As the world of work continues to evolve with advancements in technology, there are those who see it as a chance to empower human potential rather than stifle it. Kristian Kabashi is one such executive.
He’s the brain behind the concept of “Blank Collar” workers, a new generation of tech-savvy individuals who thrive on the integration of technology into their work processes.
Together with his team at Numarics, a Swiss fintech firm, they’re on a mission to create solutions that augment human intelligence, not replace it.
“Blank Collar is where advanced technology moves automation to its full potential, as all workers make their job useful by perfecting what makes them human: using their creativity, empathy, and humanity to take software and hardware output to the next level.” – says Kristian Kabashi
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Table of Contents
We are thrilled to have you join us today, welcome to ValiantCEO Magazine’s exclusive interview! Let’s start off with a little introduction. Tell our readers a bit about yourself and your company.
Kristian Kabashi: Sure, I’d love to. I’m Kristian Kabashi and I’m a global executive with a passion for the future of work and technology. I strongly believe that technology should be a tool that enhances human potential, rather than hinders it.
That’s why I came up with the philosophy, “Work is for Bots, Life is for Humans.”
I coined the term “Blank Collar” to describe a new type of worker who achieves their full potential through collaboration with technology. The Blank Collar philosophy is about freeing people from routine tasks so they can focus on being strategists and thinkers.
I co-founded Numarics, a Swiss fintech company, where we bring the Blank Collar philosophy to life. At Numarics, we believe that technology should be a tool to empower people, not replace them, and that’s why we focus on creating solutions that augment human intelligence, not replace it.
In the past year, what is the greatest business achievement you’d like to celebrate with your team? Please share the details of that success.
Kristian Kabashi: The past year marked a major milestone for our company at Numarics. We experienced explosive growth, tripling our workforce to 135 employees through the acquisition of established accounting firms in Switzerland.
Our goal was to bring the expertise of the traditional finance industry into our technology firm, which uses AI to automate repetitive tasks such as bookkeeping.
This strategy paid off, as we saw a significant increase in both our client base, growing from 200 to 3,5K, and revenue, which skyrocketed from CHF 200k to 12 Mio. Our aim has always been to enhance human expertise, rather than replace it.
By incorporating the top experts of the traditional finance industry into our management structure, we’re able to offer premium consulting services as part of our accounting packages for Swiss small and medium-sized businesses.
From a product perspective, we also made significant changes, transitioning from a monolithic structure to microservices to better meet the unique needs of each of our clients. This year of growth and transformation has positioned us well for continued success in the future.
What advice do you wish you received when you started your business journey and what do you intend on improving in the next quarter?
Kristian Kabashi: At Numarics, our philosophy is centered on truly listening to our clients’ needs and focusing solely on fulfilling those needs. Our clients, entrepreneurs, are looking for a way to escape the endless administrative tasks in accounting and don’t want to deal with paper or learn how to use yet another accounting software.
Despite pushback from traditional accountants who claimed it was impossible, we found a way to make accounting a paperless, software-free process.
This sparked interest from the accountants themselves, who saw the benefits of freeing up their own resources by eliminating manual labor. The diversity of our clients’ needs and use cases became clear, and we realized that they also valued personal interaction with their finance consultant.
To meet these needs, we created a unique 50-50 company structure that balances human expertise with artificial intelligence. This allows us to offer clients the human interaction they crave, while also multiplying the expertise of our finance consultants through our AI engine.
Here is a two fold question: What is the book that influenced you the most and how? Please share some life lessons you learned. Now what book have you gifted the most and why?
Kristian Kabashi: The book that has influenced me the most is “The Prince” by Machiavelli.
Before reading this book, I had ideas but didn’t know how to involve people. Machiavelli says in the book that you have to learn to be a good courtier, that you have to be able to get along with everyone, up and down, and that you’re essentially a very good stakeholder manager.
One of the life lessons I learned from this book is the importance of having control over yourself, as without that control you won’t be able to control others.
Another important lesson is that a good idea takes a long time to become established in people’s minds and that you have to reach people through different channels. You have to be able to engage with everyone, especially when it comes to dealing with criticism, and you have to be careful how you give criticism.
The two books I gift the most depend on the situation. If I’m preparing someone for life, I gift “The 48 Laws of Power” by Robert Green. If I want to prepare someone for success in business, I gift “Zero to One” by Peter Thiel.
Christopher Hitchens, an American journalist, is quoted as saying that “everyone has a book in them” Have you written a book? If so, please share with us details about it. If you haven’t, what book would you like to write and how would you like it to benefit the readers?
Kristian Kabashi: I have been writing a book for the past two years, it’s called “The Blank Collar Equation: Enabling the second renaissance”, and will be published in Q2 2023. The book explores what comes after the Blue and White Collar eras, and how to become a “Blank Collar” individual and company.
The next step after digital transformation is the Blank Collar era, where AI and blockchain technologies are becoming increasingly important, and it’s crucial to be a generalist in order to utilize these advanced technologies for personal and business growth.
The industrial revolution and the White Collar era have turned us into robots, but the Blank Collar era brings us back to being human, you become the clockmaker again. This era allows us to approach problems holistically and find solutions. For instance, I had no prior knowledge of finance before, but now I have the opportunity to take a comprehensive approach.
The main benefit of this book is that it helps readers understand how to reduce mental stress by embracing the Blank Collar era.
2020, 2021, 2022 threw a lot of curve balls into businesses on a global scale. Based on the experience gleaned in the past years, how can businesses thrive in 2023? What lessons have you learned and what advice would you share?
Kristian Kabashi: The key to thriving in 2023 is to have a clear and defined vision and to align all your business activities towards that vision.
It is important to work with data in the company, as this will provide the foundation for making informed decisions. The company culture should also be focused on, breaking down silos and making knowledge transparent and accessible to all employees.
Once the processes have been established, technology should be integrated, including user interfaces that are up-to-date with modern technology. It is important to consider the integration of AI, but it’s more important to first have control over the internal operations of the company.
The most important thing is to be agile and to be prepared to constantly reinvent the company every three months as the business environment changes rapidly.
On a lighter note, if you had the ability to pick any business superpower, what would it be and how would you put it into practice?
Kristian Kabashi: Answering this question (there is a bug that won’t let us click this question): What does success in 2023 mean to you? It could be on a personal or business level, please share your vision.
Success in 2023 for me means to have fully developed and implemented the Numarics platform to a point where our customers are fully onboarded and find it difficult to imagine how they ever managed without it.
I believe in the Blank Collar philosophy and I want to be the lighthouse and show in this framework that you can look forward to the future – especially for those who don’t see a place for themselves in the White Collar era. I aim to popularize the term Blank Collar as the successor to White Collar.
Moreover, I would like to be invited by Joe Rogan for a podcast to talk about the Blank Collar philosophy and how it is shaping the future of work and business.
Jerome Knyszewski, VIP Contributor to ValiantCEO and the host of this interview would like to thank Kristian Kabashi for taking the time to do this interview and share his knowledge and experience with our readers.
If you would like to get in touch with Kristian Kabashi or his company, you can do it through his – Linkedin Page
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