Markus Järve is the founder of Krakul and was the company’s CEO from 2013 to 2017. After Krakul, Markus worked at Ampler Bikes, developed electronic solutions at Daimler Mobility Services and Agile Robots in Germany, and advised Solaride’s solar car project. Currently, he is the Director of Technology at Bikeep, which develops smart bicycle parking lots.
We asked Markus to reminisce a little about the founding and development of Krakul.
Why did you start Krakul, and where did the company’s name come from?
I came to work in Tallinn straight from university. After my first job, I decided to do some consulting because I wasn’t pleased with the way things were done in my first job. Then I started my “lifestyle” company – Krakul. A few years later, I discovered that things had gotten out of hand – a lot of people working under me, projects had increased, etc. It seemed like I made a company.
The company’s name came to me like this – I opened the Dungeons and Dragons name generator and generated various dwarves’ swordsman names, and Krakul was one of them. It seemed easy to pronounce and also OK in spelling. I have always thought that a name does not create a brand but is made important with a brand.
When you founded the company, could you imagine that in 10 years, Krakul would be the kind of company it is today?
I had no plans to start a company at all. Instead, I thought I could gain experience for a few years and then see where things go. Krakul became a real company already some time ago, and quite by accident.
What was your most significant contribution to the development of Krakul?
If you create a new company that offers a service, the main obstacle at the beginning is that no one knows you. My contribution was to create the initial awareness of Krakul and to add as much positive weight to the recognition as possible.
Secondly, I guess I contributed a little to what the culture and internal climate of Krakul became. It was important for me that I enjoyed working in the company and that the culture and atmosphere made me feel good at work. When I founded the company, I didn’t think about it too much, but I’m glad that the future managers have had the same intentions. To this day, every time I visit, I am delighted that Krakul has such a great work environment.
Share a funny story about Krakul’s early days.
We had a sensor project that we decided to solve using Arduino as a base. It had to be a super easy and short project. And then, over the weekend, we were at (Jaan Hendrik) Murumets’ home in Tartu, drank beer, and tried to figure out why the GSM modem did not work. As everyone knows by now, making GSM stable is not the most trivial task, especially if you use simple libraries that are generally used for prototyping and not for developing long-term networked devices.
Where do you think Krakul will be in ten years?
I think that in ten years, Krakul will be the leading engineering and product development company in Estonia, which offers one of the most desired jobs for people who want to develop hardware. In addition, Krakul will be the most valued partner for carrying out various developments on a different scale.