Jakub Ahmadyar An Anarchist Manager Who Comes to Win

JAKUB AHMADYAR, one of the founders of MyQ, is by no means a boring techie; talking to him is great fun. He’s sarcastic, witty, and self-deprecating, but he hates official interviews, self-promotion, and routine. "I wish I could cancel this conversation, put a photo of someone photogenic in a suit with a tie whose views fit everyone and don't offend anyone," he said, trying to twist. Although he likes to win, this time he lost.

What is your role in MyQ? All I know is that you are one of the founders.

Yes, I am a founder, and my role is technical.

Are you the father of MyQ?

I'm more like a mother. The idea was Martin’s (Janus), and Radek (Tetík) implemented it from the beginning. I’d rather be on the side of the hardware devices. They needed someone for electronics and my brother had a soldering iron at home, so they called me. I learned to do electronics in a week and that was it. I’ve enjoyed programming since I was 12, went to school for it, and studied electrical engineering at college.

A non-technical person may see MyQ only as a programming system. Do you see it that way?

Yes. I would like to try to find a dimension that would also lead to marketing, but I haven't gotten to it yet. Hopefully it will come soon.

How does an idea like MyQ come to pass? How does a system that helps people work?

One thing is inspiration; Martin is very good at that. The second thing is realization, where it's about perseverance and precision. The visionary will set up some playing field, rules, and you will create your work. It's not about someone telling you, “do what you want.” You don't know what to do.

Is the development of MyQ a finite or endless story? Is it ever possible to reach the ultimate goal?

It's like a snowflake. It can keep getting bigger, more and more pieces can be added, but they're getting finer and finer. This is a bit similar. If we stay with the MyQ system, in what we can, then we can add other subtle enhancements, cloud solutions, archiving, integration with other systems. The final story may or may not. There is still something to improve, the technical is still possible to write again and again.

What satisfies you the most about your work? Some like to cross an imaginary finish line, get a medal, and get ready for the next race. Is it similar to running an ultra-marathon race here with no finish line in sight?

This is evolving over time. Ten years ago, it was different than today. At the beginning I was always discovering something new on a technical level, then I felt like I had learned it. The things that are coming today are variations of the same subject, and I don't enjoy it anymore. But I have found that there is another huge universe of projects, a universe of customer implementations. What I enjoy most about the job now is when we win, when someone commends us and, if we can do a big project, we get feedback that our system worked great.

You enjoy winning, so you have a competitive spirit. Are sports a hobby of yours?

I have a competitive spirit, but I do not do sports. When I went to a children's camp when I was young, they asked me what I was doing for sports and I said I play chess. So, they laughed at me and called me a chess player. I enjoy reading a lot, although now I often listen to audiobooks, absorb new information, basically keep learning. I like to think of something, but if I keep going in a routine, that would kill me. Paradoxically, crises keep me alive when I can experience that true adrenaline. Someone jumps, I enjoy dealing with catastrophic situations.

How many people do you have on your team?

I don't have a team. That would mean being a manager and, in that case, I'd rather bite my hand. That's exactly the kind of routine I hate. I can have people under me who are completely independent, whom I will tell, "build me a perpetuum mobile" and they will come back in a week and say that it is not possible. I like working with such people, there are a lot of them, but in that case, I can't talk about being in charge of them. I'm such a managerial anarchist.

Jakub Ahmadyar

Jakub Ahmadyar




Jakub is cofounder of MyQ with passion for dogs as well as hardware.

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