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Anna Tyschenko : Must-Have Skills for Entrepreneurs in 2024

Anna Tyschenko is the Chief Executive Officer of JEVERA Software. Today, they share their tips on the must-have skills for entrepreneurs in 2024.

Can you tell us a bit about yourself and what got you into entrepreneurship?

Sure. My path to entrepreneurship began through working in the technical support department of one of Ukraine's largest mobile operators. I interacted with subscribers facing technical issues. I have been spending a lot of time communicating with technical specialists and developers. Over time, I delved deep into IT, always finding it fascinating. I remember receiving my first mobile phone as a child. It was a wonder to me, and I was curious to understand how it worked.

Later, I transitioned to the technical department of the same mobile operator, leading a team of developers. I learned extensively about effective people management, motivating teams, and building efficient processes. This eventually sparked the idea of starting my own venture, particularly in the field of information technology. This led me to co-ownership of JEVERA, the company I have managed as CEO since 2018.

What are the top three skills you think are crucial for entrepreneurs today?

I would name two key skills that I believe are crucial for entrepreneurs – leadership and readiness for change. In a VUCA (volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity) world, being flexible, adaptive, and willing to change is crucial.

How do you think the role of technology has impacted these skills in recent years?

The readiness for change is directly linked to technology because something new emerges almost every year. We live in a dynamic world. Look at AI. Two years ago, people cautiously talked about it, and today, this technology penetrates almost every business domain. Today you write software in Java, and tomorrow you teach your AI copilot to do it for you or improve your Java code. It's about readiness for change and the ability to transform your business, not just staying relevant but avoiding becoming a legacy.

Could you share a story with us about how you used some of these skills to overcome a challenge in your journey?

As a CEO, working extensively with people, including developers who can be quite challenging, I had to cultivate, by example, their readiness to embrace change and try new, more efficient approaches. Ten years ago, neither Scrum nor Kanban were used in telecommunications. It was something new and strange. When I started integrating the methodology with all its components, like morning standups, I had to convince teams that this approach truly enhances efficiency. But through leadership, motivation, and my readiness for change, I successfully implemented them in the team. This experience was later spread across other teams in the company. People understood and accepted it, seeing positive results.

In your opinion, how important is it for entrepreneurs to adapt to changing trends and what do you see as the biggest trend in 2024?

Understanding trends, being ready to adopt and adapt to them, is crucial for every entrepreneur regardless of the business domain. The world is dynamic, and changes eventually reach every industry. Look at Artificial Intelligence – a mega-trend integrating into all sectors from agriculture to healthcare. For instance, in telecommunications, AI diagnoses infrastructure and identifies potential risks. It autonomously analyzes tariffs and helps manage pricing policies. Even in a traditionally slow-transforming industry like mature telecommunications, where the core systems were developed 20 years ago, being ready to adapt to business trends is essential to stay competitive.

What's one common mistake you often see new entrepreneurs make, and how can they avoid it?

The biggest mistake I often see new entrepreneurs make is fear. Entrepreneurs often fear taking risks. But in a world of changes and black swans, this fear can lead to a company's decline. For example, in information technology. The industry felt quite relaxed for a long time. The code was written, and money was made. But later came COVID-19, the war in Ukraine, and financial and labor crises. It's turbulence that demands bold business decisions. I know entrepreneurs who got scared of change, couldn't react appropriately, and eventually lost their businesses. Success equals risk. Being ready to fight and take risks – that is business.

How do you keep learning and growing as an entrepreneur?

Like any modern entrepreneur, I read a lot in business media, and analyze trends and market researches. I love biographies of successful entrepreneurs. But, as for me, personal experience plays a crucial role. Not everything is written in articles and books. We learn a lot from our mistakes. In retrospect, I often analyze my decisions to understand how to act more effectively next time.

Finally, what advice would you give to someone just starting their entrepreneurial journey in 2024?

To those starting their own business, I would advise taking things into your own hands, closing your eyes, and taking action. Yes, it's scary, with many uncertainties. But doing nothing leads to nothing. Even if something goes wrong, you gain valuable experience that will help you make more effective decisions next time. And don't give up on the first challenges. There will be some.


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