Atualização: May 11, 2022

Editores: Alex Cunha

Bio: Alexandre Cunha is a seasoned software engineer and entrepreneur with over 15 years of experience in delivering complex and challenging projects. As the founder and CTO of ZBRA Solutions, he is passionate about cloud-computing solutions and takes ownership of large projects with ease. Alexandre is dedicated to helping teams build and improve software projects and works closely with product and dev teams to ensure timely and high-quality deliveries.

We must chase our crazy ideas

So you’re choosing to leave and be unemployed? My boss asked, almost two decades ago. I was not exactly sure how things would turn out, but I wanted to start my own business and reached a point where it would be pivotal to my professional life: I had to try it. As soon as I finished the not-so-rehearsed quitting speech, my boss offered me a raise. I declined, and that was when he blurted out that first quote. It is funny thinking back to that moment because now I know how that story ended.

I have a software engineer background and what I saw back then, based on my own experience, was a constant stream of failed projects haunted by bad decisions and disappointing results. I had a gut feeling that I could do better. I wanted to start a company where developers and customers would be happy, and the software could bring joy to all. It was an absolutely crazy idea.

In my journey as an entrepreneur, I have learned that success is not just about achievements, but also about the lessons learned from failures. This idea is similar to the concept of “deliberate practice” developed by psychologist Anders Ericsson. Ericsson has extensively studied the role of practice in developing expert performance and has found that having specific goals, challenging yourself outside of your comfort zone, and having access to mentorship are crucial components. When I started, I didn’t have any mentors or experts to guide me, so I had to create my own feedback mechanism and metrics to measure my progress. Although this resulted in numerous mistakes, I now see it as a necessary part of the learning process.

As I built the company from the ground up, I continued to take risks, even after accumulating several failures. And recognizing I had made mistakes wasn’t enough. I had no other option but to continue on and do better based on what I had just learned. It required a lot of creativity to find novel solutions for conventional problems that not only we but every other software company was facing. Eventually, you get used to being out of your comfort zone. My idea of how my company would succeed had to evolve, and at the same time, I had a clear mission and specific goals in mind, so I pressed forward.

Struggling in business helps us improve and allows us to reflect and observe. If you are someone who believes in something, just like myself, you will know that it is okay to be frustrated, and it is also something you must actively seek along your journey. When I chose to leave that job 20 years ago, I didn’t know what I didn’t know. The combination of creative problem-solving, focus, constantly challenging myself, and actively learning from my mistakes ultimately led me to find success as I continue to pursue my crazy ideas.

Career Entrepreneurship