The Humans of smrtPhone

Our “smrtie of the Month” is our jack-of-all-trades, always willing to jump in and lend a hand inside the marketing team and beyond – Catalin Lungu!


Catalin Lungu

Title / Role in the Company

My title is Market Research and I also do some project management for the marketing team. My main focus is to research competition in our market, opportunities in new markets, and any other type of info we need to make decisions and build strategies. 

How long have you worked for smrtPhone?

I just counted it up and it’s officially been 1 year and three months in this role. But I have been working on projects with different team members for a long time. Even at the early beginnings of [our sister company] Swiftpod, I was working with Vlad and Alex on things like building dashboards, the flows platform, and email marketing for Podio. It was my task to find someone who could do copywriting, and I discovered Mihaela’s advertisement and brought her in. Back then it was on and off, and project based. And then I was gone for a while. Now I’m back, full time here at smrtPhone.

What’s your background? 

I studied international economic relations at the Romanian-American University in Bucharest, which is a broad university where they teach a lot of disciplines. It was a natural step after the theoretical high school I completed that was focused on math and physics. It seemed like I would be taking it from theoretical to practical world application, but it was a bit disappointing to me. It felt a little old fashioned and not dynamic enough. But, I did really like my marketing professor. 

After I graduated, I worked with different small software companies. And I worked on my personal small businesses. I had an online clubbing magazine. I did events promotion and other things like that.

It all happened organically. I was the resident DJ in a club. I stayed there for a year or two and I made a lot of friends and developed contacts from people who knew me there. With the people I knew, we launched an online magazine that was all about the Romanian nightlife. We would take pictures of events, clubs, and concerts and the next day attendees would search to find pictures of themselves. We developed good relationships with the venues and event planners and eventually that business grew into events production. 

Catalin Lungu, market researcher for smrtPhone, smiling.

What was your first job? 

Before I was a DJ, in my first year of college, I worked for a company that was technology based but it wasn’t software, it was more like selling stuff for printers. They wanted to get into the internet business and opened a division selling dial-up subscriptions. My job was to call people and go to their houses or to their workplaces and try to teach them the advantages of going online for business or personal life. It wasn’t a very successful business; I was only there for a few months.

What do you like about working for smrtPhone? 

One of the things I really like, from being around the early days, is witnessing the initial building blocks and then seeing where the company is today. Having been along for the whole ride gives me a special kind of energy and I have confidence in the work that we’re doing that I’ve never experienced anywhere else or with any other company. 

It has grown beyond my imagination and expectations. And I’m really impressed with where we are and excited about where we’re going.

Catalin is in a meeting with the other smrtPhone workers

Describe smrtPhone in 3 words: 

Values – Because the partners have a healthy set of values which attracts good people around the projects. 

Swift – It describes the product and also the process. All the things that are made in our little factory. 

A Tribe – Because of the strong values in the company, like-minded people have come along. People with a certain kind of energy attract people with the same type of energy, and it’s a healthy tribe because of that.

Is there a particular moment/project at smrtPhone that stands out and makes you feel proud?  

The one that I’m working on right now and I really like is the website redesign project. I researched the potential agencies and now we’re working on building out the structure and design. For me, it was such an experience to go from filling a webform on a website for a company – gathering all of the things about them, and so on – to being in a Zoom call with two teams that are working together – doing bits and pieces to bring it to life. And I really like how it’s coming along. It’s been so great so far to be a part of – the journey from a simple message on the internet to building something great together.

Catalin Lungu on a ATV

What do you like to do in your free time? 

Free time for me is stuff that I do near my house. There is a forest right here, so I walk my dogs there or I take my daughter and we all go together. Or I go with a bicycle. I’ve been here for 5 and a half years, and I like to spend time in my community. I don’t need to be far away from home. 

In the summers, we go to the house that my parents have in the Danube Delta, by the Black Sea. We like to spend summers and free time there. You have the Delta on one side and the Sea on the other. 

Name something that is on your “bucket list”

I would like to visit South America some time. I have some friends from Chile and others who have visited Peru and the ancient civilizations. I’d like to see all of those sites, like the pyramids and Machu Picchu.

If an Airbnb would open up in space, I would love to spend some time up there. In 10 or 20 years, it could be possible! 

I want to see “the blueberry” (Earth) from up there. Everyone who sees it from far away is changed. I would love to have that experience. 

Catalin, standing on concrete steps

What is a fun fact people might not know about you? 

My passion besides computers is music. As I mentioned, I was a DJ for a while in my 20s, and I even had a DJ booking agency for a while. I still like to play music, from time to time. In every genre there is good and bad music. But, as a DJ I like to play electronic music. Being at home or being with a very close group of friends, like a birthday party, I still do it.