A Week in My Life: Aleš Špetič, CEO and Co-Founder of Klevio
Klevio builds smart technology that will change the way people control access to offices, homes, and apartment buildings.
The tech company enables users to open doors via an app on their mobile phone, meaning they can let people in when they’re not at home as well as distribute digital keys to let others let themselves in via the app on their own phone.
Klevio is hoping to revolutionise something that hasn’t changed much in 4000 years - the key.
The Co-Founder and CEO, Aleš Špetič, talks us through a week in his life...
It’s early in the morning and I’m already on my way into the Ljubljana office to start my week with the team based here. We’re split between my home country of Slovenia, and the UK, with our main headquarters in London. Like most, I start my week by reflecting on what’s been achieved in the one past, before working through plans for the one ahead. This is a reflection of everyone’s OKRs (objectives and key results) and is something we all discuss by connecting the two offices in our all-hands meeting. I can get an overview of what’s to be expected, but avoid getting into the detail - a big benefit as a CEO when you need space in the week for fire fighting and driving the direction of the company.
After that meeting, it’s on to the first management session of the week. Like so many companies before us, we discovered as we scaled that everyone in management needed more visibility, so messages discussed between two people were shared wider in the week. This way we all know what’s going on and limit the risk of confusion.
Towards the end of the day, I fly to London to spend time in our HQ for the next few days. This is what I do every week, and my schedule is now fixed and well-practised. For anyone who needs to travel regularly around Europe, I cannot express the importance of an EasyJet Plus card enough - this will help a lot in the long run, and they really should have me on commission! Once I arrive at Stansted, I’m quickly on the next train into London Liverpool Street and to the Premier Inn nearby. Home for the next three nights.
I’m a morning person. I like to get up early and get cracking. Keeping on Ljubljana time is a real benefit, I get into the office in London a few hours before the team does. That quiet time is perfect for getting through emails and meatier tasks before it’s time for a few more function-specific meetings. Today I am catching up with our sales and operations teams.
After a debrief with the sales team I plan to catch up with one of our larger customers, Hostmaker. Klevio is installed in a lot of their properties around London, we help people staying in a Hostmaker-managed Airbnb to enter the property via the Klevio app using our smart intercom. It means they’ve downloaded their keys for the duration of the stay and can now open a door when they want to at the touch of a button. We’re planning more installations with Hostmaker and it’s good to chat with the London lead to get a sense of how they are finding the service and what’s next. Our dashboard means Hostmaker can also grant access remotely and have a full track of who has entered the property.
After a full day in the office, I head out to enjoy one of my favourite weeks in London - Cocktail Week! Tonight I am being taken to an exclusive club for people working in the restaurant industry - a dream for a trained pastry chef! I get to eat the food reserved for the real foodies of London.
Back in the office early! My first meeting of the day is a Skype call with a startup I am mentoring, 3dsurvey, who provide mapping and aerial image processing software to surveyors. Mentoring other Slovenian companies is really important to me - we’re a small ecosystem!
Having built multiple companies and spent time in London, the US, and across Europe, I’m very passionate about passing along what I have learned to others and lending my technical and business knowledge where I can.
After catching up with one of my mentees, I head into the first Klevio meeting of the day with our external PR consultant and wider marketing team, connecting the two in London and Ljubljana.
At the end of the day, I make my way back out to take advantage of Cocktail Week again. I’ve published a Slovenian wine guide for five years, and tonight I want to try the unexpected.
The final early morning in London for the week. Priorities today are to catch up with the management team and work through fundraising activity. My mind is on what is happening for Klevio longer term, considering what we would like to achieve in the coming 18 months and what’s needed from the team and financially.
On Thursdays, we try to do the second management catchup of the week. Maintaining close visibility of everything within top management has proven critical when at least one of us in a different country all the time. These catch-ups are usually informal. The three of us chat for about half an hour updating the other two about our thoughts, problems, and successes.
Then it’s on to the Sales meeting with the team. We try to keep the pace up and we divide our meetings into typical discussions: whales, ongoing projects, pipeline, experiments! I like to allocate at least 15-20 per cent of resources for experiment research.
In the afternoon, it’s back to Stansted to head back home. Another two solid hours available for email catchup!
Back in the Ljubljana office, today is a good time to check in with the team based here and help with any problems they might have. Friday is a typical day where I try to make myself available to the team. Steering the company is not just about grand declarations, but rather talking to everyone individually and making sure that you hear them and help them understand what the priorities are.
Then the next job is to make sure that all the bills are paid and that everything is ready for Monday.
As the day comes to an end, I pick up my wife and we drive the two hours from Ljubljana to our place in Croatia. I intend to spend the weekend enjoying the sun, out on my boat, with a spot of fishing.