Luka Kaplar, cofounder and CEO of startup Getapro, developing a mobile app for booking and paying services for personal trainers, has altogether more than 10 years of experience in the fitness industry. The Slovenian Association of Fitness Professionals was founded following his vision, now organizing accredited courses for gaining licences as personal trainers, aerobics instructors and pilates instructors in Slovenia and Great Britain. He is a key person who conveys market demands through a product leader to developers. He works with the principle that there are no wrong answers. There are only those that are more or less suitable under the given circumstances.
What is your startup life currently most marked by?
Luka Kaplar, cofounder and CEO of Getapro, with ten years of experience in the fitness industry, is conveying market demands to his developers.
24/7 workdays with a large measure of stress, constant adjustment, changes on a daily basis, looking for new possibilities, and everything is seasoned with unhealthy meals. Of course there are also moments when we say to ourselves: “Do we really need this”, then with each progress, confirmation from the market, we realize that we are on the right path and that we have to persist no matter what.
What connects you as a team and motivates you in work?
What all team members have in common is that nothing in life was given to us and that we all had to put in the effort at every step and do something more. The team is connected by the same way of thinking and the fact that the development part of the team has been working together on various projects for the past 10 years.
What is the most important area you are currently working on in the company?
The development part of the team is currently working on eliminating bugs and preparing to officially launch the app in the UK. The business part of the team is preparing a market strategy, looking for new staff, and optimizing business processes.
Best and worst advice you got on your startup path?
We don’t believe in good and bad advice. There is only advice that is more or less suitable under the given circumstances. The task of the team leader is to use the advice that can most contribute to the project’s progress.
Biggest mistake or worst decision you made? What about the best business decision so far?
The biggest mistakes were made in the beginning stages in staffing. When making the team, we really fundamentally leaned on the motivational element, but we didn’t consider individuals’ characteristics, their work habits and personal motives. Because all planning is only anticipation, we also made mistakes with the timeline of product creation. Consequently, this influenced the motivation of some co-workers we worked with following the bootstrap principle, and productivity drastically decreased. We learned that based on motivation, individuals hold out for a few months, then the project has to develop into a serious story. This way, the team also got smaller and the ones who remained were those members who believe in the project and are regular employees today.
The best decision was pitching to the Silicon Gardens, which recognized the potential and then invested into our project. Besides a financial injection, they also got us access to social capital, which is most important. Peter Ribarič, Silicon Gardens CEO, took care of most personal pitches, and thus decreased the time and eased our access to people and companies in Slovenia as well as in the UK, which we couldn’t get to easily.
Your formula/recipe for success?
Our team sticks to Mark Cuban’s formula “It’s not in the dreaming, it’s in the doing”. With a bit of luck and a smart approach, I think that it’s the only true way to succeed.