We hope that Ron Gidron isn’t easily offended. In particular, we hope that he doesn’t mind if we suggest that xtype is one of the least sexy products we are covering in our TakeOff series of interviews with startup founders. No blockchain, no ridiculous claims, no glamorous offices. Instead, xtype does what so many less successful startups forget: it solves a clear, well-defined problem.
“I founded xtype to help customers unleash the full potential of ServiceNow, the most robust platform for managing IT and developing enterprise applications,” he told us. But only, as he explains later, after finding the right team to create it. One of Ron’s key messages to wannabe startup founders: you can’t go it alone.
It also helps to build up some experience. Before founding xtype, Ron spent over two decades working in enterprise technology. That included product and leadership roles in startups and global technology companies Symantec and CA Technologies. And he’s a good person to have around in a health emergency too, having volunteered as a night shift paramedic to support his local community.
As CEO of xtype, Ron now leads the vision, strategy and execution of xtype. Here’s the story behind the company.
What’s your elevator pitch?
Over 7,000 leading enterprises rely on the ServiceNow platform to digitise their core business workflows and drive innovation. xtype is the leading technology provider for the ServiceNow teams at these organisations, allowing them to innovate at any speed and scale using sophisticated automation and intelligence built specifically for them. Imagine a world where enterprise software isn’t just a tool, but a strategic partner in driving business success. We’re revolutionising how companies interact with software to achieve their goals.
What made you launch a startup?
My co-founders and I have had a burning desire for entrepreneurship. We focused on our core experiences and strengths and searched for a problem that could move the needle for enterprise IT. We wanted a business that we would enjoy working on together for many years.
What problem are you trying to solve?
Our goal is to enable enterprise application teams to innovate at scale, reduce manual and tedious tasks, and increase quality and compliance. Freeing up the time of these teams means less out-of-hours work, increased capacity and more time for development.
How has the startup scene where you are helped and/or challenged your own startup’s development?
We were pitching venture capital firms in both Israel and California at a time when the market was out of whack. We also saw crypto and Web 3.0 ideas getting high valuations, with no product market fit and no real business. However, we kept pitching a pure enterprise software business, and we were initially met with scepticism relating to the nature of what we do. But that has changed since the start of the “software and VC recession” we are in. Now with the return to normalcy and focus on fundamentals, we are getting much more inbound interest and opportunities.
Where do you hope your startup will be in ten years?
In ten years, I’d like to see xtype become a “household name” in enterprise IT, a publicly traded company with a robust business and great reputation. I am working to create a diverse culture that hopefully attracts and motivates great people.
What advice would you give yourself if you could go back in time?
It seems so trivial now, but my advice would be “get to work, now”. You only learn and make progress by doing work. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and take on big challenges — you never lose when you learn and effort breeds success.
What advice do you have for aspiring entrepreneurs and anyone looking to launch their startup?
The cliché’s true. Get ready to be met with scepticism, disbelief and disappointment. None of that should deter you from building what you know needs to exist. Keep pushing. Also, a startup is a team sport, you need to start building your team on day one, think through what types of people you need to join you and go get them as early as possible.
More interviews with startup founders
- Guillermo Ramas, CEO NotiSphere: “Cultivate a deep passion for the problem you’re aiming to solve”
- Katherine Wells, CEO of Serenity: “We need to follow our passions wherever they pull us”
- Taha Zemmouri, Eden AI: “It’s very difficult to project that far ahead in an AI world where developments occur in weeks, not years.”
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