Everyone needs a vision and a strategy, otherwise they are lost

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A word…

Let me introduce a little essay exercise. I have been reflecting for some time on the development and future direction of our country. At the same time, I am working on changing the direction of our company. The better I feel about my company, the more sad and worried I feel about the future of our country.


I have become an outspoken critic of the current political situation and many people tell me that I am harming the current government. I did not and do not want to harm the current government. The government is not doing everything wrong. Some of the steps are correct but lack explanation and communication. Other steps lack vision. What’s missing is that someone can see a step or two ahead, other times courage is lacking. It’s like life. The worst steps are the steps you take under pressure. They are desperate and they may not be right.

I want to help the government, I want to give the government an outside view. The open opinion of a man who doesn’t have to be afraid. It’s not about personal courage, it’s about wanting some things to change and if I sit in a corner or with a beer, nothing will change… By the way, I haven’t had a beer since I was 9 years old, so I can’t sit around drinking beer and have to vent my opinions elsewhere.

I have written two open letters to the Prime Minister(the first one here and the second one here) and with a gap of about 3 months I would like to close the whole thing. It is no longer a letter to the Prime Minister, but a general closure of the “whole case” and at the same time I would like to show where we want to go with our company WEDOS in the future.

Visions, strategies, plans and the human self

Everyone needs a vision and a strategy. The Czech Republic already has its vision, even several times. We can think whatever we want about reality. There will be elections in 2 years at the latest and if the current government doesn’t change something, it will change again and all the visions will change again. Why, you ask? The current vision, which was presented on 1. September, it has not been discussed with the opposition, it has not been explained to the public and so it does not have sufficient support. If you want to achieve something, you have to have all the people on your side. The vision, objectives and strategies must be common and binding for all and cannot change (every election). It’s the same in politics, in life and even at work. At home you have to agree and agree with your spouse, at work with your colleagues. In politics, not only should the majority in the coalition agree, but a constructive opposition should be invited to such fundamental visions. In our company, it’s a little easier, but similar. A company must have a direction and that direction cannot change every year or every two years depending on how close it is to, for example, an election.

The role of the company’s boss is to be a leader and to have people around us who will help us to implement our vision and strategies. I have people like that around me. Not everyone agrees with me on everything, not everyone has the same views. It is such an opposition, and it is my job to deal with such people as well. Visions and goals are useless if you don’t mean them, if you just say them at a conference, and if everyone (but really everyone) isn’t working on them. Everybody has to pull together. Literally and to the letter. You can’t change your views (in politics, at home or in business) according to your mood or how the full moon is coming up or how payday is coming up, or even in politics, elections. I have to be consistent in my views, because that’s the only way people will believe me and come with me (to fulfill our vision and goals).

A small summary

The Czech Republic is de facto 105 years old today. WEDOS celebrated its 13th anniversary last month. Birthday. 105 years for the state is nothing. For an IT company, 13 is up to. WEDOS is basically growing up and has just decided what career path he wants to take. So far we have been playing and learning on the Czech hosting sand. However, we want to become a global company with a focus on IT security (web, email, network security). We want to be the European leader in this field. This is our vision and we will subordinate everything to it.

I confess that I have never written any specific corporate goals and strategies until now. I carried them in my head and verbally transmitted them to my colleagues. Basically, for the first time, I’m going to try to formulate and write them down. I was 50. Maybe I’m just now growing up. Visions, goals and strategies do not have to be written down, but they must be clear to everyone. It doesn’t matter where you say it and who is listening and how nobly you say it and how pleasing it is. It is not essential to say them at a conference and repeat the word crossroads so many times and say that we are at a crossroads. Yet we have to admit that we have been going around in circles for several terms. Maybe in a vicious circle or, if you like, a roundabout. Let’s face it, even a roundabout is not a panacea for traffic and it doesn’t fit everywhere. I explain my ideas (meaning visions), goals and strategies to my colleagues and subordinates so that they understand their meaning and how it will benefit (all of us). We must all accept the visions, goals and plans as our own, and we must pursue the same goal. It is the only way we can do it together.

People without visions and goals are lost. You must have something in front of you. I remember very well when I sold the company and suddenly I didn’t know what I was going to do the next day. For several years I wandered around in my life and called it waiting for retirement. My wife said I was waiting to die. He’s right. I was killing myself. She didn’t mean it that way (I guess), but I was truly lost in my life. So has every person, so has society, nation and state. Either you are after something and you want to achieve something, or you are lost. It doesn’t matter if you want to make a difference with your company like I do, or if you want to have a happy family, or if you want to build a new house. You have to go for something. You have it easier at work. You embrace the company’s goals and vision and when you identify with them, you can do it together. You can’t go after something that even the person who defined the goals and visions doesn’t really believe in. You can’t go after something that even the person who introduced the goals doesn’t believe in. How can you accept as yours goals that contradict each other or clearly feel that the person says A, thinks B and finally does C?

After a few years of wandering around in my life, I started WEDOS and I am literally working to get us somewhere. Some claim to teach students and refer to others pejoratively as those who hoard and accumulate wealth. I never expected to read this from our Premier, whom I still root for. I think he needs to be “nudged” to change something or he will be replaced. And then it might be even worse for everyone.

The Czech Republic is the best place to live, I would even say the best place in the world. It is safe here. You won’t get eaten by a tiger, you don’t have to be completely afraid on the street even at night. We have free education but it needs a hell of a lot of reform. We have free health care, but we delude ourselves that it’s rosy because sometimes if you don’t have friends, you try to figure things out. We’ve got a pretty decent freedom of speech we still have decent taxes . It is possible to do business here, but… Everything has its buts and I would like to point out some things I don’t like. I don’t want to be silent because I have no reason to be afraid or ashamed of anything. I am speaking out because I want this government to wake up in time. I don’t want the situation to get worse, I want it to get better.

I’m happy, I’ve even claimed for several years that I’m the happiest person in the world. I have everything I need. I have a happy family. I go to a job that I enjoy and that’s why I go there. I work with people I enjoy working with and that’s why I go there. Step by step I am fulfilling my wishes, visions and goals. I’m doing fine. Sometimes it scrubs, but these are just small hiccups on the way to the top.

It is necessary to work hard, it is necessary to work hard and not to talk all the time or just change visions and plans.

I’m old school, I say no work, no cake. Three times in my life I said I would build the biggest company in the country and three times I succeeded. It certainly wasn’t that I mindlessly changed my plans and visions every month or every year. Now we want to go one category further with WEDOS and we want to be the number one in Europe. We want to be the number one cybersecurity company in Europe for protecting websites, emails, data and in the future entire networks.

Self-esteem

Everyone must have self-confidence. A nation, an individual, a group of people in a company and even children in a family. Self-awareness must correspond to reality and be supported by facts. I remember very well how we started with WEDOS 13 years ago. We started late. The hosting market has been dismantled and divided. On the first day when we launched our services, I told my colleagues that we would be the biggest web hosting in the Czech Republic and that when we had 100,000 services, it would make economic sense. They looked at me like I was from another planet. We rejoiced at the first order. Then we were happy to keep counting them and suddenly in 3 years we found out that we are the biggest hosting. To this day, I don’t think most of them believed we could do it. But my job was to convince them of that and to show them the right way and to lead them down that path. I had to convince people who didn’t believe it. Most of those people still work for us and we reminisce about it sometimes and I know very well that they didn’t believe me then, but I convinced them. They accepted it as their own and together we achieved it. I couldn’t have done it without their help. Neither would they without my help. Today we are all happy and confident enough to say that we want to be Europe’s number one.

We move on, we have to move on. Those who have stood for a while are standing by. It’s even faster in IT. There, you forget about development for a while and the world is somewhere else. If we want to be a European leader and a global company, we all have a lot of hard work and sacrifice ahead of us. However, without self-confidence it would not be possible. There is no doubt about it.

Economically, of course, it makes sense. We have two datacenters, we have no loans, we owe no one anything and we are operating. We have over 320,000 customers and over 600,000 services. We want more, a lot more. Cybersecurity is the future. The future for us, for the whole company. This is our vision.

Cybersecurity is important. Equally important is the safety of the country where you do business and live. Yes, the Czech Republic is still at the top of the world in this.

Geographical location. Human potential.

Geographical location is undoubtedly important. I did not build companies (neither the previous one nor WEDOS) in Prague. Why? There are several reasons. I feel happy in the south of Bohemia. You’re not moving the Republic. As a person and a company, you can move. If you don’t want to live at a junction or rather a roundabout and drive around and around, you have the option to turn off and drive away. So you have to change something. This is reality. Even that change gets you somewhere. You might be surprised. I see it myself in our country. There is more interest in our new security services abroad than in the Czech environment, which is a bit stale (probably like politics).

So let’s use our company’s geographical location to benefit our development and achieve our vision and goals. So we have to do a lot, sacrifice a lot, and sometimes it will hurt. Again, there is no doubt about it. The Republic will not move, but it must also not be just a transit route for trucks from east to west and vice versa. We need to use it more.

The potential of the people you have around you is important. It doesn’t matter whether they always agree with you the first time or only when you explain everything thoroughly. We have certainly many times refused to employ a candidate in our company who was professionally skilled but did not fit in with us humanly. We don’t need to have the best players in the world in the team, but the team together has to be the best. And we have that.

The human potential of our republic is excellent. Let’s not kid ourselves. We are still Chevy, but that is (in many cases) our advantage. We know how to invent things, we know how to look for other ways, which stems from the fact that we, as Czechs, are mostly looking for ways to get around and cheat everything. We can’t sell ourselves, we can’t sell it. The biggest added value is created on sales. Every peasant, but excuse me, farmer, knows this. Hard to grow, little to earn. Then he’ll sell it at a minimal profit. Someone will process it or repackage it and resell it and make a lot more. Someone else will sell and make the most money. We can’t sell it, we can’t sell ourselves. It’s about confidence, skills, education, experience and even human potential, because you need the right people to do it.

But if your self-confidence is being undermined by your surroundings, I mean your own state, which instead of supporting business looks at companies and entrepreneurs as thieves. This has to change. If it weren’t for businesses and entrepreneurs, we wouldn’t have jobs, and without them, we wouldn’t have health care, education, or meaningless government. The state should change to understand that businesses and entrepreneurs create the conditions for people to be employed and that is the fuel for the entire state. Just as I consider our employees to be the most valuable in my company, so must the state treat entrepreneurs and companies and the people who are employed by those companies. The state and officials need to understand that they are here for the people and not the other way around. It will never work the other way around. Several times in my company I have had to “fire” a customer because I had to stand up for our employee (and I will do it again). It’s the only way it works. But in the state nobody is responsible for anything and the officials are superhuman. Everyone’s afraid of them.

Slimness

Every organization (no matter if it is a state or a company) has to be lean. The more you add unproductive stuff around, not only does your human overhead increase, but at the same time inefficiency and extreme cost increases. Why feed people who don’t do their jobs and instead surf the internet and shop or read tabloids or disinformation sites instead of working. It does not matter whether they are employees in the company or workers in the authorities. Practically nobody ever gets their work done, because there is more and more work. The worst thing is when someone doesn’t have their work done and they’re still slacking off. They must be held accountable for that. Not only in the company, but also in state institutions.

There must be accountability in the company, and there must be accountability in the civil servants. You can’t do it without it. At work, I often tell everyone to behave and make decisions as if it were their money. It’s an easy analogy, and many people change their minds a lot…

Every company must be lean enough to be agile and not become an ocean liner. The state also needs to be lean and we don’t have to kid ourselves that if 10% to 15% of the civil servants and offices were cut, no one would miss them. On the contrary, it would be beneficial. All of you. The economy, the labour market and ultimately the people.

I can’t imagine that if a company was going down the tubes, like our state is, that I would be hiring more people and raising salaries at a time when it is borrowing to pay them. I can’t imagine not investing the money in development, but instead literally eating it. Any good farmer would chop and save much more on operations while investing more. I’d cut back much faster, much more intensively on the eating out and invest much more. I would not say that we will lose so much this year and maybe a little bit less next year. Only bad politicians can afford to do that. In a company, a good boss would also explain everything to people, set an example. He would set an example himself about his own wages, about spending on nonsense, and he would deal with the situation so that next year is not another economic minus, but a plus. Yes, they can afford to do that in politics because “the flood is upon us” and someone else will come next. And it might get worse. It won’t affect us anymore. Elections are every 4 years. You can’t afford that in a company. Either you get people on your side and they go with you and together you make it work, or you don’t convince them and the company falls and the good people leave (or the good people leave and the company falls). That’s basically what corporate elections are like.

Speed

Action is needed. It’s not just important to do the right things, but the right things at the right time, but even that’s not enough. You have to do them in the right order. I repeat, we must act quickly. This is the basis of everything. Sometimes people in the company are surprised that I sometimes insist and explain that there is no time for something, but that’s how it is sometimes.

The speed of action is very important and we must not forget this, neither in the state nor in the company. Sometimes it is necessary to rethink and change your original plans. Times are changing and everyone has to react. Right, at the right time and in the right order.

Efficiency

You have to be efficient. The state must be efficient, fast and lean if it wants to be a good state. If we want to succeed as a company, we need to be efficient, fast enough to navigate the choppy waters of business today. We have to automate everything, digitalize everything. But everyone in our company knows that. It’s in our DNA. We’ve had it from the beginning. We never do things by hand because it delays and is inefficient and expensive.

I don’t understand how the government can function if one office doesn’t know the data from the other and then you have to send and confirm it in a complicated way. It is unnecessary work to make more work for more officials. It’s holding companies back, it’s costing money. Minimal digitization. That’s not how we would have succeeded with the company.

You need to be efficient all the time. It is necessary to reduce unnecessary administration, it is necessary to move forward.

Infrastructure

If you don’t have the infrastructure, you don’t move forward. We have not only built two of our own datacentres, but we also have several thousand servers spread around the world in dozens of locations (on every continent) and we can build on that. We can build new services on this, develop and move forward. This will allow us to earn additional funds and this will allow us to develop and move forward again. When I see it written like that, it sounds almost idyllic. It’s just that this is how we planned it, this is how we figured it out, and this is what we built it with.

And how is a country that has been in chaos for decades supposed to do that? With a new government comes new ideas and visions. We build as many motorways every year as they build in Poland in less than a month. In our country, moreover, in a quality that I do not want to comment on and the logic of building “had” to be invented by someone for a long time. It is not normal, for example, to have one half of the motorway south from Prague to Písek and the other half from Tábor to České Budějovice. You will find more such paradoxes. We only build and support assembly plants, the highways are congested.

So traffic is catastrophic and we’ll be talking about smart modern intersections until they become obsolete and people start using teleportation. Then we decide that we need to build and innovate.

I’m not going to comment on our “speed trains” because that’s disgraceful. I was in Japan 27 years ago and their trains were then 2x faster than ours planned for the future. We have to admit that we may have literally missed the train.

Does it make sense to talk about the airport, the runway to the airport? They’ve all flown away.

We were the first company to invest in networks. We were one of the first in the country to have 100 GE routes and we use similar capacities around the world. Why? You can’t do it without it. It was an investment. A big investment, but it got us exactly where we wanted to go. This has made us a leader in our field and has enabled us to move forward. Thanks to all that, we didn’t miss the train. Did you know that when we were building (one of the first in the country) 100 GE routes, we only needed a few GE units? Why did we do it? We were looking to the future. It has paid us back many times over. We were ready for growth, we handled strong attacks.

Our country’s energy infrastructure is running up against its limits, but at the company we are thinking about the future. We’re building so that we can expand. We are counting on some plans and visions for the future.

We’ll be talking about the kernel until completely new technologies come along and the kernel becomes obsolete. Maybe in the meantime we will be able to work with hydrogen or store electricity in a bottle of water. I don’t know, but nobody builds anything with debates.

I’m not going to comment on the development of IT networks where you don’t understand that when you build those few miles of highways and roads, the state won’t let you put fiber optic cable protectors in there. Of course you’d pay for it. The sad thing is that the state won’t even lay those protectors themselves and then allow some shared access to them. Instead, we will invent subsidies to build high-speed networks.

Will there be enough electricity?

We keep hearing considerations about whether there will be enough electricity. I don’t think so. We will have to buy it elsewhere and we will not decide at what price. Which is not what we are deciding now. After all, it is good that a semi-state energy company has a net profit of several tens of percent of its turnover and brings tens of billions in taxes to the budget. I’m surprised no one has challenged this yet, because it’s basically another major form of taxing people and companies. Everyone in this republic, including children, will contribute a thousand crowns a month to this company for its profits. I remember politicians promising us that if the Temelín NPP is built, there will be cheap electricity for the people. I am not surprised when this semi-state company “taxes its own people like this” and sells them electricity at almost the highest price in Europe (at least if we convert it to the purchasing power of the population) and sells relatively large surpluses abroad (at lower prices than to its own residents).

People will be surprised when their electricity bills come in. Our economy is based on assembly plants and they are based on cheap labour and cheap energy. But energy is no longer cheap. Companies are losing competitiveness. Expensive electricity, unavailability of human resources, etc. will sign everywhere in the industry. Sooner or later. Then maybe there will be enough electricity. Then they will all reach out and ask for help from the state. Companies to save themselves, people for social assistance. Does the state or the politicians not get this?

When I see that electricity is expensive in the Czech Republic, we put some of our servers in the world, where electricity is cheaper in many countries. This is a significant competitive advantage. Electricity in some countries of the world is many times cheaper than in the Czech Republic.

The government should address what will happen to the electricity supply in the next few years, but I think the market will sort it out sooner. Instead of factories and assembly plants, we will have to switch to other industries. Industries that are not as energy intensive and at the same time have higher added value. There are many such industries, but they are not other assembly plants.

By assembly plants I mean projects of some giant factories and it doesn’t matter whether they are battery or chip based. It does not matter whether we call these assembly plants loftily as gigafactories or otherwise. It’s again just an assembly plant for a product that someone else will invent and sell somewhere else. For us, it will only bring more investment incentives for foreign companies. A few jobs will be created and we will “subsidize” them with 10 million or more for each new job. I’m not making this up! Yes, these are real numbers from the incentives our governments give to foreign companies. The investment incentive (for a foreign company) of 10 million per job in the assembly plant is a realistic figure from the summer of 2023. Finally, we grumble that capital is flowing away from us abroad. If we’re tripping over our own feet, what do we want…

Make all the assembly plants you want here, but where you’re going to get the electricity (and people) for them I don’t know. And eventually the money will flow (as dividends) out of our republic…

Staff

This brings us to the next point. Let’s have all the assembly rooms you want. Where you’re gonna get people for them, I don’t know. If you are looking for new employees, it is easier to find them abroad than in the Czech Republic. Some professions (IT, for example) are better paid in the Czech Republic than in Germany. You’d be surprised, but in many European countries, wage costs are significantly lower. In many economies in the EU, levies are 10-15% (sometimes more) lower than in the Czech Republic. So the total wage bill is then lower. I don’t know if anyone has noticed, but I also see this as a great advantage for our company. We want to become a global player and so we’re going to build a global team and so that can be critical as well. Eventually the assembly plants will see through it and move elsewhere.

Employees from abroad would be beneficial for our company, but try to get them to the Czech Republic. The processes are complex and complicated. It may be easier to look for new colleagues abroad.

If it is difficult to find suitable people in the Czech Republic and the state does not make it easy to get suitable people from abroad, it is very likely that we will look for new people abroad and employ them locally. Then we’ll pay our dues there. It’ll move us along. We will be closer to a global company.

The Labour Code also deserves a few changes, but not populist ones like the last one. We need practical steps and useful changes.

Employee shares are not known in our legal system and instead we invented the taxation of the sale of business shares. Someone “must have thought long and hard” about that. If this is supposed to save the state budget, it is pure desperation, and if anyone is advocating this, it is someone who has never built anything in their life. I sold the company myself and invested the money in another one. I built another company and hired more people. We send more in taxes to the state annually than if it had previously taxed the purchase price once. Taxing shares is a senseless and short-sighted solution that could only be advocated by a drowning man grasping at straws.

A person who builds a successful company and makes a lot of money (even by selling it) should decide how to use it. Because he always does it better than the state. Nobody takes money to their grave, whether they decide to create a foundation, start a university or fund projects to save the world should be up to them. After all, a person who knows how to earn money will certainly know how to “invest” it better than the state, which only knows how to give and redistribute.

Employee shares are a dream that even our children are unlikely to live to see. Many interesting companies, the most interesting ones, can grow by motivating employees through employee stock. That’s the way I’d like it in my company. But the state doesn’t think about it.

I’d rather not even post here. I would be repeating myself and it would be a waste of time. I think we’ll implement it in the company. After all, it is so convenient for the people (at the expense of the state) and so beautifully unfair, but we would rather argue about whether this or that minister met someone in a restaurant.

Supporting families and children should be the basis of modern society, but everything should also have rules and logic. On the one hand, I completely understand and support the support of pensioners according to the number of children they have raised. For most mothers, it’s well deserved. On the other hand, we have almost the most generous support and the longest maternity leave in Europe. In the company, we now want to further develop our business through part-time work, hiring young mothers who are at home. The part-time hours will allow them to spend time with their children while returning to the workforce and bring us a grateful and dedicated workforce. Many of them are smart, responsible, educated, and the only downside is that they have young children who have limited time in daycare and are often sick. Offering them a job, ideally part-time, is better for them, for their families and for society. I believe that it is better to involve them in society and allow them to have some income and at the same time get better mood. It is better to give them lower taxation than to increase their maternity assistance.

I’m happy and content at home. I’m happy and content at work. It’s all connected. We don’t have anyone in the company who’s getting divorced. We’re completely out of the statistics. Why, you ask? I don’t know, but I’m saying that if people are happy at work, that carries over to home. Or the other way around is that we pick people who are happy at home and so they carry that over to work.

Green minds and the environment

I’m not a green fanatic. I don’t approve of artificial steps like the Green deal because it would solve a lot of the market gradually. Any artificial intervention is simply artificial. Everyone should look at what is left behind and what impact their work has on the environment we live in. We have to deal with the environment. There is no doubt about it.

I don’t know what the environmental impact of any lithium mining in the Ore Mountains will be, but mining anything is always associated with many negative impacts. I do not believe that mining will be as pure as Czech crystal. Maybe it’ll never work. Then why are we all going to try and save energy and the environment if we are going to make trouble elsewhere.

The state can come up with all sorts of nonsensical subsidy projects to promote green nonsense, but it’s all artificial and what’s artificial won’t work. In the end, we will find that everything artificial in the economy is as harmful as artificial colours in food. It’s a hidden blight. Mix that with the green madness and we might be going somewhere to eat soon.

In the company we are green, very green, very sustainable, but not because of subsidies, because we don’t get them, but because we are looking for new, innovative and economical solutions. Very economical. We buy something, we make something up ourselves. That’s how we move forward. We are not doing this because of green fanaticism, but to be economical and to have some economic competitive advantage. Such pressure forces you to innovate and bring new solutions. Regulation and subsidies won’t make you do it. These, in turn, restrict efforts to innovate.

In the first datacentre we have air cooling from outside. It was a lot of thinking, but it was worth it. In the second datacentre, we have devised an oil bath to cool the servers and transfer the residual heat to the city swimming pool. It was a big investment for us, but we will save over 43% of energy. At today’s prices, this is again a competitive advantage. That’s how everyone should think. Everyone in the company, everyone in the state, and not build according to subsidies. Can’t people do the math and see that there is a big overhead associated with subsidies? Does no one see that when there are subsidy calls, that particular product always gets more expensive?

The environment is changing, we need to be prepared for climate change, but let’s face it, are subsidised electric cars, for example, the miracle cure-all…

Education

Let’s face it, our education system is quite a disgrace. Memoir. The ranking of universities clearly says something. In our country, education is based solely on money from the state budget. I don’t just mean whether to pay for studies or not, but especially the fact that all schools keep students just to get revenue from the state budget. Everything has turned to quantity at the expense of quality. Fields are being invented that nobody wants and graduates have no employment and do something completely different, but for every student there is state revenue…

That’s not how we become brainy. We’ll remain an assembly plant. It is not enough to simply reboot education, but it must undergo a more fundamental and much bolder change.

Innovation is the source of progress, not dull going to school. Fostering talent, a return to apprenticeships. Why does everyone have to have a high school diploma or even a college diploma, and having a teaching certificate is a disgrace? My head’s not in the right place.

Our education system needs to change. It’s not a question of money, it’s a question of mindset and a change of attitude. It must not be based on quantity, but on quality. It must not be just about memorization. I’m not going to write here about how I don’t like to see mobile phones in the company, and it should be just as clear in schools (of all grades). I don’t understand why no one has introduced it yet. In some companies there is a dress code. Not here, but after experience with my own children (3 daughters) I would introduce uniforms to schools across the board. It will take away so many problems. Just to name a few – makeup, bullying, designer clothes.

By the way, speaking of funding. For example, wouldn’t it be fair if everyone paid a little more in taxes for each year of college? Maybe just a tenth or two tenths of a percent. I may be bullshitting, having graduated for free, but I’m just reflecting and taking in the views from abroad.

We have some educational activities in the company, but I decided to take it further and give people more opportunities for training and courses and self-education. I confess that I may have looked at it the wrong way before. I now see as a clear vision that we need to enable people to grow, improve and learn. We give them that chance and they will pay us back by bringing more to the company. We need to change something here too.

I’m basically constantly educating myself. Whether I used to go to another school or take courses or maybe read a lot of educational materials.

People are not stupid

Don’t make fools of people, treat them straight. It’s all about communication. Communication is essential. People can tell that you say A, mean B and do C. There is always room for improvement in communication. Just as our government has problems communicating its goals and objectives, I still feel it is not ideal in the company.

People are willing to cut back. If you know you’re going to be worse off for a year, for example, but then you’re going to be better off, people will accept that. The worst thing is uncertainty. In the economy, in politics, at home, in business. Everywhere. People like certainty. Most people will accept less, but with more certainty and the prospect of a better future, than the other way around. If the state does not act straight, people will never understand the situation and will never accept the necessary changes.

The Prime Minister must win the majority to his side. He must also win over the opposition to his vision. It cannot be changed again at the next election. This is also true in the company.

I can’t imagine not explaining to people in the company what is ahead of us and how we have to go about it. I need to get people on my side. I don’t just have nodders here, I have people who have very different views, but we have to explain and I have to get them on my side. Without that, we will never get anywhere and move forward.

Anticipate, modernise (the state administration), reduce (taxes and) overhead (bureaucracy), simplify (not only tax) regulations and provide people (and businesses) with legal certainty. Deregulation, decentralisation.

If you want to move your company into the future, you need to have visions, plans and see several steps ahead. You need to work predictably (and legibly for others), you need to shift and modernise, you need to reduce red tape and inefficiencies. We need to deregulate, decentralise and have experts on advisory bodies. Practices. Not theorists or artificial intelligence.
I won’t go into it any further, because too much has been written.

Data

We must not lie to ourselves, we must not deceive ourselves. We have to have data. We have a lot of them. Everything has to be data-driven. That’s why we based our new cybersecurity service on data and the analysis of that data. That’s where the future is. If you have the data, it costs nothing. You “just” have to analyze them and know what you are looking for.

I see the future of our company in data analysis. This can make us more successful. We can better identify attackers and prevent further attacks (with our new service). With data, we can also sell better. There’s a road that leads this way.

Like us, the state has a huge amount of data, but it doesn’t know how to work with it. If they are not linked or used in context, it won’t go anywhere. Someone should think about that.

Strategic investments

It must be sown, then it can be harvested. You can’t have everything right away. You have to plough the field, then sow, then hoe, weed, water and finally you can harvest. If someone thinks that everything will be a magic wand, or that the roast pigeons will fall into the hu…, it only works in some fairy-tale economies, where the coffers are empty and the inhabitants are not surprised that they have to put their hand to work.

The Czech economy will soon rely on a fairy tale and on everything turning out well. I’ve been to Poland several times this year and have been amazed at where it is moving. I’ve been to Greece several times on business and talked to locals about how hard it was a few years ago. But the development of our economy is close to their scenario. Or is it?

We’re eating money, we’re consuming money. We’re discussing our future. Instead of making strong and decisive structural changes, we have made much bigger cuts in spending and instead invested in the future. In the company, we invest in the future. That’s the basis. When we start harvesting our fields, we can eat well. Not the other way around. You can’t eat seed and seedlings and not have something to sow and plant. Without it, you won’t grow anything. Maximum weeds and the country will be full of bolsheviks…

Without subsidies and redistribution…

I was sickened when I saw a politicians’ debate on TV a few days ago, when one of them claimed that we need to help companies with subsidies, regardless of the difference. The other, coincidentally the current minister, claimed that subsidies were needed for the unsuccessful companies to help them become successful ones. Both are bad. Subsidies are evil and should be used minimally. Maybe for some major infrastructure investments, but not across the board. I believe that subsidies do not belong in the business environment. It’s distorting the market. The bigger ones will become even bigger if we support the successful ones and escape the unsuccessful ones. Success does not motivate innovation and change. We are needlessly rescuing the unsuccessful because they should have left the market long ago. No one can talk me out of it, but I repeat that subsidies are evil.

All the projects are becoming more expensive because of the subsidies, the materials are becoming more expensive, several entities are feeding off of it and in the end it is not helping anyone and things and projects are being done that no one would normally do. The situation has gotten to the point where there are already subsidies to find the right subsidies and someone to process them correctly. This redistribution is wrong, inefficient and unsustainable in the long term.

I demand that the government cancel all subsidies, subsidy projects and calls. Whether it is subsidies for companies or some projects for households. Instead of working and working, people are waiting with their hands outstretched. It is sad that the nation has grown old and people have forgotten that they should ask for help at the furthest end of their arm. That’s where they should seek help.

I ask whether it makes sense for there to be companies or fields of “business” that are just a product of the subsidy economy and exist only because of subsidies? It spoils everything – the business environment, the labour market, the market in general.

Enough…

They are just making up more nonsense. For example, the changes to TV fees are just another form of taxation in disguise. Instead of making changes. Slimming down everywhere, less administration. Without subsidies, with the background of a quality state. Friendly authorities. They are here for us, because of us. Not us for them. Simplification of administration is the basis.

Easier permitting processes. All this has been talked about for years. I don’t know how many governments have that as their agenda, but bullshit, bullshit, bullshit. I’m sorry about the expression. I’ve been in business for about 31 years and I don’t recall ever dropping a duty anywhere. Correct me if I’m wrong. And the EU is mostly not to blame!

If we operated the same way in the company, we would have quit long ago. Things and processes need to be automated and simplified not only in the company but also in the state.

I’m not going to write here what I think about the government’s plans for us to become a centre for artificial intelligence. I don’t know how they came up with it, but they should have come up with it 20 years ago. Today we’re 20 years too late… In the current state of our country, we have no chance of catching up and we have other things to worry about anyway. Yes, we have a chance to become a centre for the regulation of artificial intelligence, which was also mentioned among the ideas. But do you notice that we are talking about regulation again? Regulation will get us nowhere, it will not move us forward. I wonder why no one understands.

Yes, artificial intelligence (as it is called in modern and marketing-savvy terms) is supposed to help us all. We will be efficient and move on (maybe) faster. Saves work. Maybe some professions will be more redundant. Everyone should learn to use such innovations. I’m already afraid that there will be subsidy and investment programs for this… I’m afraid that we will be redistributing billions, many billions, into projects that will have a nice presentation and in it will appear magical “AI”.

I’m not going to write here about how it’s pointless to deal with dozens of genders when we have more important things to deal with now…

I won’t repeat here why the abolition of the EET was bad and that nobody expected it from a right-wing government…

I’m not going to write here about the fact that this government had it in its programme that it would never raise taxes. And what do we have here? Just when the economic textbooks say the economy needs help, we stifle it. Instead of keeping taxes or lowering them (which is not needed) we will do a tax increase. Instead of senseless spending, we should save and spend less. It’s to be invested. What about us? We raise taxes, instead of investing, we eat everything. I’m looking for something positive about it. I’d say the timing was good. On Friday 13. It’s my favorite day because I was born on that day. Even with WEDOS, we’ve deliberately started selling services 13.

I’m not going to write a personal story here about how I was affected by the fact that the state expropriated our land for a fraction of the price we bought it for 15 years ago and for a fraction of the real price today…

I won’t even write stories with some of the unwilling officials and authorities, even recent ones. I would not like to “lump all authorities and officials together”. Some of the officials are really helpful and I often think that this is what the office for 21 should look like. century. I could name a few.

I am not going to write here that we want to move the company abroad. I’d be too personal. But I would like to point out that we are definitely not doing this for taxes, we chose a place where taxes are higher than in the Czech Republic. But we value certainty, continuity of development, and that is essential. You can build on such a foundation.

Restart is a necessity

We have heard many times that the Czech Republic needs a reboot. Yes, from an IT background it must be admitted that a reboot will help solve some ailments, but it is not a panacea. If you don’t make changes to the settings or configuration, you’ll have to reboot again tomorrow or in a month or a year. And then the restart must be done more and more often. That’s the problem..

Let’s address the cause. Let’s deal with less bureaucracy, fewer obstacles for companies, removal of subsidies, better infrastructure, better communication. Let’s address the added value. There is a need to focus on high value-added industries, and these are not the manufacturing and assembly plants that we are still building and supporting.

The economy needs to grow and grow efficiently. Let’s create an environment for the economy to grow, for companies to grow. Small and medium-sized enterprises drive the economy. Employees are an integral part of what keeps the economy (and therefore the state) afloat. That’s where the foundation is. If someone doesn’t realize that, they have no business being in government.

We also had to change our approach and direction in the company. We have changed from a hosting company over the last year to a website and email protection company. It was kind of our reboot. Quick and absolutely necessary. Otherwise, we’d be waiting to die. On the contrary, after our reboot, I see our future as rosy.

What the state will do, I don’t know. Probably still looking for the right “restart” button. Maybe it’s from how long we stare at a traffic light or drive around a roundabout. No one has the courage to say we’re finally going and where. It is a loss of courage for leaders. For others, it’s about laziness and convenience. That’s what’s eating us up. Society is still doing well, and we’ve become comfortable and we’ve become lazy…

That’s enough, because it doesn’t matter how many visions there are. What is important is what is implemented. There is no point in mincing words, what is important is the implementation. I repeat this very often in the company. But you need courage and diligence to do what you have to do.

I would like to say that no prime minister will catch up with all this by billboards or advertising on the Internet. It just spends the missing money from our common treasury. Instead of explaining the correct steps… A fine election campaign on the public purse. I get it, the election is coming up. Instead of advertising, action.

Unless the state changes something, it will be better to make an open-air museum here and invite an architect from Budějovice to draw some scenery and submit us to UNESCO.

Conclusion

The same sun shines on each of us. Each one of us has the same opportunity and it is up to each one of us to succeed and be happy. Let no one say it’s not true. I would also like to be successful in another field, but I know very well that I do not have the prerequisites for it, so I am doing a field that I understand quite well in 27 years, even though I never graduated. The effort, the effort…

This is not a political speech, but an explanation of what WEDOS’s vision is and how I think our state should define it.

I will not write another (already third) open letter to the Prime Minister or to the Czech government. I wanted them to have feedback and make changes and improvements. Otherwise, it’ll be worse. I won’t repeat myself. I hope the government will listen to the public and respond with changes. Otherwise, there is no help for those who have no advice… We need to focus on our business, our family and our lives in general. If you’ve read this far, you know that we want to become a European leader in cybersecurity, so we have a lot of work ahead of us.

Josef Grill
CEO and founder of WEDOS Internet, a.s.
Hluboká nad Vltavou on 28. October 2023

PS: I don’t want to promote the article, it’s a (long) personal summary that I got out of myself. It’s more to bring closure and peace to all of this, and at the same time to do my duty – to speak up. I want to focus on my family, my business, not politics. The government is not doing everything wrong, but it still does not guarantee that the situation will not get worse. Things may just be getting worse more slowly, but it’s still a change in the wrong direction. This is crucial. Unless something changes, we’re wasting our time.

PS number 2: Until today, I thought we had a Ministry of Defence and a Minister of Defence. After today, I have a feeling she’s a minister of attack or war. I wonder if I should start worrying…