Expert to know: Denis Gomes Iljazi (Q&A Interview)

October 28, 2023

Denis Gomes Iljazi is the Chief Executive Officer at Axisbits (based in Zurich, Switzerland), listed on 50Pros as a top 50 firm in Software Development, Web Design, and Mobile App Design.

In this Q&A, Denis shares his in-depth perspective, unique background, robust experiences, and insightful tips.

How did you get into your industry?

I dipped my toes in professional digital domains ever since I got my first laptop and got to roll with an incredible Swiss tech startup. It was like the training wheels to what I'm doing now. Those experiences really expanded my view on tech and innovation.

What inspired you to start your agency?

I kept seeing how baffled people were with software development. So I thought, "Why not simplify the process and build an agency that speaks human, not just code?" And that's how Axisbits GmbH came to life.

How do you manage work-life balance as an agency owner or executive?

The vibe at work matters a ton. I won’t sugarcoat it, leading an agency has its pressures. But we're a passionate bunch and that energy keeps us going even on the busiest days, whereas we always make time for our personal part of the balance.

What is the best piece of advice you've received in your career that pertains to your work, and how has it influenced your decisions?

Trust the journey. There's something magical about discipline and dedication, they compound over time. So, when in doubt, I remind myself and our team to dive in headfirst! Or as Nike would say, just do it.

What activities or hobbies outside of work do you enjoy that help you recharge and stay creative?

Sweating it out at the gym and surrounding myself with clever minds who can chat about more than just the weather. It sparks all kinds of ideas!

What do you like most about your industry?

It’s like a playground of limitless creativity. Your imagination is your only limit.

What do you dislike most about your industry?

Sometimes it's like deciphering hieroglyphs with all the complexity. We're trying to make it all a bit more transparent and less intimidating.

If you could make 3-5 changes in your industry, what would they be?

1. Create stronger incentives for companies to contribute to open source projects. The more brains on a problem, the better the solutions.

2. Enhance real-time, global collaboration tools that bridge the gap between remote teams, making software development seamless irrespective of geographical boundaries.

3. Pushing for a universal set of accessibility standards that go beyond the basics, ensuring every piece of software is usable for all, regardless of physical or cognitive disabilities.

What do you wish people knew about your industry?

You don't need to be a whiz to turn an idea into a slick product. Got an idea? The right team can make it happen.

Can you share a situation where you had to make a tough business decision and the impact it had on your agency?

Oh, absolutely. We were tightening our belts big time in the early days. The founders worked without pay for almost a year to ensure our core crew had what they needed. It was a tough but essential play to get where we are today.

When you first started, how did you get clients?

Good word of mouth.

...and how do you get clients today?

We’re attracting clients from all corners, thanks to our fully-fledged marketing campaigns and also by reaching out to fresh startups.

What is your approach to continuous improvement and learning within your agency?

Never stop learning. We're always on the hunt for smarter ways to do things. It keeps us sharp and our clients happy.

What is the biggest issue that your firm, or firms like yours, face?

Juggling projects and staffing is like a game of Tetris. But once you've got the rhythm, it gets easier. Plus, a tight process can make a world of difference.

How do you stay updated on the latest technologies and tools relevant to your industry?

We’ve got some tech wizards in-house who deep dive into the latest and greatest. They are our eyes and ears for innovation.

What changes have you seen occur since you got into this business?

AI. It's like a gust of fresh air. We’ve been riding this wave and it’s changed our game in the best way.

What changes do you foresee occurring in the future?

AI is the next big wave. But even in an automated world, you'll always need humans steering things.

Who do you see having a competitive edge in the future?

Those who spot trends early. History proves it. Think about pioneers, they always have the first-mover advantage.

If a company was looking to hire your firm, or a firm like yours, what questions should they ask themselves as a team before approaching you?

Know your goals, but be open to some expert guidance.

When a company is interested in hiring your firm, how should they approach you and how should they do business with you?

Well, first and foremost, it's all about genuine connection. I love it when companies reach out with a clear understanding of their needs but are also open to discussions and collaboration.

How do you maintain strong relationships with clients to ensure long-term partnerships?

It's all about being real and authentic. Our commitment is like super glue, and clients can feel it.

If someone were thinking about starting their own agency in your industry, what advice would you give them?

Spot a problem, be the solution. Be yourself, not another carbon copy in the industry.

What role does networking play in growing your agency's business?

It's like the hidden engine beneath the hood of our growth. When I reflect on our journey, networking has been instrumental in quite a few key ways.

How do you ensure that your team members stay motivated and engaged in their work?

It’s simple: challenge them, support them and let them breathe. No one likes micromanagers right?

Do you have any facts, statistics, or figures about your firm or the industry as a whole, that you would like to share?

Well, a 5.0-star average rating does drop the mic a bit, doesn't it? But hey, we earned it together!

Can you share an experience where your agency went above and beyond to exceed client expectations?

We had this startup facing financial hiccups midway. We believed in them and saw it through, helping them get back on their feet.

What else would you like to publicly share about your firm or agency?

Axisbits is here to shake things up. If you haven't heard of us yet, well, just wait and see!

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