Photo: Domink Šlambora for Luxury Guide s.r.o.
29-year-old Miroslav Suchý studied information management at the University of Economics in Prague. He and his girlfriend Eva Zahrádková have owned the company UX Focus for three years. They provide their customers with a commercial service called eye tracking, which means measuring activity of human eyes with the use of an eye tracker.
Eye tracking – how does it work and what is it good for?
The eyes are the window to our soul, but also the gateway to understanding how people process information and what influences their actions and decisions. Our work is to get target group for our clients – there may be for instance five, ten, or twenty participants who fit the research requirements. We then let them take in the object of inquiry, which actually means that they familiarise themselves with the product either virtually or physically and then they use it. It might also mean that they watch our client’s ad or move around in a physical or virtual environment, in other words at the point of sale or our client’s website. We then observe if “our” people can find their way around and whether they pay attention to key elements of communication.
How did you even think of engaging in such a unique business?
I didn’t like the thesis topics offered at university, that’s why I came up with my own which was very close to me: Application of Attention Principles in e-environment. The theory itself deals with the fact that what we pay attention to influences us and the whole society. Because one of the main senses we perceive our surroundings with is our eyes, I validated the principles in practice using eye tracking. It is the only way how to objectively measure visual attention of a person and how to understand it. Right after, it was clear to me that it is eye tracking which can without any doubt predict how a target group will behave or decide.
How about clients? Was it easy to attract them in such an unusual business?
I have sought them myself since the very beginning. We started from scratch, without business contacts or favouritism. We have come a really long way. Today, our clients include big Czech companies, for example major banks.
After getting your university diploma, did you know right away you would start your own business? Didn’t you think about working for an established company first?
Even as a boy, I already knew I wanted to do something I would really enjoy. I didn’t want to spend hours doing something that has no benefit. However, I couldn’t imagine working on my own. Since starting our company I have never regretted not working for some corporate. Actually, I think it would ruin me. I don’t mind working hard, but if somebody was constantly rushing me, giving me more work, or telling me how to do it, it would drive me mad.
What do you think a university is good for?
I think you meet a lot of interesting people in your studies, people you wouldn’t probably meet elsewhere. I personally learned the most important thing, time management. I adjusted my time table in order not to be at school too much so besides the basics of economy I improved mostly in self-management.
You are young and also look young – does it have a negative effect when meeting potential clients?
Three years ago, I still had this feeling, as if people didn’t take me very seriously. But in the world of business, your partners usually detect your experience and knowledge after a few words. And today I know how to sell my experience and knowledge at the right price.
Your youth has one advantage – you are familiar with social networks. Do you use them in your business?
Yes, I started using Twitter due to my work. It is used a lot in my line of work. I don’t have an Instagram account, I don’t need it – neither for my professional life, nor for my personal life. People tend to overuse social media, but luckily I don’t belong to the most affected target group. The ones who are online the most are teenagers, according to surveys it is them who consume information on social networks on a mass scale.
And can one make good business on social networks these days?
You won’t reach a busy manager by e-mail these days, you have to find another way. I think it is essential to make use of all possible channels which I want to communicate through with the potential client, use an ideal communication mix.
Which businessperson would you like to meet one day?
I like the English visionary Richard Branson, his interdisciplinary business range is incredible. It is a person who suffers from severe dyslexia and he actually used this disorder to his own benefit. He started to take the world more simply than most of his peers and started a large number of companies which he set up to work simply and efficiently. Richard Branson says that clients are not the priority, employees are. If you take care of your employees, they will take care of your clients. I think that his most notable company is Virgin Galactic which is trying to exceed current limits of space travel.
How many hours a day do you work?
It’s very hard to tell. In fact, I am basically working all the time. With my girlfriend we always say that we won’t talk shop at home, but in the end we can’t resist it and sometimes we discuss a problem for three hours. We at least try to avoid situations when we’d have to talk about work. When we started our company we worked all week, there were no weekends. Now I am really happy that I consider Saturdays and Sundays my free time and that I can afford it. I am proud of what I’ve achieved, but it is a constant journey. I have big plans, I want to start working on other projects too.
Author: Luxury Guide s.r.o.
Luxury Business 11/2018