As part of his coverage of the TNW European Conference last month, The Next Web’s Andrii Degeler sat down with 500px co-founder Oleg Gutsol.
Gutsol was a co-founder of the Toronto-based photography startup along with Evgeny Tchebotarev. In the article Gutsol shares his story of being ousted from 500px by his successor and board.
The Next Web’s article focuses on the lessons learned by Gutsol which includes over overcoming obstacles like a lack of funding from Canadian investors as well as never quite finding the right cultural fit with employees.
Tchebotarev echoed this last point with a guest article on Techvibes in 2013 titled The Biggest Challenge of a Startup Founder.
The funding issue was eventually solved after two funding rounds of more than $9 million from VCs including Andreessen Horowitz.
The most interesting comment Gutsol makes is around the entrepreneurial drive of Canadians. “The most driven and energetic founders I’ve met in Canada are actually immigrants,” Gutsol says. “My approach is also very different from typical Canadian. They’re all very friendly, very nice, very relaxed, so when I started to tighten the screws, many people were shocked.”
Gutsol’s opinion goes a long way to support the importance of the fledgling Canadian Startup Visa.
But it is hard to take his comments seriously when he trashes Canadian entrepreneurs, employees, and investors while completely overlooking that he was responsible for hiring and culture as CEO.
And they is plenty of irony in the fact that he was ultimately fired by US-born successor and US venture capital investors.