I'm Nikola Balić, but you can call me Niko. My friends do.
Sad fact first. I wrote this myself after doing all the interviews with the other team members. :( But let me tell you my story...
My role as a growth strategist lets me pursue my true passion: innovating. But I believe real innovation stems from substance, not slick jargon.
I live by this motto: Innovate obsessively, iterate relentlessly. Combine imagination with speed, and reward will follow.
That's why I'm now focused on accelerating development velocity and cultivating standardized development environments.
We need to innovate quickly and implement rapidly.
We can launch new ideas faster than ever by accelerating our development cycles and standardizing efficient workflows. I firmly believe that increasing velocity while providing consistent environments will be a winning formula. The possibilities are endless when our developers can build and release rapidly within a consistent framework.
If you're wondering how I landed this role, it began with a side hustle at Codeanywhere. I helped them raise awareness and have been curating their newsletters for the last 70 numbers. Delivering 30.3 million emails in a single year. This side gig was the stepping stone to my journey with Daytona.
My friendship with Ivan, one of the founders, dates back to 2011. He's always been a persistent fellow, constantly nagging me to leave academia for the exciting world of startups. After a decade as a technology transfer professional, I have finally followed.
I've always been a lifelong learner, and I'm currently working on my PhD in computer science on Digital Transformation. This constant thirst for knowledge and my knack for problem-solving led me to organize numerous competitions, hackathons, and funding/support programs.
My experience isn't just academia and tech. I've dabbled in various fields, from nutraceuticals and health to education and market research. But no matter the field, one thing remains constant — my love for playing with technology and data.
I've always been an early adopter, often to the point of driving my closest ones to the brink of insanity.
My inner tinkerer prefers disassembling and reassembling a bicycle to just riding it. Even when I ride, I focus on the metrics on my watch, not the road. This curiosity has led me to both failures and successes - from a failed attempt at establishing a regional VC fund to successfully leading €34 million worth of investments in research and infrastructure.
Now, it's important to mention — I've never been a developer.
But I've been coding (read scripting) since university, prototyping my mind's creations into reality. I am even teaching data science at the university, always eager to plunge deep into the data to deconstruct the inner workings of things.
I've been advising numerous businesses, including international startups like Numarics. My mantra is to "show up early" to be there at the genesis of something great. I get a thrill from those raw, foundational moments, long before the polish sets in.
You could say I'm a bit of a rabbit hole junkie. Once I latch onto a new topic or tool, I dive in headfirst.
Now, as Head of Growth, I pour my obsessive drive into accelerating our velocity. I get to play with new tools and dive headfirst into the data to optimize every lever I can touch. It's an innovation junkie's dream job.
Daytona has been a perfect fit, aligning with my passion for disruption and improving development velocity and developer workflows. As one of the earliest members, I've had the chance to shape the vision and positioning of the company.
My journey here has been a serendipitous convergence of my passions. I can't wait to see where this rabbit hole leads next. But I can promise you the ride won't be boring.
Feel free to reach out on Twitter (or X, or whatever).