What I've Learnt: Igor Volzhanin, CEO at Datasine

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Igor Volzhanin, Datasine

Igor works at the forefront of MarTech as CEO of Datasine, which uses artificial intelligence and psychology to let brands personalise their customer communications.

Datasine was founded in 2015 by Igor, and aims to take the guesswork out of personalisation. It promises to allow brands to choose exactly the right content to maximise conversions.

Igor uses his understanding of computer science and psychology to maximise marketers' success in their campaigns, working with a small team to make a real difference in MarTech.

We found out the lessons he's learnt.

Which single daily habit or practice could you not do without?

Meditation. Twice a day for 20 to 30 minutes each time. 

What's been your luckiest break?

Raising our seed round just as the money ran out. It came down to the wire, but luckily we had an investor support us just in time to save the company.

What's your best failure?

I could say a few… But probably the most significant failure that we had to learn from as a company was when we pivoted the product in an almost entirely different direction.

We started by selling a risk assessment tool that was using AI and psychology to understand risk tolerance from big data. And today, we help marketers make creative decisions. We have come a long way indeed! 

What is the best investment you've ever made, either financial or time?

The best investment would have to be the time and money I spent pursuing my PhD. 

For me, the ROI is not necessarily the knowledge, the degree, or the skills I have learned, but moving to London to pursue the PhD has set my life in an amazing direction.

How would you describe your work/life balance?

I am not sure that I would. I love what I do, as a CEO and Founder, and it comprises both my professional and personal life. There's no real separation between the two.

Which book would you recommend others to read and why?

I have recently re-read ‘The Power of Now’ by Eckhart Tolle and it reminded me just how much my views and behaviours have changed over the past six years. I would recommend it to anyone who is looking to attain more inner peace.

What one piece of advice would you give your 21-year-old self?

Learn to listen to yourself. The only objective arbiter of what is ‘right and wrong’ is the voice within you.

Who or what has had the single biggest influence on your working life?

My Co-founders. Starting a company is like a marriage and the biggest influence is from those you are building the company with. The good, the bad and the rest; the impact is the greatest from those who care the most.

Tell us something about you that would surprise people.

I lived in 21 cities over a three-year period, which culminated in moving to Frankfurt and working in renewable energy finance.

What does success look like to you?

Success is creating the world I would want to live in. A world that is kinder, simpler and more equal.