Michal Kalousek

Chief Executive Officer and Partner

Creating and starting off the new ideas is my mission. I founded Direct People together with Petr Šídlo in 2010 as the first innovation agency in the Czech Republic. Since then I have worked on more than 60 projects, being responsible for product results and their performance on the market. I have also co-founded and invested in a few startups – some of them successful, some of them less so. I am not the one to enjoy managing and implementing others’ ideas so I am behind most of the things I do from the very beginning. If you have an idea and you would like to check its business potential, give me a call.

My journey to Direct People

I studied functional design at the University of West Bohemia, and during my studies I spent almost two years in the USA. There I got extremely excited for IDEO company, and I wished to work for them. However, I had to return to the Czech Republic, and so this dream could not become a reality. Nevertheless, an idea was born to set up my own innovation agency. After finishing my degree, l gained my first work experience at the IT company Cleverlance, where over the course of six years I worked my way up to become the Head of Testing.

After that I worked as a freelancer and this period ended when Petr Šídlo and I founded Direct People. From the beginning we knew that we did not want to be like IDEO. We wanted to find our own path. It was nevertheless a great source of inspiration.

Projects I have enjoyed

Over the course of my career I have worked on many projects, so it is difficult to pick the most interesting one. I gained immense experience on a few projects relating to mortgages for Česká spořitelna. Another favourite of mine is LMC. As a result of the cooperation with LMC, we developed a very successful app Práce za rohem (Work around the Corner). In just eight months from its launch it became the most downloaded jobs app.

A few words about me

I have a huge inner motivation, and I always finish what I start. Results are the most important indicator for me – not hours spent working or the amount of powerpoint presentations. I am not done until I see results. My great advantage lies in the fact that I have a good intuition and I can quickly recognize what is and what is not important, what will work and what will not. In both myself and others I respect courage, willingness to take risks and last but not least creativity. Because without creativity there is no innovation.

Outside of work I live mainly for my family. I have three kids. We enjoy travelling and we love the sea. In the past I have spent a lot of time at sea, and my motto is the sea is my land. I have also always played sport, which is something that stayed with me. I did athletics, boxing, golf and now I enjoy power training. Recently I am testing the limits of my body, but so far the body is winning 🙂

Are you interested in what we do?