JAKUB AHMADYAR, one of the founders of MyQ, is by no means a boring techie; talking to him is great fun. He’s sarcastic, witty, and self-deprecating, but he hates official interviews, self-promotion, and routine. “I wish I could cancel this conversation, and just put up a photo of someone photogenic in a suit with a tie whose views fit everyone and don’t offend anyone,” he chuckled. Although he likes to win, this time he lost.
What is your role in MyQ? All I know is that you are one of the founders.
Yes, I am a founder, and my role is technical.
Are you the father of MyQ?
I’m more like a mother. The idea was Martin’s (Janus), and Radek (Tetík) implemented it from the beginning. I’d rather be on the hardware side of things. They needed someone for the electronics aspect and my brother had a soldering iron at home, so they called me. I learned to do electronics in a week and that was it. I’ve enjoyed programming since I was 12, went to school for it, and studied electrical engineering at college.
A non-technical person may see MyQ only as a programming system. Do you see it that way?
Yes. I would like to try and find a dimension that would also lead to a marketing prospect, but I haven’t found one yet. Hopefully, it will come to me soon.
How does an idea like MyQ come to pass? How does a system that helps people work?
One thing is an inspiration; Martin is very good at that. The second thing is the realization, where it’s about perseverance and precision. The visionary will set up some playing field, rules, and you will create your work upon it. It’s not about someone telling you, “do what you want.” You wouldn’t know what to do.
Is the development of MyQ a finite or an endless story? Is it ever possible to reach an ultimate goal?
It’s like a snowflake. It can keep getting bigger and more intricate, but they also can get finer and finer. This is a bit similar. If we stay with the MyQ system, then we can add other subtle enhancements like cloud solutions, archiving, integration with other systems. The story may or may not conclude. There are still things to improve. The technical elements are still able to be rewritten again and again.
What satisfies you the most about your work? Some like to cross an imaginary finish line, get a medal, and get ready for the next race. Others rather say it is more similar to running an ultra-marathon race here with no finish line in sight?
This evolves over time. Ten years ago, it was different. In the beginning, I was always discovering something new on a technical level, eventually, become extremely proficient. To be honest, the things that arise today are variations of the same subject, and I don’t enjoy it anymore. In fact, I have found that there is another huge universe of projects; a universe of customer implementations. The things I enjoy most about the job now is when we win and when someone commends us. This is especially true when we complete a big project, we get feedback that our system worked great.
You enjoy winning, so you have a competitive spirit. Are sports a hobby of yours?
I have a competitive spirit, but I do not do sports. When I was younger, I went to a children’s camp and they asked me what kind of sports that I did. I replied that I play chess. So, they laughed at me and called me a chess player. I enjoy reading a lot, although now I often listen to audiobooks, absorb new information, basically keep learning. I like to create, but if I keep to a routine, that will kill me. Paradoxically, crises keep me alive; when I experience that boost of adrenaline. Someone would jump ship while I enjoy dealing with catastrophic situations.
How many people do you have on your team?
I don’t have a team. That would mean being a manager and, in which case, I’d rather bite my hand. That’s exactly the kind of routine I hate. If I had to head one, I would love to have people to whom if I said, “build me a Perpetuum mobile”, under their own compulsion, would actually attempt to create it, inevitably returning in a week saying that it can’t be done. I like working with such people, there are a lot of them, but I can’t talk about being in charge of them. I am pretty much a managerial anarchist.