Interview 11 - Francisco Ramires

Finding his creative stride for entrepreneurship in 2015 as manager for his schools student association, Francisco, 21, is from Braga, Portugal. Francisco is both a co-founder of a couple businesses and a student studying industrial engineering and management; with entrepreneurial flare. Heading the student association at school, Francisco learned value propositions, how to build business models, marketing and sales. Francisco, alongside his teammates, took the student association from 15 to 70 people. Francisco co-founded and now works for Strain, a digital recommendations app that aims to change how people share their opinions about the brands and products they use with their friends on social media. Strain allows users to market products to their friends and family through their app where real clients and real users can promote brands they actually enjoy. Using this system, companies can see real conversions and organic usage of their products. Francisco and his father have also developed Penedino; a business centred around tourism in Northern Portugal.

How has the growth process been for your company?

Strain was founded just under a year ago in March 2018. Currently Strain is a company of four, with the company’s CEO Tomás being their only full time employee. Yet, Francisco says they’ve grown according to plan. Strain has closed approximately 25 partnerships, most of which are unpaid for experience and engagement recommendations and enhancements. The company has four paid partnerships to date.

Currently, Strain is trying to operate as lean as possible, with no outside investments. Francisco said the company’s current growth strategy is low cost with maximum results. Francisco finished the question by expressing how the idea is not everything, but the team means everything to him.

What characteristic is necessary to be a good leader/possess great leadership?

“To put it into one word, empathy is king in today’s world; towards users and clients especially.”

Francisco says it’s important to put yourself in your clients shoes so you can eventually create a seamless platform. Francisco went on to speak about talking the talk, and walking the walk. He stressed that to be a good leader what you say you will do, you have to follow through with. He enjoys a ‘no bulls**t strategy’, he does not like to mess around.

During this fourth industrial revolution, what technology is going to come out on top? What will tomorrow’s technology look like?

Francisco believes the future will still be analog. He says that he still enjoys communicating via calls as opposed to texting, and he does not like to be with his phone a lot. This interested me since I believe most other millennials would have answered that question nearly the opposite, or at least I would have.

Through connectivity, AI will impact the future the most, says Francisco. With integration of 3D printing, blockchain, and other leading technologies, AI will help humanity leap forward to a better future.

It was a pleasure speaking with Francisco, if I ever return to Portugal I would love to meet him in person. I am excited to give Strain a try when they launch the full product.