10 Questions for Valudio's co-founder Mischa Herbrand

What to know about starting a software development company

1. What gets you out of bed in the morning?

Usually it's new projects, new clients and new challenges. Finding creative approaches to solving problems is what motivates me the most.

2. What keeps you awake at night?

Just after I founded Valudio, I struggled with overthinking everything and anything.

However, at some point I learnt that it’s crucial for me to switch off at night, so I can start afresh again the next morning. What helped me was to concentrate purely on the things I am able to control, or, at least to be aware of what things are actually out of my reach. This definitely eliminates some stress — in my private life, too.

Also, with 10 to 15 minutes of meditation in the morning, I am much more focused for the rest of the day.

3. How did you come to do what you do today?

I have to admit that I dropped out of school when I was 18 — maybe others will find this encouraging. Instead of taking my A-levels and going straight on to university, I worked as an accounting assistant whilst finishing school.

What really interested me was economics, business, computer science and, from an early age, I was fascinated with computers.

So the next logical step was to study computer science in Liège. I then went to Barcelona via the Erasmus programme and, after a short diversion for a job in Switzerland, I ended up staying there. 

Starting as a software developer in Barcelona was a conscious decision — there are so many opportunities to work with companies there. That's also where I founded Valudio.

4. What is behind the name ‘Valudio’?

Valudio is a combination of the words ‘value’ and ‘studio’, because our aim is to clearly create real added value for our customers with our software solutions.

We are not a 100 man software development company, but a small group of carefully selected, creative people who concentrate intensively on a few projects. The word ‘studio’ therefore fits our working environment perfectly. 

5. What distinguishes Valudio from other agencies?

The personal connection to our clients. By which I mean that we like to become a part of the client’s company, whilst working together.

This is important to us, so we can truly understand the requirements of a software solution. Or, to put it another way:

a project rarely fails because of the technology, but because of a lack of communication.

Then, of course, our technical specialisation sets us apart; we are not one of those agencies that simply does everything from online marketing to design and offer development in all available programming language. We only focus on the things we can implement with our technical expertise (even if this results in not accepting certain assignments).

Would you like to get to know us even better?
We can't wait to hear from you.

6. What is more important, the idea or the team?

Definitely the team. 

Good communication is at the heart of everything we do.

When we hire new people, besides looking at technical skills, the important thing is to keep the chemistry amongst team members healthy and thriving. We really strive to form a homogeneous working community that manages to reach a consensus whenever there is a difference of opinion, and enjoys what it does. 

It is hugely important that the team can collaborate in such a way that the actual problem is recognised, because the problem is often quite different from what is discussed at the start of a project. For us, it's about finding the core of a problem as a team, and then picking up exactly where we left off with our solution

7. What is one of the biggest challenges for Valudio?

The much-described shortage of skilled workers in the industry is especially felt by small agencies like us.

In our opinion it is vital that you can work in a way that is good for yourself and your mental health. We want you to enjoy your working day. It is important to us that everyone in the team can find meaning in their work, and actively identify themselves as part of the end product.

9. What does success mean to you?

From a personal perspective it’s doing what I enjoy. I consider that a great privilege.

At Valudio, I can combine and apply many of my private interests: I have a passion for reading books about psychology, digital business strategy, sales and product management (everything that has to do with managing digital ecosystems). This ultimately benefits Valudio.

From a business perspective, I consider it a success when our software solutions make a real difference and actually deliver the added value we were aiming for in the first place.

10. What will Valudio look like in 5 years? 

The goal is to become more present on the DACH market as a small-medium sized company.

Also, thinking even further into the future, it would be nice to get back to my Belgian roots one day (such as the BENELUX market).  

Let’s talk about how we can use digital to transform your business.