I had a chance to sit down with Triblio’s CEO, Andre Yee to pick his brain on entrepreneurship and the “Startup Life”. Triblio was recently featured in TechCrunch and announced that it had received $3.4 million in seed funding, since then the buzz around Triblio is growing and so is the client roster, this should come as no surprise since Andre knows a few things about what it takes to grow a successful business. As the SVP of Product Development for Eloqua, Andre helped to lead Eloqua to an IPO and a $957M acquisition by Oracle. Prior to that Andre led the growth of NFR Security, a maker of intrusion-detection and prevention systems and sold off the company in a multimillion dollar deal to Check Point Software Technologies.
Business growth seems to come natural to Andre and I know he has a lot to teach budding entrepreneurs. Hopefully, the interview below could shed some light on valuable advice that you can implement with your startup to achieve great success.
1) Why did you decide to start your own company?
We (there are 4 co-founders) started Triblio because we wanted to build something from a “back of the napkin” idea to a product company. Much of my career has been spent helping fast growing companies scale or turning around troubled companies. What I haven’t done is a true startup. The other reason is that we want our work with Triblio to be a blessing to the broader community – some folks make music, others write good books – we know how to build software well.
2) Why content marketing?
There are two macro trends in marketing. The first is the centrality of content – the future of marketing is content-centric. The second is around data-driven approach to marketing. What we don’t see is a platform that brings both together in a simple and cohesive way that makes data-driven content marketing possible for the average marketer. We want to change that
3) What advice would you give entrepreneurs that are looking for investors?
Start with the idea that you’re not looking for money but looking for partners. This means not focusing on who can write a check but on who is most culturally aligned with the founding team. This means finding investors who not only understand your business but also match up well from a values and personality standpoint It’s a matching process – so approach each VC conversation as an opportunity to see if there’s a match on both sides. We certainly feel that way about our investors.
4) What’s the best advice you’ve received as an entrepreneur?
Don’t try to start a company by yourself – do it with people you like to work with.
I found that to be very true – I’m grateful for my co-founders and the early employees at Triblio.
5) Where do you see Triblio in 5 years?
I’d like to see a company of happy employees serving hundreds of happy customers who are radically growing their businesses by using Triblio.
6) How would you describe the culture of Triblio?
Creative, Collaborative, Humble, Hungry
We celebrate the unique gifts and creativity of every person on the team. We collaborate because we need each other to be successful. We want to stay humble – about what we’ve achieved and our ambitions for the future. But we’re also hungry for more – more opportunities to serve customers, better product capability, increasing growth in our business.
7) What entrepreneur or CEO do you admire?
Among the celebrity entrepreneurs – Elon Musk is someone who is doing some amazing work in multiple fronts. When the cards are counted – he’ll probably go down as the entrepreneur of the century. I also admire a number of non-celebrity entrepreneurs who are extremely successful in their own right – friends of mine who show me everyday through their example how to build great businesses.
8) What’s been the hardest thing about being an entrepreneur so far? The most rewarding?
The hardest thing is the up and downs of running a startup. One week you’re feeling great because you get positive feedback on your product. Next week you’re down in the dumps because no one you’ve spoken to today, likes your product.
The most rewarding is the people I get to work with everyday. I enjoy the team we have and the customers we serve through our product. It’s a blast!