Startup Balkans

Balkan Gold

I recently got curious with Nikola Sokolov, the CEO and Co-Founder and I am excited to share insights from his story.

There’s a well-worn anecdote on startup success about how the person who profited the most from the California gold rush never struck gold. Levi Strauss (the person we’re talking about) was too busy selling equipment to everyone in search of that gold. If we apply that analogy at this stage in the 21st century, B2C companies and content creators are prospectors of the current gold rush of the content creator economy and is there to provide them with the tools they need to uncover the gold they’re seeking.

Learning what is doing from North Macedonia for the rest of the world has been one of the greatest surprises in discovering the Balkan startup scene the past few years. What I find so exciting is how isn’t just another startup, they’re an innovative startup creating a new niche and filling it nicely.

I recently got curious with Nikola Sokolov, the CEO and Co-Founder and I am excited to share insights from his story (so far!) to motivate you wherever you are to stay curious and keep focused on executing whatever you’ve got to do to get where you’re going.

Matt: What is your greatest accomplishment as an entrepreneur (so far!)?

Nikola: Transforming from an idea to an article (the one that brought our first prospect), and finally into a place full of like-minded people is up there. However, knowing my team has the same vision as I do is definitely my greatest accomplishment.

Matt: Who is your ideal customer?

Nikola: Right now our focus is to connect creators with brands that can help them monetize their work. So, any company falling under this category is our ideal customer.

Matt: When was a time you considered giving up?

Nikola: In all honesty, I still haven’t experienced this – and I hope I never do. Of course, there are more challenging days than other, but I always try to make the most of it & try to remember why I started all of this.

Matt: Where do you go to “get shit done” (i.e. get your focus or gather your energy to overcome out-of-the-blue obstacles, tedious tasks, or heroic challenges?

Nikola: My Google Calendar tends to be more crowded than Target during Black Friday, so I always make sure to book time for myself where I can do some work outside of meetings with clients, employees, internal teams, etc. Other than that, hitting the gym, spending time with friends & family, or just doing nothing can really boost my energy levels and rest me up for the next day.

Matt: How do you stay focused without having a boss?

Nikola: I’ve never been more focused now that I don’t have a boss. That’s because I’m the captain of the ship, and if I mess up – everybody goes down & that’s the last thing I want to see my team go through.

Matt: Why are you — or want to be — an entrepreneur rather than an employee?
Nikola: As an employee, you follow someone else’s mission, vision, and ultimately – someone else’s dream. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that, but at some point, I felt the need to pave my own way and allow anyone that can see fit for themselves on it as well.

Matt: What do you think will be your biggest challenge this year?

Nikola: The world is going through a tough time right now & I think every company – no matter the industry, can feel it to some extent. So, I would say planning and making sure we stay on course no matter what’s happening outside our walls has been the biggest challenge this year.

Matt: What is something you learned or discovered you think other entrepreneurs would benefit from knowing?

Nikola: Never stop asking questions – any kind of answer is a good answer. Build your foundations from there.

Whether you’re on the creator side or the company side of the creator economy, I encourage you to check out to accelerate what you are doing so you can keep on creating and contributing to the economy.

The most valuable curiosity I developed while learning more about Nikola and was: “what could be a new niche market within or between existing niche markets?” This is a very useful question for early-stage startups to consider when designing a product or service.

As you can tell, Nikola is leading a team that is servicing the evergrowing creator economy in ways other entrepreneurs can model. If you are curious about the creator economy, I encourage you to connect with Nikola Sokolov and explore what they are doing to produce golden opportunities through solid connections. Even if you aren’t a creator or a company in need of creators, I encourage you to look toward these guys as an example of how you can stack gold by providing services to those rushing for gold.

Matthew Murrie