Goran Deak’s company Top Digital Agency has created a digital agency matchmaking service that’s already known for the quality of their work. What’s more impressive, however, is the number of digital agencies his company onboards on a daily basis, offering them a variety of exciting projects from all over the world. We spoke to Goran to get his opinion on what’s the best way to generate first international clients and unusual employee interviewing techniques.
This is a transcript of an interview recorded at Web Summit 2018 in Lisbon. You can watch the video version or listen to the interview below.
Hi Goran! For those who don’t know you, could you tell us a few words about your company.
Goran Deak: You can think of us as Tinder for connections between companies and digital agencies. We’re a matching point for companies that need digital services – we explain to companies that digital services are not bound by your location, you can find your next perfect partner for digital anywhere in the world and you don’t have to sacrifice the quality.
How old is your company?
GD: The beta-site was created from a digital agency, and since then we’ve created a separate company that’s U.S.-based. We opened in February  so not that old.
And how many people do you have on the team?
GD: We currently have 10 people, but on the peak, we had 27 people. We had a lot of juniors and since then we’ve decided to move towards more of a senior level because we talk to digital agencies with IT background and we had a problem of delivering the expertise, so we scaled back and now try to grow with more senior people.
We hold 70 to 100 meetings to onboard agencies each week, so giving an exact number at this point is hard, it grows really fast.
Now that you’re more focused on your direction, what’s your MRR?
GD: It hasn’t yet been a full month since we’ve launched the full site, but so far we’ve generated a little under $5k. For the next year, we’re projecting somewhere between $1.2-1.5 million in revenue.
How many clients do you have?
GD: I’m gonna be honest, I don’t know the exact number! [Laughs] But we already have 20 projects published on our site, and on the agency side we’re signing new clients by the hour. We hold 70 to 100 meetings to onboard agencies each week, so giving an exact number at this point is hard, it grows really fast.
What are you concentrated on more right now – sales, marketing, or general scaling?
GD: What we’re most concentrated on right now is keeping the quality high. So on the company side we’re trying to deliver only good quality projects, and on the agency side we are able to offer really interesting projects from all over the world. We have projects coming from Brazil, the U.S., Poland, all around the world. From web development to app development to social media, we even have AI projects, so it’s an exciting thing to see, that we are able to generate interesting projects for all types of business verticals.
Your company is pretty young, so how did you find those first clients? And how do you keep finding projects from all over the world?
GD: What’s funny is that most of our first clients were generated through the exposure that we got when we won a startup competition – we went to Techcrunch Disrupt in San Francisco. And from that, a lot of people heard about us and liked the idea. We got great feedback. We’re now trying to attend more and more conferences and introduce our idea to more and more people.
At the job interview we’re the ones talking for about 95% of the time.
What’s next for your company?
GD: What we are trying to do is scale, because we want to introduce ourselves to a wider audience, both the companies and the agencies. Next year will be big for us because we believe we have now generated enough interest from the media and the conferences.
The biggest obstacle that we have to overcome right now is staffing. So we’re inviting anyone who’s interested in working with us to apply! [Laughs] We’re staffing internationally so we have people from all over the world – from Canada to India. Just trying to get the best people on board. Our success is bound on quality, we won’t be satisfied with anything less.
So you have a lot of new people joining the team. Do you have any unusual team management techniques you’ve been using?
GD: Yeah, actually, we’ve been doing one thing that many find strange. At the job interview, we’re the ones talking for about 95% of the time. Because the first thing we want to do is to pitch the idea of our business to you and see if you get the idea, the drive and the passion for it and the company in general. That’s the most important thing we want to achieve – passion.
People usually get confused, because they expect questions and instead we’re the ones talking, so they’re like “Okayyy…What is happening?”. But it’s a good way to introduce employees to that passion and drive that we’re trying to have as a company.
If you could give one advice to yourself 10 years ago, what would it be?
GD: Scale faster.
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.