5 Minutes with Pressian Karakostov 

‘5 minutes with’ are new bi-weekly interview series, where high-impact Endeavor founders share their most valuable advice, motivations, and lessons learned throughout their journey. Part of the featured network members are Svilen Rangekov (Dronamics), Viktor Bilyanski (Scalefocus), and Nick Todorov (LimeChain). 

Pressian’s track record and entrepreneurial skills make him the perfect role model for entrepreneurs trying to create and scale companies internationally. He launched his first endeavor in 2001: – a website that grew to become one of the top three mobile phone websites worldwide. In 2013, Pressian founded PubGalaxy after noticing the pain points that digital publishers encounter when trying to efficiently monetize their website’s advertising space. In less than five years, the publisher-centric monetization platform was recognized as one of the fastest-growing technology companies in EMEA by Deloitte and was later acquired by the Dutch media and entertainment tech company, Azerion. 

1. What’s your strategy for scaling?

My strategy is to prepare and plan well for the scaling up. Understand/learn what would be required from your organization – roles and responsibilities, RACI, and processes to accommodate a lot more people. Before going into full scaling mode, make sure that you experiment and understand well the customer segment, its needs, how you would satisfy them, how and at what cost you will bring new customers, etc.

2. What makes a good company culture?

For me, good company culture is where most people in the organization are:

  • Continuously striving to learn and grow
  • Being humble
  • Openly giving and receiving feedback – at all levels of the organization
  • Striving for excellence
  • Staying hungry and pushing it hard with a sense of urgency
  • Leading by example

3. What does failure mean to you?

Most people see “failures” happening on a daily basis – things that you planned to take place in a certain way, while they actually did happen in a different, worse way. Those should not be called failures but learning opportunities. A business that needs to shut down might be considered a failure, but in my opinion, this is just part of the journey. There will always be some endeavors that do not go well – hopefully, you have learned a lot, and you need to look for another problem to solve. A real failure is stopping the journey altogether…

4. What’s your metric for success?

There are 3:

  1. How much you and your team have learned and grown
  2. For how many customers and how much value you have created for them
  3. How much value you have captured/created for the company’s shareholders (hopefully you and your employees are shareholders as well though ESOP)

For me, you don’t need points in all 3 metrics. You are successful even if you have only #1. Having a lot of points in just #1 is more successful in my mind, than having just a few points in all 3 categories.

5. Name your role model, favorite business book, and quote.

One of my favorite business books is the “Startup Owner’s Manual” by Steve Blank.

The reason why I am constantly optimistic about our future is that I deeply believe in the quote “If there is a will, there is a way.” If you want something and have the will to put in the necessary effort, you will find a way to achieve it – no matter how hard, how big, etc. it is. 

About PhoneArena:

PhoneArena is a publisher in the mobile tech space, with the mission to guide people through the world of mobile technology, by covering mobile tech news, doing reviews of major phones and accessories, comparisons, editorial pieces, and evergreen content such as best picks, and how-tos. Over 20 years ago, PhoneArena was built out of passion for technology and the belief it can improve our lives. In the two decades since, PhoneArena has become one of the leading mobile technology publishers with an audience of over 5 million monthly US readers and a team of 20+ experienced authors.