Petr Šídlo

Chief Commercial Officer and Partner

I am a passionate innovator and visionary for paths and ways leading to growth, new revenue and market differentiation. I believe that healthy business and enterprise can make the world a better place. After years working as a consultant and Division Director for big IT and finance companies I made a U-turn and gained experience in startups and incubators. And in 2010, together with Michal Kalousek, I founded Direct People. Then we were the first innovation agency in the Czech Republic. Now we are a company that successfully delivered hundreds of projects focusing on innovation and product and services design. I am also a member of a committee and mentor for Social Impact Award, mentor of StartUpYard incubator and lecturer for European Leadership & Academic Institute.

My journey to Direct People

I studied IT and philosophy at the University of Economics in Prague. After graduation I worked in marketing, advertisement and media before entering the world of IT. I was looking for ways how technologies could help large corporations and businesses.

After that I switched to financial services – I led large business and IT projects in ČŠOB for 4 years. It was an important experience that taught me how corporations work. I realized that most of them are by default opposed to even marginal changes. The last three years before founding Direct People I worked as Head of Consulting and Banking in Cleverlance where I gained a lot of leadership experience as I was responsible for the overall sales results of the company.

Gradually I came to understand that if I do not start with the customer, the real service or product recipient, I will never have good results. Thanks to Michal Kalousek I discovered IDEO and everything started to make perfect sense. After spending a few weeks at Silicon Valley, learning how big startups and incubators work, it became obvious to me that innovation is a craft in itself – a new business. That is why we founded Direct People in 2010 as the first innovation agency in the Czech Republic.

My vision is that at Direct People we will one day create only our own, independent and functional things. Be it in synergy with big businesses, on our own or with investment partners. Evidence that my vision is not “just a hallucination”? Our first solo project was valued at 16 million CZK in just eight months from its launch. And more projects are coming.

Few words about me

I do everything with dedication. When I am working on a project I always do my best to understand people and their needs and problems. I build my solutions on deep empathy and on connecting seemingly unlinked disciplines and fields. That is why my ideas often change the stereotypes.

I was behind many big concepts and changes that took place at Direct People. My problem is not the lack of ideas but rather the ability to make a decision and let some of those ideas go.

I have a lot of hobbies as well. I used to dance and for a while I even owned and ran a small dance school focusing on modern dance. I also did Martial Arts, historical fencing and paintball. I enjoy riding my motorbike and in recent years also kiting, wakesurfing, yoga and power training. I read a lot of books, but my biggest hobby is girls. My two daughters who I try to spend most of my time with.

Are you interested in what we do?