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Business Advice from IT Company Founders

14
Apr
2021
Business Advice from IT Company Founders

Capicua launched in Uruguay in 2012. It grew from two professional designers: Ismael Larrosa and Mauricio Nicoletti. Further, it started with nothing but a small office and an idea. With this, they managed to establish a secure client base. Later, it evolved into a complete digital agency with its software division. At this stage, Yanick Tourn and Carlos Traibel joined as Head of Tech and COO, respectively. The result was, and is, a strong team that drives the company's continuous success.

Ismael Larrosa, CEO of Capicua

Ismael was the first to quit his day job and make Capicua a full-time pursuit. After various experiences, he realized he was ready to leap. Before, he worked for international corporations and led design projects for government agencies. With Capicua, he gained the company’s first retainer client in three weeks. Since then, he has been in charge of creating and managing customer relationships.

When did you feel comfortable that Capicua had made it?

I haven’t yet! There's always the sense that everything can change. Thankfully, we've transcended many of our initial barriers. This allows us to not be in survival mode anymore. Now, we're in constant growth. So, we have to do that cleverly and sustainably.

What’s your advice for entrepreneurs?

You need to have a tolerance for frustration. This does not only means knowing how to lose. Also, it includes putting the good of the group ahead of your personal feelings. And, further, to maintain hope despite the bad things that come your way. Learning involves a certain amount of suffering. The most important thing, though, is to start. That’s a success. For me, it was never about money. I had to get past my fears—and worries about what people would think— and jump in.

What are you most proud of?

That we did this by ourselves. People will say you need money or connections to start a business, but we were able to make it happen from nothing.

What’s your idea of a perfect vacation?

Going somewhere I don’t know anything about. It’s more of an adventure that way.

Ismael Larrosa, CEO of Capicua

Mauricio Nicoletti, CCO of Capicua

Mauricio had given co-founding a try a couple of times, but Capicua was the company that stuck. He was the first to join Ismael in the office. Starting as a designer, he moved into other roles, including administration and HR. As the company has grown, he’s been able to move back to his true passion and lead the design team.

What made you decide to start Capicua?

I wanted to be my own boss. It’s funny because I’ve never had any bad bosses, big fights, or anything like that. I’ve always had a strong desire to do my own thing.

What was the difference that made Capicua successful?

Frankly, in the beginning, it was Ismael. He’s put a lot of effort into the sales side of the business. In other ventures, we didn’t have such a good fit for that role. Now, I think that one of the things that make us stand out is our approach. How we integrate technology with UX design is very dynamic.

What is your biggest challenge running a business?

Being someone’s boss isn’t always comfortable. I’m another group member and don’t think I’m superior to anyone. I try hard to put myself in the place of the team members and help them out the best way I can, so I could never dump an assignment and say, “Have fun!”. It’s essential to ensure they’re all set up with what they need to succeed. This applies even before starting projects or processes.

Your idea of a perfect vacation?

To be on an island somewhere, alone. I have a one-year-old son at home, so my fantasy right now is to sleep!

Mauricio Nicoletti, CCO of Capicua

Carlos Traibel, COO @ Capicua

Carlos is our point person, both with our team and clients. Intuitive and patient, he seems like a natural for the role. Yet the transition from designer to general manager hasn’t always been easy.

What has been your biggest challenge?

To get comfortable with being uncomfortable. As the business grows, you have to grow with it. In my case, I started as a designer, but the company required that I evolve into something else. So I’ve had to step out of my comfort zone. It’s stressful but rewarding. You’re consistently achieving things beyond what you thought possible.

What advice do you have for business owners?

The human factor is crucial in every equation; people are not machines. You need to make an effort to understand where each person is coming from and where they want to go. Then, you must help them reach their goals to keep them motivated. Common sense is not common, so what works for you doesn’t work for everyone else. You need to involve and get to know your people.

What do you think is unique about Capicua?

We’ve built a unique team, and it feels like working with friends. That’s not something I’ve often experienced in the past.

Your idea of a perfect vacation?

Prague. You can walk everywhere, and beer is cheaper than water. There’s no beach, but I guess I can live with that.

Carlos Traibel, COO of Capicua