Whyttest starts a series of interviews to offer a stronger view of our portfolio and the top people behind our projects.
Though he has a busy schedule, Marius Potirniche – The Founder of Whyttest – granted us the opportunity to discuss and share some knowledge of what’s going on in Bucharest and Belgrade offices.
A.: Hi, Marius and thank you for accepting the invitation! Please tell me a bit about your background, passion for video games and overall experience in the gaming industry.
Marius Potirniche: I always had a passion for videogames and I have been playing games since they were 64Kb. I started as a tester for Ubisoft in 2001 and I worked on different positions in Testing and Production until I left to eRepublik Labs in 2013. I left eRepublik to open Whyttest in 2014.
A.: What drove you to open a new office and why in Belgrade?
Marius Potirniche: It was all about the culture. At Whyttest we take pride about our values and culture as these are the foundation stones for the company. So, we looked for locations where people can share the same values. This is what we found in Belgrade: a close location with friendly people that have the right values.
A.: What challenges did Whyttest encounter over time and what project worked the best?
Marius Potirniche: Each and every stage of Whyttest development came with its challenges. First, to have the right people in the company and to create a core team that can sustain a long term development. Then, things started to be serious and we had to compete on a global market with companies with the same business model. In the same time it is all about having an identity to differentiate from others. But all the time, the challenges are related to the people and I think this is the project that worked best: creating an environment with good quality people and give them the possibility to grow and express their potential.
A.: After four and a half years do you feel like your work is sustainable enough?
Marius Potirniche: We still want to have the startup mentality even if you might say that 4 years and a half is a long time for a company. The startup mentality allows us to be flexible and adaptable to the market dynamic. Like any other business, it is very risky at the beginning as there are a lot of things that can go wrong. Even if we do not have the same risks as those in year one, let’s not forget that testing is quality defender of the products before meeting the users. Any hesitations might create damage for the users and for our clients, that will be translated in money lost and frustrations.
A.: If opportunity given, you’d do something different?
Marius Potirniche: I’ve started my career as a tester and I loved it very much. Even if I was in different other positions over the years, I still feel the satisfaction from the times when I was a tester. So, I would not do something different.
A.: Future plans for Whyttest Romania & Serbia?
Marius Potirniche: The plans are the same for both: create and consolidate a Core Team for each site. This is the goal we started with and the one that will be in the objectives for every year. Then, each site has its own challenges starting from the current projects to the positioning in crowded markets.
A.: How’s the gaming market in Romania?
Marius Potirniche: After a long period where the big companies like Ubisoft or EA were dominating, now we have a lot of startups that are making their way on the market. This is something great for the Romanian market as it gives signs of maturity. Also, it is great for the people that want to join this market: they can now choose between companies of different sizes and culture.
A.: In one word, describe the testing benefits.
Marius Potirniche: Flexibility.
A.: And the last question: what steps are necessary to transform an idea into a business?
Marius Potirniche: First of all, any idea is a good idea for a business. It is only the execution that makes the difference between success and failure. Many people have great ideas but do not do anything with them while others transform simple ideas into great and sustainable businesses. So, the most important step is to try, to go and transform your idea into a product or service that solves a need. Then, you just adjust to the changing market, changing needs and changing clients.