Behind The Scenes

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…

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…

Mailbird CEO Andrea Loubier on #12MinConvo with Engel Jones

Posted by Christin on December 6, 2016

  Engel Jones the podcast host of twelve minute convos. I have set a goal to create the most conversations in 3 months, 1509 specifically.  The start date was Monday 5th September 2016 and I have until  Saturday 3rd December. He has set a goal to create the most conversations in 3 months, 1509 specifically, starting  5th September 2016 until 3rd December. One of his interviewees is our CEO Andrea Loubier. Listen to her story of starting her own business and rocking the world of Female Entrepreneurs. Listen to his full fun podcast interview with our CEO Andrea Loubier here:

Challenges of Remote Working / Maintaining Great Communication

Posted by Andrea Loubier on December 9, 2015

What It Means to Maintain Great Communication If you are working with a distributed team across the globe, if any given team member does not maintain effective and tight communication, then that team member is likely not going to work out so well for your team and business. Communication is the core of how we move things forward and get things done, especially when your business is spread out throughout the world. If you try to run a business with a team and never communicated with each other, things are likely not going to get done, everyone will be working towards different goals and the direction of the business will be completely disjointed. Of course this is the extreme, however even just one person who is not easily within reach during working hours can throw a huge wrench into your machine, aka your business. We are so obsessed with having the best tools to help us communicate these days, so not only do you need the right tools but also the means to overcome challenges of being part of a distributed team.   Challenges: Time zone differences It takes longer for things to get done Sometimes it’s easier to communicate when the person is right next to you   That’s Absolutely Fine! Yes, when you have a team member in the U.S. and another in Europe and the other in Asia, coordinating meetings can be, well…slightly inconvenient. Use time zone apps and tools to ensure you find the best possible…

Why Distributed Teams Are The Future of Work

Posted by Andrea Loubier on November 18, 2015

Part 1: “Distributed Teams Are The Future of Work” Welcome to our 5 part series on The Challenges of Remote Working, first up is understanding why distributed teams are really the future of work. I should really change the title of this blog post to “Why A Distributed or Remote Team Is The Most Freaking Awesome Way to Build An Epic Business!”. I don’t know how many times I’ve had a conversation with investors who have a red flag when you say that your team is distributed. I’ve even had most say they want to  be within a two hour driving distance from the startups they work with. Within reason that is great and all, but what about missing out on some amazing companies that have the leverage to grow, especially because they are built upon a globally distributed team? I never understood this as it limits the opportunities for building an awesome portfolio.       A lot of us are still getting used to the globalization and transitions and new structures of how we work today. That is totally understandable. Change can be scary for some, and of course there are a couple outlier challenges with distributed teams, but with the rapid innovation in technology…things like online communication, secure video meetings and productivity tools at our disposal, as Richard Branson said…   “One day, offices will be a thing of the past.”   Some of the biggest and most successful companies are distributed across the globe, look at Microsoft. The…

Smartlaunch’s Productivity Success With Mailbird

Posted by Christin on October 16, 2015

Mailbird Casestudy from Christin Baumgarten Smartlaunch is a leading provider of management and billing solutions specifically designed to meet the needs of internet cafes and gaming centers. There’s no solution out there like it that allows for such high-level administrative capabilities while still paying as close attention to the experience of the actual gamer. Smartlaunch’s team consists of developers, software entrepreneurs, electronics engineers, customer support, software sales, and financial management. They have offices and employees in Canada, Portugal, India, and the Philippines. With such a vast array of employees in different timezones around the world complication are bound to arise when it comes to communication, between both team members as well as between employees and customers. Email remains the most wide-spread & commonly used form of communication amongst businesses in the entire world. You may think newer technologies would have replaced email by now when it comes to areas of business including product development, marketing, and customer service but recent reports have shown otherwise. According to Radicati Group, a tech market research firm, business users send and receive 121 emails on a day per average, and that number is expected to grow to 140 emails a day by 2018.(1) The same report states that the total volume of business emails is expected to grow to over 132 billion per day by the end of 2017. With numbers like that email doesn’t seem to be a form of communication to be phased out anytime soon. Interaction workers on average spend 13 of…

Being a Female CEO of a Tech Startup in Southeast Asia (Part 4)

Posted by Andrea Loubier on September 17, 2015

What did Marissa do for Yahoo? Women in Southeast Asia and the world could always use more female role models. Having role models motivates us to diversify roles within companies big and small. Role models encourage women to be fearless, bold, hungry for learning, striving to do something amazing for the world. When Marissa Mayer took over as Yahoo’s new CEO, it was all the craze on all the major news outlets. Marissa was going to turn Yahoo around – but interestingly enough, the focal point of the news was the fact that she was female, a mom. That didn’t quite go over well with her. What is Marissa’s take on this? For starters, she has made it very clear that her gender should never be a factor in how she is evaluated as a CEO. She expects to be attributed by her experience, contributions and ability to excel in computer science, mathematics, software engineering and keen sense for running a company. A real leader. A recent January 2015 Bloomberg report shows that Google’s market share – mind you Marissa was one of the early founders of Google before it became the giant information technology super power it is today – has dropped to an all-time low since 2008. However, Yahoo’s market share took a nice little hop up by 5%. Yahoo’s stock increased 75%. Marisa managed to re-shape the dying culture due to consecutive losses in Yahoo. She reformed the culture of work at Yahoo so it became more democratized. Employee…

Being a Female CEO of a Tech Startup in Southeast Asia (Part 3)

Posted by Andrea Loubier on September 10, 2015

The Anti-Women Tech Conference Story My name is Andrea Loubier, I am the CEO of a tech startup, an amazing email company called Mailbird. I am driven, highly motivated, a strong networker and a balancer. I am someone who loves building something from the ground up. Here is a snippet of a day in my life in my role that I wear wholeheartedly on my shoulders. I received an email at 10:37 am on a Saturday from a lady whom I’ll call “Casey” for purposes of privacy. It was November 15, 2014. I’ve always been a big advocate for women in tech, and that is even without being from a technical background. The tech industry is not only made up of software engineers, but also of business development and marketing professionals. Much like Marc Andreessen, Ben Horrowitz and Peter Thiel’s philosophy, I also don’t believe that “a great product will sell itself”.   Back to the story… This email I received from “Casey” explained that her and a group of other women who have been leading the female entrepreneurial movement in Asia have requested one of the bigger tech conferences in Asia to feature more women in their agenda by way of integration on a panel discussion, highlighting the roles of women in tech in Southeast Asia. “Casey” contacted the conference organizers with this special request, and their response… “Sorry we don’t really have room in our conference for girls.” They elaborated that they only allow for high quality speakers to participate in…

Being a Female CEO of a Tech Startup in Southeast Asia (Part 2)

Posted by Andrea Loubier on September 2, 2015

More Accelerators Focusing on Female CEOs It all started back in 1972 when Katharine Graham became the first female CEO of a Fortune 500 company. She inspired a generation of women, taking about 4 decades to show significance in women taking on leadership roles within companies. The move to promote more women to becoming a CEO or taking on an executive role is picking up some traction and interest by many tech incubators, accelerators and venture capital firms. Highly regarded accelerators in the U.S. like  Y-Combinator and 500 Startups are taking a closer look at female lead startups. Jessica Livingston, founding partner of Y- Combinator, who was also part of the minority of women in the venture capital industry, took the cause further to ensure that Y-Combinator was a startup accelerator that was very nurturing and supportive of women. She nails it on the head in her article on women who’ve been in the YC accelerator. The quote below is personally funny to me, considering I hadn’t read the article until after writing about what it was like to attend my first tech conference as a female entrepreneur. Jessica says, “We got an interesting variety of responses when we asked the women whether being a female was advantageous or disadvantageous in their roles as founders. Some felt they had been harmed but as many felt it was an advantage. Interestingly, many said it got them attention for being unusual, and that they’d used this to their advantage. Others felt that being female did impose some barriers, but…

Being a Female CEO of a Tech Startup in Southeast Asia (Part 1)

Posted by Andrea Loubier on August 27, 2015

My name is Andrea Loubier. Hi. My name is Andrea Loubier and in the coming weeks I’ll be sharing my experiences of being a female CEO in a series of articles with hopes of engaging and encouraging more women to take a leap and start their own business in Southeast Asia.   I never thought that one day I’d be the CEO of a global email company scratching my way up to world domination, poking at the bigger email companies, selling myself as a strong, smart, talented and resourceful entrepreneur who is hungry for nothing short of success. Even though it seems glamorous and cool from the outside, to some, it is painstakingly tough. Ask any entrepreneur and they would probably have the same answer. However, what bothers me more than anything is the lack of female entrepreneurs in this largely male dominated tech world. On one side it keeps me highly motivated to know that I’m contributing to the increasing number of female CEO’s in the tech startup world. On the other side it also means I have a small group to look up to. Below is the distribution of women in S & P 500 companies (U.S. only) at different levels. Even though this distribution is only for the US region, the pattern is similar around the world. Women at Tech Conferences When I attended my first tech conference as a newbie entrepreneur, I found myself swimming in a sea of gentlemen. The gender ratio was something like 90/10, the women being on the lower…