Getting to know you: Wolf Kolb

What do you currently do?

I am the UK MD of iCracked, an on-demand repair service for iOS devices:  it’s a network of smart and trusted micro-entrepreneurs who come to you, to keep your iPhone and iPad connected.

I spend one third of my days focused on marketing, one third on operations (making sure our customers are getting the service they require as well as setting up new processes) and one third on talking to customers. It’s extremely important for us to stay as close as possible to our customers so that we can understand their needs and make sure we are constantly improving our service.

What was your inspiration for the business?

Our founder AJ got fed up of paying to have his phone fixed numerous times at college so decided to learn how to fix it himself. He then started recruiting other students to fix broken phones to meet the growing demand.

Who do you admire?

Culture is the foundation of every organisation. It’s the glue that holds everything together. I admire the founders of Airbnb, who noticed this in the very early days. They created a fun and performance-oriented culture.

Looking back, is there anything you would have done differently?

Starting a business is difficult and it is extremely important to get your foot on the ground as fast as possible. The faster you start serving your customers, the faster you learn what is important. Our goal was to set up all business processes in parallel. Looking back I would focus on the core processes and try to go live faster.

What defines your way of doing business?

Empowering people. In a start-up environment it is crucial to be agile and you can only be that way if you empower your team and business partners to make decisions. That comes along with being transparent and setting clear expectations.

What advice would you give to someone starting out?

Be bold, creative and follow your heart. Don’t follow the crowd. Decisions or ideas that everyone gets and agrees to usually have a mediocre outcome. If you want push boundaries, you have to step outside of that comfort zone.