• The Internet is becoming the town square for the global village of tomorrow
    Bill Gates

    Welcome

    Ivaylo Piskov

    That's me

    Hello and thank you for stopping by! My name is Ivaylo Piskov, a.k.a. Ivo, and this is my website.

    I have always believed that a website is a valuable thing to have. Online presence is important, otherwise sites like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter would not exist. A personal website is different than the social networking platforms though - it shares information in a very unobtrusive way.

    Piskov.net was initially created back in 1998 when Netscape Navigator ruled the young Internet. When the website went online for the first time it had a single link to my email address on a mostly empty page. Those days are long gone now, many things have changed and the Internet is not what it was then, it's not even what it was 6 months ago. Piskov.net also evolved with it. At one point the website was served as an online platform for collaboration, information, resources and solutions to support all projects that I was involved in. However, many of those projects spun off in their own little (and large) ecosystems and piskov.net is now back to just being my personal website.

    So go ahead, give it a browse, check out my short bio, see some of the projects I'm involved in, view my portfolio, and, of course, feel free to let me know if you have any questions.

  • A genius! For 37 years I’ve practiced fourteen hours a day, and now they call me a genius!
    Pablo Sarasate (Spanish Violinist)

    Portfolio

    Here's a list of a few areas of expertise and professional involvements presented as a word cloud.

    Here's the same list in no particular order:
    Trading Systems and Platforms, GUI, SDLC, Web Development, SOA, Career Development, Software Development, Product Management, Agile Project Management, Scrum, People Management, IT Management, Communication Skills, Offshore Teams Management, Software Design, Leadership, Technology,IT Management,Project Management for Technologists,Agile Software Development,Scrum Essentials,User Experience,Software Development Life Cycle,Strategy,Innovation and Creativity,Performance Measurement,Strategic Thinking,Strategy Execution,Innovation,Change Management,Innovation and Creativity,Innovation Implementation,Strategic Thinking,Change,Change Management,Crisis Management,Dismissing an Employee,Innovation Implementation,Laying Off Employees,Process Improvement,Strategy Execution,Business Essentials,Budgeting Essentials,Business Case Development,Business Plan Development,Customer Focus,Decision Making,Managing Diversity,Finance Essentials,Managing Upward,Marketing Essentials,Process Improvement,Project Management,Time Management,Marketing,Customer Focus,Marketing Essentials,Finance,Budgeting Essentials,Business Case Development,Business Plan Development,Finance Essentials,Performance Measurement,Communications,Difficult Interactions,Meeting Management,Negotiating Skills,Persuading Others,Presentation Skills,The Power Of Talk,Presence and Impact,Conflict Resolution,Writing Skills,Business Writing and Voicemail,Building Cultural Awareness,Teams,Innovation and Creativity,Team Leadership,Team Management,Virtual Teams,Workplace Efficiency,Getting Things Done,Managed Email and Zero Inbox,Gaining Efficiency through E-mail,Time Management,Mastering Workflow,Delegating,Workplace Issues,Difficult Interactions,Dismissing an Employee,Managing Diversity,Interviewing Skills,Hiring,Laying Off Employees,Retaining Employees,Leadership,Self Leader,Experienced Leader,Strategic Influencer,Subtle and Significant,Change Management,Crisis Management,Innovation and Creativity,Innovation Implementation,Leading and Motivating,Persuading Others,Strategic Thinking,Strategy Execution,Team Leadership,Personal Development,Career Management,Managing Upward,New Manager Transitions,Stress Management,Time Management,Performance Management,Coaching,Delegating,Developing Employees,Feedback Essentials,Goal Setting,Leading and Motivating,Performance Appraisal,Budgeting Essentials,Business Case Development,Business Plan Development,Change Management,Coaching,Crisis Management,Customer Focus,Decision Making,Delegating,Developing Employees,Difficult Interactions,Diversity,eCommerce Essentials,Feedback Essentials,Finance Essentials,Goal Setting,Hiring,Innovation and Creativity,Innovation Implementation,IT Management,Marketing Essentials,Meeting Management,Negotiating,Performance Measurement,Persuading Others,Presentation Skills,Process Improvement,Project Management,Scrum Essentials,SEO and Online Marketing,Software Development,Software Development Life Cycle,Strategic Thinking,Strategy Execution,Stress Management,Team Leadership,Team Management,Time Management,User Experience Essentials,Virtual Team

    Remember that this is just a sample list. My set of skills is dynamic and constantly evolves. So for the latest info it's probably best to just contact me.

  • It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit
    Harry Truman

    Interests & Involvements

    This is a short list of things that I am passionate about in no particular order. Click any of the following links to jump to a topic or just scroll below.

    Mentoring and Coaching, Entrepreneurship, Startups, Business Development, Culinary and Bulgarian Cuisine, Yogurt, Bulgaria, My School, Web and the Internet, GUI & UX, Email Efficiency, Scotch, Trading platforms, Career Development, Leadership & Education, MENSA

    Mentoring and Coaching

    I had always spent a big chunk of my time formally and informally mentoring and coaching individuals and companies. I am one of the principle contributors to the global advisory company Mentor Coach Partners. MCP is built on a network of experts and provides skill development solutions, skill coaching sessions, talks and workshops. Our workshops and sessions address a wide range of topics and are tailored to fit the needs of a wide range of groups too (students, entrepreneurs and businessmen). Topics include career management, time management, decision making, persuading people, strategic thinking, negotiating, motivating, goal setting, giving efficient feedback, global collaboration (i.e. doing business in), managing your manager, retaining employees and many more in core areas like Technology, Strategy, Innovation, Change, Business Essentials, Marketing, Finance, Communications, Teams, Workplace Efficiency, Workplace Issues, Leadership, Personal Development, Performance Management, E-Business, etc.

    Entrepreneurship, Startups, Business Development

    I am heavily involved with activities in the domains of fostering entrepreneurship, angel investing, business accelerating, startup development, innovation, etc. I often get invited to judge competitions, provide coaching to startups and SMEs, lecture at events, advise on various related topics and more. I like doing this and will not trade the experience for anything else. I've always said that you never know where the next big thing will come from and there is nothing more thrilling to be around and see when it happens. I was fortunate to be around, be involved and experience firsthand when things, which are now taken for granted, actually came into being - Facebook, Google Analytics, bitly, etc.

    Culinary and, especially, Bulgarian Cuisine

    Bulgarian cuisine is not your ordinary cuisine. Bulgarian food is unique. Gourmets all over the world have been attracted for ages by the culinary temptations that Bulgaria offers. Cooking traditions in Bulgaria are centuries old. They have been kept alive by passing the unique Bulgarian recipes from parents to children and grandchildren. I can go on and on forever... Bulgarian food is my passion. I love to cook and I especially love to prepare traditional Bulgarian dishes. I am considered the single best expert on Bulgarian cuisine on the Western world. I love spreading the goodness of Bulgarian food and that's why published several Bulgarian cookbooks. To find out more about Bulgarian cuisine, visit Find BG Food.

    Yogurt

    Bulgarian yogurt is one of the things that make Bulgarians proud to call themselves Bulgarians. It is their exclusive invention and heritage that dates back many centuries. A mildly sour-tasting yogurt, called natively 'kiselo mlyako', it is undoubtedly the best and the healthiest of all dairy products that are available to consumers nowadays. And this is all due to the unique qualities of a single bacteria called Lactobacillus Bulgaricus. To find out more about it and to learn how to make your own Bulgarian yogurt, visit bacillusbulgaricus.com

    Bulgaria

    Bulgarians have always been lighthearted people and that had helped them survive through several lengthy yokes. We have learned to face life and death with a smile on our faces and this way we are able to always get the best out of life. And if we can't - then we just laugh about it. A few statistics show that Bulgarians are Europe's unhappiest people, but try asking us how we feel, and we'll tell you that we feel great! Then we will invite you home to a rakia with shopska salad. If you don't want to take my word, see for yourselves at onlyinbulgaria.com.

    My School - ELS Plovdiv

    The English Language School Plovdiv is where I spent some of the best years in my life. The school is iconic in Bulgaria and I was lucky enough to get in. My time there was a defining part of my life. I made some of my best friends there and I learnt some valuable lessons too. I have always tried to stay close to the school and the people there and in an effort to do so, I helped establish PELSA, its alumni association. We initially built PELSA with the goals to support ELS Plovdiv, its students, faculty, and programs. Soon after its creation though its huge success and rapid expansion into a global organization needed us to take a broader approach in order to facilitate and encourage participation by all alumni in the worldwide ELS Plovdiv community. PELSA currently spans more than 30 clubs located in more than 15 countries. If you are interested in finding more about it, or if you are an alumnus who wants to join us, please visit PELSA website.

    Web and the Internet

    I've worked with the Internet since the week it was created. There is hardly a technology out there that uses the internet that I haven't touched. However my passion is building dynamic web applications, frontend to backend. I love doing this and I am very good at it. I don't think of it as work, I consider it a hobby. The exceptional quality of my work is widely recognized by the people I've worked with. If you want to find out more about this, please feel free to browse my portfolio page.

    GUI & UX

    I am involved in many UX and UI design workgroups and committees, the reason for which being my deep understanding of user experience concepts, best practices and real world applications. I able to spot the flows in existing UIs and to suggest and implement improvements that save time and frustration. My GUI skills are also on a very high level, which simply means that I can see what looks good and what does not look so good.

    Email Efficiency

    We spend awful lot time in front of email every day. Most of it reading messages that other people thought we need to reed. This needs to change. I only want to read email that I think it's important for me to read. That's how Email On Demand came to life. EOD is a revolutionary way to communicate via email. I can't share much here as we are still in the development stage in this proprietary way of communicating but if you want in on the action, do not hesitate to drop me a line.

    Scotch

    I am a vivid whisky enthusiast. I have a very nice collection of various single malts and blends, the only problem with which is that it constantly shrinks in volume. I am a relatively constant fixture on the whisky scene in New York, London, Islay, Luxembourg and any other place within easy reach. My favorite places, which I highly recommend you visit, are the Brandy Library in Tribeca, New York, the Boisdale in London (the one closer to Chelsea), and the entire island of Islay, Scotland. Favorite dram - yet to be discovered but I have a special place in my heart for Caol Isla rare auld editions.

    Trading platforms

    I have a vast experience in building trading platforms. For the past so many years I've been heavily involved in building up proprietary trading software from the ground up in more than one area - securities, fixed income, investment management, etc. The experience includes all stages of the SDLC - from getting business requirements to creating front to back end systems to ensuring continuous global support.

    Career development, Leadership & Education

    Future leaders are shaped up today so why not take part of it? I know it's the thought that counts but I think it's the action that counts even more. I do a lot of career development work, leadership training, recruitment, university admissions work, interviewing, coaching, etc. I have also lectured various groups on a range of topics, including choosing the right college, career development, efficient time management, using MS Outlook to increase efficiency, etc. Let me know if you want to arrange a lecture with your team or group.

    MENSA

    I've been a MENSA member since a very early age. Mensa is the largest and oldest high IQ society in the world. It is a non-profit organization open to people who score at the 98th percentile or higher on a standardized, supervised IQ or other approved intelligence test. My IQ score was 168.

  • Thought is useful when it motivates for action, and a hindrance when it substitutes for action
    Bill Raeder

    Contact Info

    Simply use the form on the right to send me an email. That's always the best way to get in touch with me.

    Get in Touch

    Thank you for your interest!
    Although the best way to contact me might be through LinkedIn or Facebook you can also use this online form to send me your comments and feedback.

    Thank you for your message!
    I will be in touch soon.


  • Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere
    Albert Einstein

    Privacy Policy

    Terms of Use

    By using piskov.net ("this Website"), you agree to all terms below. If you do not agree with these terms, do not use piskov.net. You agree that piskov.net may modify these Terms of Use at any time and you agree to be bound by all changes that piskov.net may reasonably make hereto.

    1. Definitions

    "You" refers to you as a user of piskov.net, any party authorized to act on your behalf, your company, partner, or any party you are representing or acting on behalf of, on piskov.net.

    2. Representations

    You represent that you are at least 18 years old and have provided and will continue to provide accurate and correct information to piskov.net. You represent that you have full authority to enter into this agreement and perform its terms. You warrant that each action you make is being done so in good faith and that you have no knowledge of it infringing upon or conflicting with the legal rights of any third parties.

    3. Venue and Choice of Law

    This agreement is subject to the laws of the State of New York, USA. You agree to waive questions of jurisdiction and all disputes brought by you in the courts of New York, NY, USA. Prior to resorting to litigation, you agree to attempt to resolve any dispute by binding arbitration in accordance with the laws of the State of New York, USA. The place of arbitration shall be New York, NY, USA. The language of the arbitration shall be English.

    4. Piskov.net Content

    Although Piskov.net strives to update and keep accurate as much as possible the content contained on this Website, errors and/or omissions may occur. The content contained in Piskov.net or which may be downloaded from Piskov.net is provided "as is" and "as available". As such, Piskov.net makes no warranty or representation regarding the quality, accuracy or completeness of such content and expressly disclaims liability for errors and/or omissions in said content. Piskov.net may fix and correct typographical and unintentional errors at any time. If you have any concerns with the content on Piskov.net, please contact us.

    5. Communication with Piskov.net

    All messages, responses, and other communication between you and Piskov.net, including but not limited to e-mails, voicemails, and webpages are confidential and/or subject to copyrights. You agree to take all reasonable steps to protect this confidential information and shall not copy, distribute, share, or make public, any information from Piskov.net without prior written permission from Piskov.net.

    6. Limitation of Liability

    Piskov.net shall not be liable under any circumstances to you or any other person for indirect, incidental, consequential, special, exemplary or punitive damages, including loss of profit or goodwill, for any matter, whether such liability is asserted on the basis of contract, tort (including but not limited to negligence), breach of warranties, either expressed or implied. In the event that any state/province/country does not permit this broad exclusion or limitation on liability for damages as contained herein, or if the broad exclusion is invalidated in whole or in part for any reason, Piskov.net's liability is limited to the full extent that is permitted by law. You agree that in no event shall Piskov.net's maximum aggregate liability exceed one hundred Canadian dollars ($100 CAD).

    7. Indemnification

    You agree to defend, indemnify and hold harmless Piskov.net and its owners, operators, parents, subsidiaries, successors, assigns, attorneys, contractors, agents, employees, officers, directors, shareholders, and affiliates from any loss, liability, damages or expense, including reasonable legal fees, resulting from any third party claim, action, proceeding or demand related to your use (including your agents, affiliates, or anyone acting on your behalf) of Piskov.net.

    8. Force Majeure

    Piskov.net is not liable for failure to perform its obligations if such failure is as a result of Acts of God (including fire, flood, earthquake, storm, hurricane or other natural disaster), war, invasion, act of foreign enemies, hostilities (regardless of whether war is declared), civil war, rebellion, revolution, insurrection, military or usurped power or confiscation, terrorist activities, nationalisation, government sanction, blockage, embargo, labor dispute, strike, lockout or interruption or failure of electricity, internet or telephone service.

    9. Severability

    If any provision of this agreement shall be held to be invalid, illegal, or unenforceable, the validity, legality, and enforceability of the remaining provisions of this agreement shall not in any way be affected or impaired thereby. Piskov.net will amend or replace such provision with one that is valid and enforceable and which achieves, to the extent possible, the original objectives and intent of Piskov.net as reflected in the original provision.

    10. Binding Effect

    This agreement is binding on you, your heirs, successors and assigns, partners, agents, parent corporations, subsidiaries, affiliates, employees.

    11. Privacy Policy

    You agree to our privacy policy, outlined below.

    Piskov.net ("We"/"this Website") collects and maintains certain information (including e-mail addresses, names, mailing address, phone numbers, IP addresses, browser information, etc.) on its websites and forms. We use your personal information to deliver our online products and services to you.

    We are dedicated to protecting personal information and will make reasonable effort to handle collected information appropriately. We do not sell or rent any of your personal information to third parties. However, there may be times when we may be required to disclose your personal information without your express consent; for example, when required to do so by law.

    We use data collection devices such as "cookies" on certain pages of this Website. "Cookies" are small files placed on your hard drive that assist us in providing our services. We may offer certain features that are only available through the use of a "cookie". Personally identifiable information you have submitted while on this Website is linked with information gathered from our use of cookies in the form of log files. You are always free to decline our cookies if your browser permits, although in that case you may not be able to use certain features on this Website and you may be required to re-enter your password or provide other information more frequently during a session.

    We reserve the right to make changes to this Privacy Policy at any time by posting the amended terms on this Website, so please check it frequently. If we make material changes to this Policy, all amended terms shall automatically be effective 30 days after they are initially posted on this Website. By using this Website, you signify your assent to the terms and conditions contained herein (as amended from time to time). If you do not agree to be bound by our Privacy Policy, please do not use this Website.

    If you are under the age of 18, you may only use this Website in conjunction with and under the supervision of your parents or guardians, and with express permission from Piskov.net. We ask that children do not submit any personal information. If you have any questions about our Privacy Policy, please contact us.

  • Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school
    Albert Einstein

    Short Bio

    I was born on January 1st in the town of Plovdiv, Bulgaria. The year is intentionally omitted - I think wisdom comes with experience, not with age. I was raised by my grandparents, Ivanka and Stoyu, in the town of Kazanlak, a beautiful town situated in the middle of the World famous Valley of Roses, full with history and strong traditions. It is my grandparents to whom I owe most of the personal values that I hold today - they taught me to be inquisitive, hardworking, competitive and loyal.

    In my teen years I moved to the town of Plovdiv to live with my parents. There I studied in one of the most prestigious and certainly the most iconic Bulgarian school, the Plovdiv English Language School. During the 5 unforgettable years there I met some of my best friends and had some of the most incredible and unforgettable moments in my life.

    After the ELS, I enrolled at the University of National and World Economy, Sofia, where I got my Masters degree in Economics. Again, studying there was a wonderful experience but what was more education was the placed I lived during my university years. Known as Students Town (Студентски град), this medley of a campus has provided me (and everyone there) with more educational experiences than attending several universities. I believe that there is no other place in the world which can prepare you for the real life better than Students Town. To really understand what I mean though you have to experience it yourself. There, I met the most important person in my life - my wife Alexandra.

    Another five years down the road, feeling a lot wiser, I moved to the US to study Computer Science at Brown University. Needless to say the opportunity to attend an Ivy League University was incredible. Brown is known as one of the most liberal schools in the US and has been voted the school with the happiest students on more than one occasion. I treasured every moment spent there and I can frankly say that one of my best memories are from my years at Brown.

    The time spent at Brown U quickly flew away and before I knew it, I found myself living in New York and working for one of the top banks on Wall Street - Goldman Sachs. The job with GS turned out to be very rewarding in any sense of the word. A company of more than 30k people is an interesting place to work. I quickly gained a ton of experience - technical, business, personal and much more. I started as an Analyst and quickly moved up the company ladder to Executive Director.

    It is always difficult to leave the place you've called home for 12 years, so when time came to leave NY and move to London, I wasn't, to say, ecstatic. But then the happiest moment of my life happened - the arrival of our daughter, Emma. We love and treasure every moment with her however gratifying or difficult it is.

    The story doesn't end here; it just waits to be finished at a later point. Some time when daddy has a bit of free time and more importantly when he manages to get his laptop back from the little hands of a very technology-oriented Emma.