Zuckerberg for AskBrian: Introducing Our Co-Founder and CTO, Matthias Ruppel
Eighteen months ago I got the idea of building Brian: a digital assistant for business professionals. He’s sort of Siri for corporates… which is not just answering questions, but also doing work for you. With such a big project, I realized quite early that I need a CTO and started looking for the right fit.
I am now very happy to announce that Matthias officially became co-founder and CTO of Brian! This is our story.
Zuckerberg Would Be Underqualified
The job description of ‘CTO for Brian’ was kind of ridiculous—as Brian integrates many technologies, the list of necessary qualification for the candidate was quite long… extremely long. Additionally, I also needed someone who can handle the whole IT infrastructure. After some friends have seen the job description, the feedback was basically: Zuckerberg would be underqualified for the job!
You Need 100k+ a Year to Hire a CTO
Another feedback I received for my job offering was: If you should find such a person, you will need to pay him/her more than €100k a year! For a startup in the bootstrapping phase, this is kind of a devastating message. After two months I would have to file for bankruptcy! Instead, my idea was: I want someone to help build Brian out of passion and conviction that the business idea is a great one, and be part of the journey! This was, of course, kind of a crazy expectation as well: Zuckerberg-alike guy working for free.
Trial and Learning
Interestingly, there were some good professionals interested to work on Brian—despite my unrealistic expectations! I was flattered. Every discussion and exchange increased the maturity of the idea… but to find someone that shares the same values, vision, and style was quite a challenge.
As Matthias appeared, my gut feeling told me for the first time, this is him. This might sound a little bit like a love story… and it is, in a way. A few days ago, we signed the papers and we are sort of “married” now, having a kid: Brian.
10 Months Based on Trust
Matthias and I have been building Brian for 10 months until we made it official. Long hours, full commitment and dedication without any pay or written agreement. I find this amazing. And we jointly succeeded to raise Brian from a bot which tells jokes to a business digital assistant who translates Microsoft Office documents and more within three minutes, 24/7. This is what people can achieve when driven by passion.
About Matthias Ruppel
Matthias comes from Deutsche Telekom, being expert in big data processing. He is a software architect, back-end developer, and key-account manager. He says Python (our main language) is not a programming language, it feels like he never sleeps, and he has an incredibly positive can-do attitude.
There are crazy people around willing to do exciting stuff. Matthias, I am very happy to have you on board!