Archive

Andrea Loubier – How to build a MVP in 2018

Posted by Andrea Loubier on May 1, 2018

This is an interview with Andrea Loubier, CEO of Mailbird who is one of the subjects for research on MVP’s within companies. 1.    Why did you decide to start Mailbird? Andrea Loubier: My cofounders and I all struggle with email management and productivity at one point or another in our professional careers. We observed a successful email client that only work for Gmail and Mac users, it was booming and was acquired by Google. So we decided to build the same for Windows, but today we are solving a bigger information management problem with an overflow of apps to manage our entire lives. So we pivoted to focusing on unifying communication on the Mailbird platform. Email is the greatest invention ever, and we wanted to be a part of a big global market in the business of information exchange and communication. 2.    How many people were involved in the initial startup? What were their roles? Andrea Loubier: 3 of us, me as the CEO, Olsen as the CTO and Michael as the CPO of Mailbird. Then we hired our first two junior developers. That was the starting team in the early days, today we are 12 people going strong. 3.    Did you already know there was a market for your product, or did you have to find out? How did you go about it? Andrea Loubier: We already knew, as we took the time to do research. There is an abundance of data about the email market online, so it was easy to validate the market for Mailbird. 4.    Did…

7 Reasons to Have More Than One Email Address in 2018

Posted by Andrea Loubier on March 4, 2018

Why have multiple email addresses you might ask? When setting up an email account, your first instinct might be to create one email address for all of your email needs. This way you’ll only need to sign into one location to access your emails, and your logins across the web will all use the same email address. For simplicity’s sake, this might seem like a good idea. In reality, the opposite is true. Considering the number of emails people receive on a daily basis, keeping all your emails in one account will actually make email management more complicated, not less. You’ll have a harder time getting to the most important emails as your inbox becomes overloaded with spam and promotional emails. If you’re emailing for personal and professional out of the same account, you run the risk of sending a personal email to a professional contact. Yikes!   Instead, you should have multiple email addresses for different purposes. And if signing into multiple accounts seems troublesome, there’s a simple solution. Using something like the Unified Inbox feature with Mailbird allows you to keep multiple accounts organized in one location. Problem solved! If you’re still not convinced that having multiple email addresses is a good practice, here are 7 reasons you should have more than one email address. 1. To separate business from personal. First and foremost, it’s never a good idea to mix your business and personal inboxes, especially if your personal email address is something goofy from the early…

The Emotional Cost Of Being A Female Millennial Startup Founder

Posted by Andrea Loubier on October 13, 2017

“My work is me.” This is how I defined myself when I founded my startup Mailbird. I put in twenty hour days, worked on weekends and my laptop never shut down. Sounds like just another day in every startup right? But that’s the problem. I never stopped to think about the drain my business was having on my “emotional capital”. The more I focused on building the best email client for Windows, the more I seemed to neglect my physical health. As a person with Diabetes, it wasn’t long before my lifestyle took an ugly toll. Entrepreneurs rarely discuss this side of starting a successful business. We all tend to practice the mantra of “fake it till you make it” and showing vulnerability is thought of as a sign of weakness. But with 45% of entrepreneurs saying they are stressed in the latest Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, it’s time for us to make this emotional tax, well, less taboo. We need to have honest conversations about the real cost of starting a business to pave the way for better and healthier business habits. The initial Mailbird team in 2012 learning the balance between work and rewards One of the most difficult things that accompanies entrepreneurship is the ability to manage stress. If I think about mega entrepreneurs out there like Elon Musk for example, I believe that they are exceptional at managing stress. We aren’t always naturally great at managing challenges that come our way in life and in business, but you learn from…

Top 4 Overcoming Challenges I Have Faced As a Female Entrepreneur

Posted by Andrea Loubier on February 26, 2017

As a millennial female entrepreneur, I am acutely aware of the challenges we face in the business world. As more and more industry leaders such as Google’s Chairman Eric Schmidt are speaking out about the importance of hiring women in tech, progress is being made to give women equal opportunity to be successful in business. However, there are still hurdles we have to overcome. Here are four challenges I have faced as an entrepreneur in my tech startup journey and how I have overcome them. 1. Fundraising in different time zones One of my biggest challenges, when I started Mailbird, was finding investors. However, it was not because of my gender. I think investors are more open to supporting Southeast Asian female entrepreneurs. This was confirmed by Rosaline Chow Koo, founder and CEO of the first private insurance and workplace wellness exchange in Asia, who after pitching her startup idea to American investor was told that his firm typically multiplies the potential revenues for females by ten, and divides by ten for male entrepreneurs. As an entrepreneur based on a small island in the Indian Ocean, the hardest part of fundraising was doing it remotely and contending with investors different time zones. While connecting with investors in different countries sometimes means late nights or early mornings, the lack of sleep is worth it. However, I would love to see more female investors in different regions of the Southeast Asia so that we can grow and support each other. 2. Not…

The Rise Of PANKs And What That Means For Startup Culture

Posted by Andrea Loubier on February 20, 2017

No, PANK isn’t another way of saying pink in a country accent. PANK is a new acronym used to describe a market of women that, until now, have been overlooked. It stands for Professional Aunt, No Kids; a term coined by Melanie Notkin founder of SavvyAuntie.com to describe her websites demographic. PANKs are digital influencers like myself who play a financially meaningful role in the lives of other people’s kids, are active on social media and influence the purchasing decisions of those around them. Why is the rise of PANKs important? The rise of PANKs is important because we live in a world that is obsessed with when a woman becomes a mother. No matter what she has achieved career wise, in pop culture becoming a mother is still the greatest thing a female can do with her life. It’s created a societal standard that women, even highly successful ones like Jennifer Aniston, should be looked down upon because they are not mothers. The PANK acronym shows that a shift is starting to happen in our society. No longer are career driven women being called childless spinsters. Instead, we now have a term that celebrates this childless status and acknowledges that women who choose this alternative lifestyle play a major role and have untapped influence and purchasing power. PANKs, Startups and Entrepreneurs in Southeast Asia Over the past few years, there has been a steady rise of female-lead startups. I had started Mailbird before I turned 30, and there are numerous…

Talents Beyond Childbirth: Why Tech Startups Need To Hire More Female CEOs

Posted by Andrea Loubier on February 14, 2017

We don’t usually invest in female CEOs. It’s not because of any kind of prejudice. Just think about it carefully, besides giving birth, what can women do better than men? Nothing. This quote by Luo Mingxiong from Jingbei Investment in an article by Tech in Asia almost made me spit out my morning coffee. With all the positive work being done with organizations like HeForShe and the topic of equality in the workforce becoming an increasingly hot topic, I never expected to see a quote like that from a Chinese businessman in 2017. As a CEO of a tech company myself, who just so happens to be a woman here in Southeast Asia, reading this was completely enraging. Unfortunately Luo is a little behind this age in time given the supporting data, proving the positive implications of women in leadership roles within tech companies. I’ve gone through the gauntlet of fundraising for my company, it’s not easy. I’ve talked to many VC’s in the U.S. and Europe who are incredibly supportive of female founders. I find it sad that there are still some people that are missing out on the opportunities that female leaders can bring to innovation, technology and business in both products and services, because the company is led by a woman. With only 29% of employees that are women and an even less that are CEOs it is more important than ever to encourage gender equality. Studies have shown that diversity is a key element in the workplace. It makes teams…

What To Expect Of Women In SEA In Tech For 2017

Posted by Andrea Loubier on February 7, 2017

I don’t know about you, but 2016 was a whirlwind. My tech startup hit one million customers, we launched our integration with Slack, expanded to three offices worldwide, won a Windows 10 Download Editor’s Pick award and I had an article published in Forbes. To say that I am excited about what 2017 has in store for my company is an understatement. However, I am equally excited to see what the year has in store for South East Asia’s women in tech. Even though 2016 held a stronger spotlight on the tech industry’s lack of a female presence, there is still much work to be done regarding equal pay and gender equality in all stages of the tech corporate ladder. Despite this, we still saw progress in 2016. The business world is finally starting to recognize the importance of values brought to the tech business ecosystem by women. These include diversity in collaboration and problem solving, nurturing qualities and conversations about the strength of being a woman instead of the perceived weaknesses. In a region known for its high cultural expectations of women, we have seen the rise of many powerful women in tech work hard to disrupt the status quo. It is because of those who were not afraid to defy traditional norms that more South East Asia women have been able to join their ranks. I predict this will continue to be a driving force in the coming year. Here’s what you can expect from SEA female tech…

How To Turn Your Struggles As A Female Entrepreneur Into Opportunities

Posted by Andrea Loubier on February 3, 2017

Learning To become a Female Entrepreneur Entrepreneurship is no longer a man’s game. More and more women across the world are trading in their traditional roles for a pair of heels and a killer power suit. There are nearly 6 million formal, female-owned small businesses operating in East Asia and economies like Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia are booming with female-owned businesses. But while these numbers bode well for female empowerment, many women still struggle with living up to their full potential in the business world. While more women are deciding to open up their own businesses, there are still a unique set of challenges that are holding us back. Today, I’m going to show you how to turn some of those hurdles into opportunities to empower yourself, grow your business and smash that glass ceiling to oblivion. 1.  Defying Social Expectations I remember walking into tech conferences three years ago and being able to count the number of female attendees on one hand. While the numbers are increasing year on year, it can still be intimidating to talk business in a male-dominated arena. Sheryl Sandberg is the COO of Facebook and an activist for empowering leadership for women worldwide. There is social pressure to conform and change ourselves to adopt a male approach to business. But not too much, we don’t want to come across as “bossy.” This type of thinking can sometimes lead to us selling ourselves short in the business world. “After making it to the finals of…

What You Need To Know About Starting A Business In Bali

Posted by Andrea Loubier on January 27, 2017

Starting a business in Bali combines two of every entrepreneur’s greatest desires: living in paradise while making a steady profit. The number of international startups springing up in Bali over the last few years has turned this island paradise into something more lucrative than just another Southeast Asian holiday destination. It has become a business opportunity with over 5 million consumers; that caters to a thriving startup ecosystem and is a place where startups can reduce their costs, maximize their profits and live in a breathtaking part of the world. If you are thinking about packing your bags and setting up shop here like I did, there are some things you need to know about what it takes to start and build a technology business in Bali. Bali Is All About Collaborative Co-Working Spaces Due to the shift in millennials choosing to work remotely over a location based job, Bali has developed an abundance of co-working spaces. This trend has created a creative and collaborative environment where individual entrepreneurs and startups can be mega productive, share their story, network and be a part of a supportive community. I’ve discovered my hub and favorite co-working space in Bali, going from a fixed office to being location independent, then back full circle to a more fixed location again, simply because it’s a wonderful place. I have met some of the greatest people at Dojo Bali which I find to be excellent for a number of reasons like location, an engaged community, social events…

How Southeast Asia Female ‘Millennipreneurs’ Are Killin’ It In Business

Posted by Andrea Loubier on January 23, 2017

Growing up as a “third culture kid”, I knew I wanted to run my own business, but I never imagined that in three short years I would be a CEO off a kick ass, international tech startup called Mailbird. Nor did I think I’d be recognized as one of the most influential female entrepreneurs in Southeast Asia. But I am not the only one smashing the glass ceiling and changing the face of start-ups. According to the 2016 BNP Paribas Global Entrepreneur Report, which surveyed “high net” entrepreneurs from 18 different countries, companies owned by Millennial women reported 22% higher revenues. Yip. Despite our age and “lack of experience”, female entrepreneurs are bringing home bigger profit margins than anyone else. Let’s look at how we are doing it – and most importantly how Southeast Asia Millennial entrepreneurial women (MEW’s) are disrupting business as we know it. 1. Millennipreneurs Know How To Hustle A trait I have noticed amongst female entrepreneurs like myself, is our tenacious mindset. Once we have a vision, we do whatever it takes to build a killer business. So it’s not surprising to me that 43% of millennial women have used their personal savings to start a business. No matter how small that initial amount was, the fact that they took that risk is impressive. And while the majority of us are still sourcing funds from external sources – this doesn’t mean we aren’t taking on risk or hustling just as hard. I spent hours with business…