Our People – Andras

At KassaiLaw we consider ourselves lucky to love our jobs, but everything comes at a price: it can result in forgetting to eat, stand up for long hours, or to make space for free-time activities. We have to be more conscious than ever before about taking care of ourselves and setting boundaries because failing to do so can eventually lead to burnout. Because of the increasing challenges lately in work-life balance, we wanted to show you that we also spare time for other things than work.

This time, welcome our beloved colleague, Andras Szabo, the CEE assignee at KassaiLaw.

  • You grew up in Hungary, which is not a typical winter sports country, what led you to hockey?

My father used to play hockey, but then gave it up for several years. He took it up again when I was 12 years old because my uncle and his friends were also playing nearby at that time and invited him to join them. As a child I thought that it was too aggressive, but as I got older I realized that it might be a fun game and wanted to try it. It is indeed.

  • What are the most appealing characteristics of hockey which made you play it for 11 years?

It is a father-son activity on one hand, but I have another great answer to this question: I read an interview once with Brandon Shanahan, who won 3 Stanley Cups and had been asked once by a reporter if hockey was hard:

“I don’t know, you tell me. We need to have the strength and power of a football player, the stamina of a marathon runner, and the concentration of a brain surgeon. But we need to put all this together while moving at high speeds on a cold and slippery surface while 5 other guys use clubs to try and kill us. Oh yeah! Did I mention that the whole time we’re standing on blades 1/8 of an inch thick? Is ice hockey hard?”

This perfectly sums up my own thoughts and feelings too. But I like the complexity of the game that needs extreme concentration, so every time I hit the ice, nothing else matters and I can leave everything behind.

  • What has hockey taught to you that you can use in your life off the ice?

Hard work always pays off and it does not matter how hard life, or another player hits you, you have to get up and try harder. But the importance of teamwork is also a key-element, there is no ‘I’ in a team, you will almost never hear a hockey player in an interview saying ‘I’, just ‘we’.

  • Share with us your most memorable experience from hockey.

As an exception of my previous answer, I will use “I”. The funniest moment was when I scored the second hat-trick of my career and I scored the third goal with my skate. My teammate passed the puck to me, but I could not reach it with my stick, so I just turned my right skate a bit and deflected the puck. It was so surprising, even for the goalie who could not reach it. Everyone was cheering on the bench and I did not know why they were doing it. One of my teammates had to tell me that I had scored a goal, I still don’t even know how it went in, because I was facing and skating towards the sideboard.

  • We at the firm know that you have another unusual hobby, too: LEGO. If you had to choose one which would it be, LEGO or Hockey?

Definitely hockey. LEGO is also complex and requires creativity, but it does not require the same focus, so it is a good background activity while mulling over legal issues.

  • Do you have any personal secret for getting some quality time for yourself outside work?

Wake up earlier to train before work and leave work to meet friends in the evening.

“Is your team the dream team? How much percentage should each founder get?” One of the core ingredients to success is the right team with complementing skills and personalities: early stage investors (and business partners too, by the way) will invest in the team, not the idea. Our goal is to guide you in building a strong and well-functioning team, as well as help you uncover potential friction points or weaknesses in the team, so that you can address them in the very beginning. When it comes to the fair split with your co-founders, if you need a reference point, or just want reassurance, we have developed our own tool for equity split calculation. Hint: the one answer that’s certainly wrong is a hasty 50-50 split.

You have spotted a problem and found a viable solution – in other words, you have your idea. What’s the next step? You need to make sure that the problem your business is trying to solve is a valid problem for a wide enough group, and that

Are you sure that the problem your business is trying to solve is a valid problem for a wide enough group? 

When you spot a problem and think you have found a viable solution to create a business around, it’s all too easy to get excited and jump straight into ideating a solution.

Avoid making something and then hoping people buy it when you could research what people need and then make that.

It doesn’t make any sense to make a key and then run around looking for a lock to open.

There are many ingredients in the recipe for creating a successful startup, but most certainly whatever you read and wherever you go, one of the first pieces of advice is going to be to do your homework properly regarding the validation. You have to validate both your problem and your solution to be able to define the perfect problem-solution and later on the product-market fit. If you manipulate your future customers into liking your solution or do not reveal all the aspects and layers of a problem you identified, your idea can easily lose its ground and with that the probability of it surviving and actually being turned into a prosperous business. Let us know if we can help at this initial but yet super-important stage.

Validation is the first step in moving towards learning more about the problem you are ultimately looking to solve.

Finding your unique value proposition is only possible if you take a thorough glance at your competitors. The world of tech is highly competitive, particularly so when you operate in a field with low entry barriers, you need to carefully examine and regularly update the news and developments of those companies who act in the same field and market. This might lead to several pivots for you if necessary, because you can significantly increase your chances of success if you can offer a—at least in some aspect—unique solution to your customers. The introduction as “we are like Uber/Snapchat/WeWork/Spotify, only better” is hardly sufficient in most cases. Unless you really are so much better, but then you need to know that too, so up the competitive analysis.