit Q’s Headquarters in Zagreb in 2019

Q is an award-winning software and design agency that specialises in web and mobile development, strategy and user experience design.

They proudly carry the title of having been continuously ranked by Clutch in the top 20 Best Agencies in the world for an entire year now. To add to that, Clutch have also named them a #1 B2B company in Croatia

The award they especially cherish is Best Employer of the Year (2020) in the mid-sized companies category. Among the other 5 Croatian companies, Q was also featured in the last FT1000

Filip Ljubić, Founder & CEO, shared with us a story about a super-competitive team of high-achievers. Read on and get inspired. 

CTO Filip Ljubić

We are always interested in Croatian companies with a global presence and about their early beginnings. Can you share yours with us?  

We set up the company in 2013, but we actually really started in 2015. In September 2015, Dalibor, our co-founder and I went to Dubai for our first business trip. 

It was a roadshow, and we visited around 15 potential clients and came back with four deals. That’s how we started. 

So that trip to Dubai in September 2015 was the real start of actual projects that we won. 

If you could pinpoint your professional values, what would they be? 

We spent a lot of time doing tests and talking to psychologists in order to understand our true values, and ensure they reflected who we are. We came up with these three, ‘Move Fast, Be Kind, and Do More’. 

We are extremely fast! That’s really significant to us and I think this is something that makes us unique. And also, we always try to do more in everything, in all aspects of our lives. Still, we want to make sure we stay candid and kind in our work relationships, as people matter most.

Q Headquarters building in Zagreb

When did your evolution into the leading top 20 agencies globally and 1st B2B business in Croatia begin? 

We always had high aspirations, were very ambitious, and wanted to make something out of ourselves. Our final goal was never to be yet another agency. 

We also wanted to be the best if possible. So whatever we did in the beginning, even in our early beginnings, we always aimed to make an impact and get a footprint on the world business map. 

So getting in the top 20 agencies didn’t come as a big surprise. We knew how much effort was put into making that happen. We measure customer satisfaction and employee engagement each month. And if any of the customers rate us with 4 out of 5, we react immediately: what can we change to get a 5 out of 5 next month?

With this kind of attitude, where we are always trying to push for more and be better both for employees and customers, naturally, you get to the very top. 

Your results are incredible. Can you share more about some of the key metrics you are proud of, like productivity, revenue and recurring revenue growth? 

There are a lot of metrics that you need to pay attention to in order to stay in the top 20 companies in the world. The important thing is that even though the metrics change daily, our results stay the same. That’s what matters because it is an accurate reflection of how we do our work.

Our last customer survey satisfaction was 4.7/5.0.

In terms of revenue, we grew 65 per cent in 2021. Eighty-five per cent of our revenue is recurring revenue based on actual clients. When we look at our top 10 customers, nine of them are leaders in their respective industries.

Another accomplishment is getting recognized by Peakon, a world-leading platform for measuring employee engagement and satisfaction. Their results show that based on employee engagement, we are in the Top 10% of the companies of all industries and the Top 5 % of companies of the IT industry. 

How should we understand the ‘no bullshit’ policy? What is the most common b******* clients seem to get?

Well, the ‘no bullshit’ policy means that we always tell the truth, no matter how hard it is to hear it or say it. We love transparency. 

We share everything with our people; we’ll never hide information. We are very transparent internally and externally. And we love to say things as they are. We just love. We are in love with the truth, I would say. 

Tell us about the paperless digital university for the Swiss EdTech Start-Up Maxbrain St. Gallan University? 

Six years ago, we started working with one of the oldest universities in Europe, famous for its beautiful medieval library. So, we were tasked to create an application to hold exams, apply for an exam, see a schedule, talk to a professor, and download materials. 

So yes, we’ve created a paperless university. As it was successful, it became a spinoff project now called Maxbrain. 

The entire know-how and production are based in our office. We do everything for them from the front and back, including mobile testing. This has been a very successful relationship, and they are our oldest client.

Tell us about the medi-vision project and German Innovation Awards? 

The first award-winning application, medi-vision, was made by the Q development team. Our team carried out the entire development process while our partners from the US provided the 3D measurement technology. 

Medi-vision is a tool for non-contact measurement for compression fittings honoured in the category #W2 Excellence in Business to Business Information Technologies Industry Specific and Service Softwares. 

It impressed the German Design Council with its added value for both the medical professional and the patient.

Presentation held for students when they visited Q Headquarters in Zagreb

What can a new potential partner expect in your discovery phase?

We learned that companies often think they have an exact idea of what they want to build. But when we start asking questions, we realise that they don’t have a clear idea, especially if more people participate in the conversation. 

If you have a case of two founders, each will state something completely different. So we really help them to determine what exactly the customer needs. 

For example, everyone understands building a house; a customer has an idea that he wants to have a house, but we really help him define what kind of house this will be. Will it be a smaller house? How big will the backyard be? Do they need a swimming pool or not? How big should their garage be? 

So before we start ‘building’, we try to determine a purpose and a scope and help customers define what they need. 

What would you recommend to start-ups who try to do it all in-house, at which stage should they outsource?

This depends on the budget. If you have a huge budget, you can form your own team. You will, of course, need a complete team with all required roles and an understanding of how to orchestrate a successful process.

But if you have a budget for just one person, it makes much more sense to hire a company with all these roles available for you. 

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