“Your time – Your rules!”
Nenad Milanovic is the founder and the CEO of Coing INC, a company specializing in software development and website development. He also developed Clockify, a time simple time tracking software, and timesheet app, Pumble, a free team alternative to Slack and Plaky from the parent company.
Nenad Milanovic speaks about his company and his journey.
Recently, we fixed an interview with Mr. Milanovic to better understand his background and his company. And this is what we came to know.
Mr. Milanovic, the founder of Coing INC, hails from Burlingame, California. His parent company is based in Palo Alto, California, and he has since developed a time tracker app Clockify, a business messaging app Pumble and a project management tool Plaky.
When we asked him when and how he came up with the idea to build Coing, he answered that he was tracking time as a part of the client billing workflow after developing a software development agency. One day, after finishing one of their projects, his teammates pointed out that they were paying quite a bit of money for the time tracker monthly.
The main issue with the tracker was that it was only offering a handful of features for the given price. They also noticed that the subscription fee increased since they bought it. That is when they came to a quick conclusion that they needed to come up with their time tracker. They could use something for their internal use and cut out unnecessary costs. So, they canceled the expensive subscription and started building a time tracker that only had features they needed.
The idea was further brainstormed when they developed and launched Clockify for the public. Even though their initial idea was to create a time tracking for internal use, they realized the usefulness they went and shared it to help others. With that came the most popular time tracker In the market that has proven valuable and practical for millions of users.
Where did he draw his inspiration from?
Mr. Milanovic, born in Croatia, had witnessed uncertain times throughout his childhood and his time growing up in Serbia, where he and his family were forced to shift at the tender age of five. He has witnessed inflation, restrictions, and poverty, as well as societal and political conflicts.
He was a part of a reality where everything was unsure. Even whether or not his family will be able to provide for anyone. Even when they had a source of income, they weren’t sure how long it would last. This situation made him realize that hard work and perseverance would not be enough to lead him to “greener pastures,” as he quotes. He needed to start working hard and make good use of his time.
After all, he realized that time was very precious and that commodities couldn’t be wasted.
So, his main inspiration was a life riddled with the uncertainty that forced him to wise up and showed him how to spend his time. He understood how important it is to know where and when to invest his energy to achieve more in life. That is when forward-thinking became an integral part of his motivation to go further and do better.
He created Clockify with the idea of helping people track their time at work and helping them understand how they could spend their time at work and live better. So, the primary purpose was to keep track of the time to understand what they were spending it on. It was also to understand better how to focus their time on something that matters.
When it comes to working, what matters, according to Mr. Milanovic, is the focus on priority tasks and in life. What matters is how to work faster and better and have more free time. According to him, it is all about getting the freedom to choose wisely and choose what to do with one’s time, at any time.
According to him, Clockify helps eradicate the uncertainty he faced throughout his life. It helps people get a better idea of what they can do with their time, which inspires his work. His main aim is to ensure that all the COING INC products fulfill their use while eradicating various types of uncertainty faced by millions.
How does he hope to inspire others?
When we asked Mr. Nenad Milanovic how he hopes to inspire others, he replied, “I really care about people having freedom and autonomy over their own time.”
According to him, the best thing to invest in is their time. So he questions, wouldn’t one want to find the most helpful way to use it? He suggests that they want to show everyone how to become independent, responsible, and organized without turning into a stressed-out workaholic with their tools.
He feels that, especially with so many people are working from home or risking their health for field jobs in the pandemic, most people have become aware of how valuable time is. Most people have become stressed and are burnt out.
According to him, the tools, knowledge, and resources that his company has come up to help build people’s required confidence and security to wrangle their time. Mr. Milanovic suggests that managing time efficiently makes it easier to see the bigger picture and plan and strategize for the future. He quotes, “You begin to learn where to make the necessary cuts to keep your sanity.”
He suggests that there is no other way to know and brings up an example saying that you can only know if a particular client causes you stress if you see that you are spending hours sending emails back and forth each week. This is when you understand that they are micromanaging you.
What part of his job does he love the most?
When we asked him which part of his job he loves the most. He answered that he loves seeing their tools’ success to their clients. He also adds that obviously, the tools brought them a lot of success. Still, the most important thing to him is the absolute joy that came with people contacting them about their positive experiences.
He found that everyone from individuals to small businesses to big corporations suggested that their tools worked wonders for them. That is when he thought that his company had hit the jackpot. For him, the main goal from the beginning was to help people build confidence. They wanted to make sure that time tracking was seamless and easy and could help tackle the most significant challenges without a hitch. He suggests that time tracking is in everything, including client reports, weekly startups, and even daily-to-do lists, making it very important.
So, he is the happiest when he hears that someone could scale their business due to their tools, or that it helped them set prices or improve work-life balance or even communicate with clients. It is the one thing that drives him forward.
Milanovic describes his brand, business, project, the organization in one word.
When we went forward and asked him what one word he would use to describe his business, project, or organization and why he answered that he would choose the word “freedom.”
He further explained that this was woven through all their tools. Their tools are about freedom of choosing how to organize one’s time, the freedom to micromanagement, the freedom to miscommunication, and the freedom to choose to roam around from office meeting to meeting.
He suggests that they instill the same value in their own company culture. They trust you wholeheartedly. They deliver that one can deliver things on time and keep the ship sailing without being looked upon. He is not a big fan of overworked and stressed employees and believes in giving them the freedom to manage their own time. This is as long as they are mindful of one another and respect others’ time and schedules set up as a team.
His firm belief is that to survive, a company needs to stop micro-managing and be more open to individuality. According to him, people can surprise you with their resourcefulness and skills as long as they are given their freedom.
What sets him apart from his competitors?
Mr. Milanovic says that he grew up in Croatia and Serbia during the most turbulent times. At a very tender age, he understood that he needed to be dedicated and focused and required to work hard. To secure a better future for his family and himself, he stays dedicated.
It is the same value that he shared with his company and used ut to collectively build a better future for themselves, their families, and millions of people. They understand how complex and unpredictable life is, which drives them.
Another advantage that he feels his company has over others is that they are a bootstrapped startup. So, they understand that to go against big players, they require funds and require core ideas. One of their main core ideas is that they want the people to have the best time trackers without paying massive amounts.
So, to keep this idea intact, they didn’t take any funding from external sources like venture capitalists, loans or investors. He didn’t want anyone outside the company to warp the core values of Clockify or set their quotas and goals on something they were building. He believed that they should be shot-callers in their endeavor.
That is when they found that it was much better to invest their time and effort in perfecting their product and carry out user and market testing rather than spending time searching for investors.
Lastly, he added that their customer support and communication are excellent. They have a team that gives everything to offer the relevant answers as quickly as possible. The team as gas has always been imperative to customer satisfaction. This has helped to get their company translated to the best word-of-mouth recommendations. And with that, they were able to produce a product that soon became extremely popular in the time tracking category.
His vision for the next five years
Mr. Milanovic started his ride for COING Inc since Clocify was launched. They began with a time tracker and a wish to help other people. With Pumble and Plaky, the wish grew tenfold. Their vision turned to create a full suite of productivity and team collaboration tools.
It is seen that the market is growing more prominent as more and more people turn to remote work and as globalized workplaces become more common, he suggests. That is why team collaboration products are becoming essential, and they want to contribute the best they can.
The company’s second big vision is to become a public company. In this way, they will be able to scale reliably and rest easy, knowing that their wish to have a full suite of tools is plausible. He feels that going public opens up a whole new avenue of possibilities, with all the career opportunities.
Adding to this, he says that they might sound ambitious, but they genuinely aim to become the pillars of the IT community with their tools and services. They want to become a brand that people can rely on and become a stability synonym.
Five tops tips that he thinks can make his industry successful.
Develop ideas well
Just having a good idea isn’t enough. What you need is to grow it into something sustainable. It’s what determines if your product/service will succeed or fail. You develop an idea through market research competition research and feel out the market to see if there’s even a need for what you can offer.
Always keep customers in mind.
One of the things that made them grow in popularity is being attuned to their customers’ needs. They have listened to everyone’s feedback, from freelancers to big corporations. Because they know the struggles with digital communication and collaboration, they know when to lead and listen.
They advise anyone to do the same, as customers know their worth and aren’t afraid to leave you for a more suitable brand. After all, that’s how we created Clockify.
If you are starting, his advice would be to bootstrap, if at all possible. For entrepreneurs with great ideas and big ambitions, there is nothing worse than seeing someone on the outside turn it into something completely different.
Accepting investments opens the door to idea conflicts, stricter deadlines, and unrealistic milestones. The pressure can cause additional stress that will drain you fast.
From personal experience, he suggests not to put all of your marketing eggs in one basket. They have tried working with PR firms and realized a little too late that their marketing method was just not cutting it for them.
The moment they turned to creating their content, be it with their blog, YouTube channel, or social media, they received much more value than any firm could offer. His advice would be to focus your marketing efforts on sharing your brand’s values, skills, and knowledge. Let it speak directly to the customers, and that alone will be enough to draw them in.
Learn the exemplary leadership soft skills
- Work on improving your communication skills, he suggests. Learn how to speak clearly and concisely, get your ideas across, and potentially defuse conflicts. Because if your team can’t understand what you’re trying to say, doing any further work will be even more difficult.
- Learn when and to whom to delegate. You won’t be able to do everything alone. Nor should you. Businesses grow when they have leaders who recognize the strengths and weaknesses of their employees and split the important work among them.
While you plan for the big picture and work on high-level assignments, the day-to-day tasks, and mid-level activities should be entrusted to your best workers. This prevents you from stretching yourself too thin, stressing out, and becoming a micromanager.
Be a good listener.
Lend an ear to your employees, and inform yourself of the red flags that run rampant in our industry. They collectively teeter on the edge of burnout, workaholism, and hustle culture, where leaders often miss clear signs until it’s too late. Be mindful of your teams’ mental health and satisfaction — a skilled HR team can help you with that, too.
How can you reach out to them?
Official website: https://coi.ng
Official social profiles:
Their links to previous publications and social media handles
Links to social media
Link to previous publications