In 2014, Dominik Pinter did some self-reflection and wrote down his vision for his future: He wanted to either start a company or be in a C-suite position by the time he turned 35. Impressively, that’s exactly what happened. Pinter, now 36, became CEO of Kentico over a year ago in 2022.
Pinter’s journey at Kentico began in 2007, when he was still a student. He applied to a part-time quality assurance role, and from there, his career only grew. He eventually became a technical leader and later a product manager.
His ambitions grew and he left Kentico in 2015 to join a hospitality technology startup. From there, he joined an enterprise-level software company as the leader of a product team. It was here that Pinter realized he missed working at smaller companies and startups, where people have the opportunity to make a bigger impact. This realization led him back to Kentico in 2020, where he joined as the vice president of product management.
“When I came back in 2020, I had a chance to finally realize my vision of where the product should go,” Pinter said.
By July 2022, Pinter was the CEO. How his career journey arrived to such a great height in a short period of time is a fascinating story — and informs a lot about the future direction of Kentico as a company.
Inside Pinter’s Ambitions
From QA to CEO sounds like an unbelievable leap, but Pinter attributes his success to his determination, willingness to learn and technical talent. He began coding in third grade and loved learning various coding languages over the years. He has a visceral thirst for knowledge and aims to learn at least one new thing every day — advice he took from his mother.
Pinter likes working at smaller organizations for many reasons. He loves the feeling of accomplishment that he’s made a real difference, and he loves the fast pace of leading a small company. “I need to learn something new every day,” he said. “This opportunity to be a CEO of a fast-growing company — you’re really learning a lot every day.”
His technical knowledge has helped him a lot as a CEO and helps inform his decision-making as a leader. Even as someone on top of the ladder, he makes sure to educate himself on the latest technical trends through industry publications, conferences, networking and more. As he learns more about the business-side of being a CEO, he appreciates the guidance and advice of other executives, like Kentico’s new Chief Revenue Officer Bill Cunningham.
Pinter values psychological hygiene, which he gains through hobbies such as mountain biking and running. He’s an avid runner who just ran his first marathon this year in Prague. He says it’s important to not work all the time, to go outside and to let your mind be free. Pinter is also extremely disciplined, as he shows through the care he puts into his work, his favorite hobby and, most importantly, parenting his two children, ages 7 and 10.
Pinter’s Professional Influences
Many people have inspired Pinter as a leader. To this day, he remembers the advice from a Kentico VP of product as the best leadership advice he’s ever received. When you lead a team, it’s all about the people and making them the best at their job. “It’s not about yourself as a leader,” he said. He also told Pinter,“there’s only one priority number one. The key to success is that you focus on that.” To this day, Pinter takes this advice to heart and places extreme importance on focusing and prioritizing. Once he finishes priority number one, he can move on to the next priority number one.
He’s also been inspired by popular titans in the software industry like Bill Gates and Marc Benioff. Less traditionally, he remembers being inspired by a certain tech whiz at a young age — Kevin Mitnick, the 15-year old hacker who infiltrated NASA in 1999. Pinter clarifies that he was not inspired to hack, but what he was inspired to do was learn more deeply about technology and how much you can do with it. If a teenager in the 1990s could make such a splash with these skills, what could he do as a software executive inspired to do good and make a difference?
Brno’s Exciting Tech Environment
Pinter is extremely excited about the tech community in the Czech Republic, which he says is just the right environment in which to build up Kentico further. The company is based in the city of Brno, which happens to also be a city with many technical universities that offer free, quality education. Because of its proximity to these universities with budding tech talent, Pinter refers to Brno as “the Silicon Valley of the Czech Republic.” Kentico even partners with universities through the Kentico Academy, a program in which [they] teach their own classes at a local university. Many of these students ultimately choose to work at Kentico later.
Pinter also stressed the global reach that the Czech tech community has beyond its border.
“What’s really unique about Brno is you have multiple companies that do global business — like us, our major market is here in the U.S. — but these companies are based in the Czech Republic. So people in the Czech Republic have good chances and opportunities to do global business at a global scale,” Pinter said.
Pinter’s Vision of Kentico’s Future
When Pinter rejoined Kentico in 2020, what we now know as the Xperience by Kentico platform began to take shape. The platform was officially launched in 2022, and now many of the company’s clients have upgraded to the new platform.
“The product is built for companies like ourselves,” Pinter said. “We compete with much larger companies, and we are able to challenge them. We want clients in a similar situation: The companies who are not the biggest companies in the world, but they’re the ones who can challenge their industry’s much larger competitors.”
Pinter is proud of the platform and the direction it is taking Kentico in for many reasons. Kentico’s ultimate goal is reducing complexity, and Pinter has sought to build a product that solves a real-world problem rather than building something just to have the newest, trendiest platform.
“When you look at all these buzzwords and all these different technologies and tools, for the clients, this is complex, confusing [and] expensive,” he said. “And they are now in the situation where they have more tools but they achieve less results. And that’s wrong.”
Organizations should think critically if they actually need to adopt the hottest new trend to solve the challenges they have. “What problem are you trying to solve?” Pinter said. “For me it’s not about producing more features, it’s about solving the issue.”
As Xperience by Kentico continues to grow in usage, Pinter is confident that the platform will do just that: Solve the issues that truly need solving.