Piotr Szlichtyng

The future president or prime minister – time will tell. The youngest member of the INFORMATION DESIRED team, and the fastest climber at the same time. He’s rising at breakneck speed. And everything started with an accidental meeting in an Uber on the road to Otwock...

- I always tried to earn my own way, even during college, which is why I started driving an Uber. One day, Tom Kuzak got into my car. In his style, with a smile on his face, he immediately struck up a conversation: “Hey! What's up? How are you doing?...”. And since we had a long route, because we were driving from downtown Warsaw to Otwock, and through traffic jams to boot, we had a lot of time to talk – Peter reminisces.

- Tom asked what I was doing, so I said that I drive an Uber, employ other drivers as well, and that I simultaneously study marketing and management at the Warsaw School of Economics – Peter continues.

That was an excellent start of the acquaintance. Tom told Peter about INFORMATION DESIRED, about how he wants to change the online marketing industry. Sparks flew.

- He blew my mind a little, overturning many stereotypes about marketing, and I liked it very much. I’m not going to hide the fact that I thought this was an opportunity to put my best foot forward and find myself a new, fascinating job – he admits with a smile.

It worked. At the end of the ride, Tom asked Peter whether he has a bit of free time and if he would like to collaborate with INFORMATION DESIRED. Maybe as a Partner at the beginning... He took Peter’s phone number and said he’d be in touch.

It was June 2018. A month passed, and Peter began to lose hope. But suddenly, Tom calls.

- I slowly got settled in. The INFORMATION DESIRED team trained me to be a Partner ID, and I began writing articles for Investees’ websites – Peter says. But it was clear from the start that Peter has a talent for management, for business.

- It was essentially home office work, so I don’t even know how it happened that Tom Kuzak and I began meeting one another more frequently and talking about the company and about how INFORMATION DESIRED works. Not much later, I started to get regular invitations to the company’s weekly meetings, and gradually, step by step, I turned out I was in the core team - he recounts.

His openness, listening and conversation skills, as well as analytical abilities and business sense quickly made him irreplaceable in relations with our Partners. We don’t even know when it happened...

All of Peter’s business ventures

Peter always had an eye for business. He comes from Lublin. He grew his first business at a summer camp in elementary school.

– I was eight, nine, maybe eleven years old? I don’t remember. I remember that the EUFA European Championship was on at the time. I organized these giant bets, kept the books, and we bet on the result. Kids were coming to my room, where we watched the matches, because I was able to get ahold of a television set. Business was blooming – Peter reminisces.

- In the end, the camp’s caretakers learned about everything and shut me down just before the finals. But in any case, I came back from summer camp with a larger sum of cash than I had received from my parents to pay for expenses, despite the fact that I bought myself whatever I wanted – he admits with unconcealed pride.

Then, in senior year of high school, Peter and a friend of his started another business, a bit accidentally. - Just for fun, I was counting down the days until final exams on Facebook, choosing a different song every day. A lot of people liked it, so my friend and I thought that we could take advantage of this somehow. So, as a joke, we made a separate FB account: “I don’t drink, because of exams”, and it turned out we were getting more and more fans. We had several thousand followers and began promoting it, making special stickers with the slogan. It was great fun, but it spun off into a pretty decent business. People from all over Poland bought these stickers from us, then sent us photos with them. At one point in time, all of Lublin was plastered over with these stickers. We started making T-shirts, even organized several parties in clubs under the motto “I don’t drink, because exams” – says Peter.

They didn’t become millionaires, but they could do anything they wanted without taking money from their parents, so they were doing quite well.

Then came time for college. And for a new business: Go Coffee! It was a gastronomical bike, but that idea wasn’t as easy to pull off. It took nearly a year to get all of the required permits.

Then Peter started driving an Uber. First, he latched on to a partner, who was recommended to him by a friend. He drove around for 3-4 months, checked out how it works, and quickly came to the conclusion that he doesn’t need to be driving alone, but rather, can become a partner who employs other drivers.

On vacation, he went to France to make some money picking grapes and apricots. In addition, his father became his sponsor, so he bought two cars and hired two people. He himself only drove from time to time, for pleasure. And it’s a good thing too, because otherwise, he wouldn’t have met Tom Kuzak.

The eternal student

“During which year of college did you begin driving an Uber?” – someone once asked. Peter just laughed slightly diabolically. Here’s how it was: - Generally, I should just finish college already. Actually, when I started to drive an Uber, I wasn’t a student at all, because I took a year off after three years, but I hadn’t written my bachelor’s thesis yet. Then I came back to college to get the degree, but I somehow went off track again due to my professional responsibilities at INFORMATION DESIRED – Peter confesses.

Those studies of his are quite a complicated affair. 3 years at the Warsaw School of Economics, 1 year at Collegium Civitas, where he studied sociology in order to learn about marketing from both sides – from a business perspective at the Warsaw School of Economics, and marketing, advertising and new media from a sociological perspective at CV.

There must have been a big fight over his choice of marketing in his family. – My parents and grandparents, on both sides, are doctors, so are my aunts and uncles. In my family, everyone is a doctor. One grandmother wasn’t, but she was a nurse. When my parents learned I didn’t intend to go to medical school, they went ballistic. Well, maybe not Dad, but definitely Mom. In the end, they both accepted that, since I was already breaking with the family tradition, the only tolerable university is the Warsaw School of Economics – Peter recounts.

- Then I realized that they cared more about this school than about me. And maybe that’s why I’m still lacking the determination to finish college, and my professional work constantly holds a higher priority for me. So things turn out as they do – he adds.

The future president?

Who did you want to be when you were a child? – The President. Or Prime Minister – he replies without thinking. – Something always drew me toward politics, and it’s still there in my head, so maybe someday... - he adds.

But he insists that it’s not because he likes being in charge. – I just like to have an influence on reality, the ability to change it, rather than ruling over anyone – Peter explains.

And we at INFORMATION DESIRED are quietly crossing our fingers in the hope that he leaves politics alone and changes the world together with us instead of going to Parliament, or worse, to the Presidential Palace. Just don’t tell him we won’t be voting for him if he runs for president!