MP recently spoke with Deyan Georgiev (Forbes 30 Under 30), co-founder and CEO at NitroPack, about being an entrepreneur, the importance of outside funding, and why website speed really matters. NitroPack is a popular website speed optimization tool that enables website owners and managers to significantly reduce load times while simultaneously improving user experiences.
MP: When did you first want to follow an entrepreneurial path?
DG: I’ve always known I wanted to start a business. For some reason, I never imagined a world where this didn’t come true. I’ve always admired entrepreneurs who find creative and new, better ways of solving problems.
What is your typical day like?
There are no typical days! One of the reasons I love being an entrepreneur is that we face new challenges every day. Talking to customers, figuring out price points, negotiating deals, interviewing prospective hires, pitching the company’s board. There’s so much to do and so little time!
What is your greatest fear as an entrepreneur, and how do you manage it?
Entrepreneurs carry a lot of responsibility. My biggest fear is that I could let people down. I have the privilege of being surrounded by fantastic professionals in our company, and I wouldn’t want to let them down. To reduce the chances of this happening, I put a lot of effort into staying open-minded. I remind myself that I too am prone to making mistakes and push myself to be as transparent as possible to manage expectations in a healthy manner.
Do you believe there is a formula to becoming a successful entrepreneur? If so, what is it?
Success is to be defined by each of us individually. To me, success is working on something you’re excited about and proud of at the same time. Something of actual value for my customers while being surrounded by world-class professionals.
What key activities would you recommend entrepreneurs invest their time in?
Go and build things quickly and cheaply. Try to sell them to a customer as soon as possible. Read a lot. Listen to podcasts. Pitch your ideas in front of an audience. Surround yourself with people who challenge you and who you admire. Keep an open mind and listen to their arguments. Listen to your customers.
What is NitroPack?
NitroPack is the easiest way to speed up your website. It’s a service that takes care of site speed problems for over 60,000 websites.
According to Crunchbase, NitroPack raised €200k from Eleven Ventures in 2018. Why is it essential for entrepreneurs to consider outside funding when the time is right?
Outside funding is an invaluable tool in the hands of an entrepreneur. While it often makes sense to be scrappy and bootstrap at given company stages, the right investors can be game-changers. They bring experience, challenge you to think bigger and bolder and open important doors for you. If you solve a significant and painful problem in a way that provides tangible value, you’re likely off to a good start in your talks with investors.
How did you come up with the initial idea for NitroPack, and how has it evolved?
NitroPack was created in 2011 by our co-founding engineers, Ivailo Hristov and Simeon Totev. They responded to customers who needed a caching solution for one specific content management system specialized in e-commerce. It started as a small product but grew over the years until it became an extremely powerful optimization platform.
As time went on, we realized that site speed optimization is a global problem for millions of website owners and managers. That’s why we decided to re-build NitroPack into the cloud-based software as a service (SaaS) that it is today. We released this modern version of NitroPack in the summer of 2019. Today, there are more than 65,000 websites that trust NitroPack to provide consistent speed optimization.
How does NitroPack help websites load faster?
NitroPack applies a set of proven best practices and unique advanced features to improve web performance. These features include our advanced caching mechanism, image and video lazy loading, a complete image optimization stack, code optimization, a proprietary resource loader, and more. Most importantly, NitroPack applies all these things automatically, without a complex setup.
What statistics can you share about website speed and engagement?
Many case studies and A/B tests show the power of website speed, but some of the most impressive I’ve seen are the following:
In 2012, Walmart determined that reducing their website’s load time by 1s resulted in a 2% lift in conversions. However, they also saw that speeding up pages by as little as 100ms affected incremental revenue by up to 1%.
Another example would be Zitmaxx Wonen. In 2017, they updated their website to achieve a perfect 100 on Google’s PageSpeed Insights and reduce the load time to 3 seconds. The result – mobile conversions increased by 50.2%, and mobile revenue skyrocketed by 98.7%.
A more recent example is Vodafone, which increased sales by 8% by improving only a single page speed metric (LCP).
Why is it essential for entrepreneurs to focus on their business’ website speed?
Because users prefer to read, browse, and buy from fast websites. Slow websites have higher bounce rates, less engaged visitors, and ultimately fewer conversions.
Besides using NitroPack, how can entrepreneurs build the fastest websites?
An essential component of site speed is a good hosting plan. Shared hosting plans don’t provide fantastic performance, so investing in a dedicated server is usually worth it.
There’s also the option to rework your website’s code from the ground up. However, there are some drawbacks to this approach. Mainly, it can become costly and time-consuming. But, of course, if you or your developer know what you are doing, the results are still worth it.
What would you like people to know about NitroPack?
NitroPack is a fantastic piece of technology built over almost ten years of boundary-breaking engineering.
It focuses on improving your site visitors’ experiences. Studies show that better UX leads to higher conversion rates!
View this article in the September 2021 issue of MP.