Category Archives: Technology

Marketing at Almost Zero Cost to Revolutionize Email Management with Mailbird

Mailbird is a creative email platform that brings productivity back into your life on the most widely used operating system today, Windows. Email today has become very insecure, a major stress in the workplace and slow with the innovative process that adjusts to how we work and communicate online today. NextUpAsia.com chats with the CEO and Co-Founder, Andrea Loubier about how she started this revolutionary business online.

Andrea Loubier Entrepreneur behind Mailbird
Andrea Loubier Entrepreneur behind Mailbird

(a)    Getting to know about The Strategies to Be The No.1 Start-Up

  • Marketing is King! How did you publicize your business? How did you get people to notice you and not your competitors?

We were in the right place at the right time. When we decided to go full throttle with Mailbird, there was a lot of hype in the world of email. Some topics included how many web based email servers were not secure, how emails were scanned and the lack of privacy and trust is always a concern. Sparrow, an email client for Mac, was acquired by Google. Mozilla’s open sourced email client Thunderbird announced ceasing development to focus and reallocate on other Mozilla products. Other email clients like Postbox, Inky, Airmail etc came to surface. Hotmail.com rebranded completely their web interface and style and renamed it Outlook.com- they later announced their POP3 only web email server would for the first time have IMAP support.

Marissa Mayer was named the new CEO for Yahoo with focused efforts on revamping Yahoo Mail. An online resource for anything to do with email launched called Other Inbox along with email focused tech conferences in Silicon Valley, called Inbox Love.

In the hot bed of email news, we simply found targeted tech publishers, bloggers, newspapers, magazines, forums and websites and shared the launch of a new Windows email client and people responded because we targeted the right channels, and built relationships with the right people.

Mailbird Levrages on Publicity by the media to build userbase
Mailbird Leverages on Publicity by the media to build userbase

A tip is to focus on contacting relevant tech publishers who’ve written on the subject matter of your business, and you should have a pretty compelling story to tell. Because we were named best email client for Windows by both PC World and IT World, and also a world class software by CNET’s Download.com users who were seeking this solution for email are happy to support Mailbird.

What is most interesting is your angle, what differentiates you from the competition. What do you offer that they do not. If you can clearly answer that, then go out there and tell the world about it and your early adopters will come.

  • They say, Talents is what make or break the business. For yourself, how did you get your talents and what did you do to make them remain working for you?

Character has a lot to do with how far you will go in life. I would say that one of my strengths as a person is that I am very much a networker, personable and easy to talk to. In addition to that, experience and learning by doing and through failures and mistakes is how you grow and become better.

I always grew up in a very internationally diverse setting, I like to engage with people and I love learning about what motivates people and how to build a business around your target user’s needs. I am constantly learning about great business development and marketing initiatives, and love to test different strategies; it is all part of learning and growing with your business and it is different for everyone.

You can never just be an expert on one thing, because the world continues to change, especially when it comes to technology. How you operate and communicate your vision has to also be flexible and adapt with the ecosystem in your vertical.

My background in project management in working with huge international corporations has taught be a lot about setting priorities, goals and delivering happiness to people you interact with.

Mailbird participates in many Startup events to build awareness among startup community
Mailbird participates in many Startup events to build awareness among startup community
  • If you could name 3 Main Criteria that have made You and Your Business successful, what are those 3 Main Criteria?

Early engagement with users. Relentless drive in communicating our vision to the world. A solid, reliable and talented team that cohesively works together to move a business forward.

  • Businesses need to Innovate in order to stay Competitive in the marketplace – How have you innovated your company to be competitive until today?

We’ve challenged the old school design and user experience for email on the Windows platform. We’ve adopted new technologies in building an email client. We are focused on the Windows platform – so you know it is good since we aren’t trying to be available on every OS, only to deliver a half-assed product.

We constantly test viral marketing strategies. We constantly seek opportunities that work hand in hand with email such as security and productivity. We are building community around email innovation with our developmental milestone of building the Mailbird API allowing 3rd party developers to build and distribute their super cool email productivity apps right from within Mailbird, so you have everything you’ve ever needed to manage email, your life and your business from one place.

Mailbird is not just another email client, and we are the only ones truly working to fix the problem(s) with email.

  • Global economic uncertainties Kill Businesses – In your mind, how did you weather this challenge for your business?

Well first you have to pre-determine the potential risks and threats to your business in building a thorough business plan. Economic uncertainties include optimism, employment, demand, profits, inflation, investment and access to finance. So if all things fail or go downhill in the global economic foreground we believe Mailbird will survive because people still need a way to communicate with each other online.

With Radicati’s 2013 – 2014 statistical report that email accounts are growing at a substantial rate of 6% in the billions each year, we know email isn’t going anywhere. Should there be an economic downturn, sure software will be the last thing people think about buying, but because Mailbird offers a freemium solution we believe that our user base will sustain and adapt with changing economic climates.

Startup Camp
Mailbird is one of the startups benefiting from Asia’s boom of revolutionary technology businesses

 

You see more women stepping up in senior management roles which is seen as an opportunity in the changing world economies and another strength for the Mailbird team. Also should companies consider budget cuts, if you look at the email client that currently dominates a workplace that runs Windows machines, Mailbird easily becomes the alternative solution with an value-added offer to businesses at a fraction of the price of solutions out there today for Windows users.

Whatever happens in the global economy, Mailbird will be available as a technology solution for communication. Even better, when the world emerges from economic struggle, in that cycle comes many new solutions and adaptations. People get more resourceful, more creative and become more open to alternative solutions when it comes to building a business and stimulating economic growth.

 

### END OF PART 3 ###

About Mailbird: 

Mailbird is a creative email platform that brings productivity back into your life on the most widely used operating system today, Windows. Email today has become very insecure, a major stress in the workplace and slow with the innovative process that adjusts to how we work and communicate online today. With key productivity hacks and differentiators like multi-account support for both IMAP and POP3 accounts, multi-language support to make Mailbird more globally available, data driven email management with the Wingman productivity booster and a community driven initiative to solve the many unique problems with email.

About The Entrepreneur: 

Andrea is the CEO and co-founder of Mailbird, an email tech startup based in Bali that focuses on email security and productivity hacks on the most creative platform for email innovation ever. She is half American and half Filipino, thrives on diversity as a social connector, particularly for women in Asia that are leading influencers and founders of tech companies. With 7+ years of marketing, project and community management under her belt, she is a firm believer in the strength of women in the world of tech, in the fast-evolving startup ecosystem emerging across Asia

How does a Startup Plan to Change the Way We Use Emails Everyday with Mailbird

Mailbird is a creative email platform that brings productivity back into your life on the most widely used operating system today, Windows. Email today has become very insecure, a major stress in the workplace and slow with the innovative process that adjusts to how we work and communicate online today. NextUpAsia.com chats with the CEO and Co-Founder, Andrea Loubier about how she started this revolutionary business online.

Fast Growing Startup Going to Change the Way We Use Emails
Fast Growing Startup Going to Change the Way We Use Emails

(a)    Getting to know about The Start-Up

  • Tell us more about Your Company – What have you built? What is your product or service to your customers? What is your track-record so far?

Mailbird is my company. It is the smartest, fastest and most secure email platform for Windows that brings productivity back into your life. We have roughly 7,000 active users and growing. We are a team of 8 incredibly smart and talented people who believe in this mission to build the greatest email productivity platform ever, with a vision to help people become better at information management. We are excited to report that users are already opting to upgrade their software to the yearly paid subscription because they love it so much already, and we are just getting started.

  • Why did you decide to go into this business? Is it because it is a lucrative market? Is it a Blue Ocean which your talents and expertise through your business can provide?

The market for a proper and modern-age email solution for the Windows platform is very much under-served. Windows still holds the highest majority of the OS market share, email remains the #1 online activity to date, and between consumer and business email accounts they are growing 6% year over year in terms of billions of email accounts. There just is nothing that has adapted to the highly distracting environment for those who work online. Email has become the number 1 stressor and distraction for many people and businesses, and we are already fixing that problem.

Mailbird to Let Businesses Manage Emails more Effectively
Mailbird to Let Businesses Manage Emails more Effectively
  • Please share with us, when you established your organization during its early days – How did you fund it? Any tips on raising the funds? Any tips on convincing investors?

The initial capital of $100k usd was injected by our CFO and original Mailbird founders and has given us the ability to bootstrap the business, while keeping operational costs down and focusing on product and business development in Bali. We are just recently actively seeking outside investment to give our resource pool a boost for marketing for growth and strategic partnerships that will scale our business.

I don’t think anyone can say there is any one way or tip to convincing investors, you have to just get out there and start talking to as many of them as possible. Make your business case, be able to sell your vision really really well with a track record that proves a future of success and growth for your business. We’ve got all the right recipe in place for this already: A solid team, a really great story, a lucrative product, awesome business development milestones built around growth, including an exit strategy. The final piece is down to finding the right investor that would fit as a great partner with the mutual benefit of seeing that Mailbird succeeds as a global email solution.

  • Where do you see your business growing into, for the next 5 to 10 years?

We are first going to build a solid email client, that will in a year serve as a platform allowing 3rd party developers and strategic partners to build productivity focused email apps that integrate with Mailbird. We are focused currently on the consumer market, but by 2015 we are looking to expand to the business market by a really great offering to SME’s, small teams and startups alike. In part of this effort we seek to close a series A investment round to allocate more resource for growth and pursuing high security measures when it comes to email, a big problem we face today. Our current focus is to build a solid desktop email application first, to focus on productivity from the desktop…this is where it happens. However in the future, we seek to expand to the mobile platform given the high demand for Mailbird on iOS, Android and even Windows phones.

Mailbird to Make Managing Emails Simple
Mailbird to Make Managing Emails Simple

 

Here we seek strategic partnerships with ISP’s, security and email message encryption partners, hardware distribution with Mailbird as a software offering on that hardware with Intel’s latest product line and of course a plan to work more closely with Microsoft in their recent expansion to offering IMAP support for Outlook.com, touch technology with their 2 in 1 machines and of course their Windows phone market expansion efforts.

Our immediate and prolonged goal is to build our user base while gathering data on email usage, to solve the unstable environment with email seen today. Mailbird is a global product, and we hope to see more users from around the world using it especially since our recent move to localize the software.

  • What is your vision for the industry that you are in? Do you see a trend coming up that your business can capitalize?

Our vision is to bring productivity back to people and businesses on a beautiful, incredibly fast and highly secure email platform for the huge worldwide Windows market. As more and more people are working online, email is an inevitable tool that you will use to communicate with friends, colleagues, potential clients and potential business partners.

A major focus today is on productivity, how to stay productive? As well as what tools will be available to help you grow your business? PC World named Mailbird the best free email client for the productive business person in 2013, in 2014 IT World named Mailbird the best email client for Windows.

Tech Crunch and Lifehacker called us the “Sparrow for Windows”, so we knew we tapped into unchartered waters in pursuit of productivity and online communication for Windows users. We hear that everything is going mobile, but when we look at email these projections can be deceiving. It is true that more people open emails on the mobile devices, however when it comes to getting things done with those emails and replying, the desktop and the native in control feel of a client is the answer.

### END OF PART 2 ###

About Mailbird: 

Mailbird is a creative email platform that brings productivity back into your life on the most widely used operating system today, Windows. Email today has become very insecure, a major stress in the workplace and slow with the innovative process that adjusts to how we work and communicate online today. With key productivity hacks and differentiators like multi-account support for both IMAP and POP3 accounts, multi-language support to make Mailbird more globally available, data driven email management with the Wingman productivity booster and a community driven initiative to solve the many unique problems with email.

About The Entrepreneur: 

Andrea is the CEO and co-founder of Mailbird, an email tech startup based in Bali that focuses on email security and productivity hacks on the most creative platform for email innovation ever. She is half American and half Filipino, thrives on diversity as a social connector, particularly for women in Asia that are leading influencers and founders of tech companies. With 7+ years of marketing, project and community management under her belt, she is a firm believer in the strength of women in the world of tech, in the fast-evolving startup ecosystem emerging across Asia

The Entrepreneur behind the Creative Email Platform Mailbird

Mailbird is a creative email platform that brings productivity back into your life on the most widely used operating system today, Windows. Email today has become very insecure, a major stress in the workplace and slow with the innovative process that adjusts to how we work and communicate online today. NextUpAsia.com chats with the CEO and Co-Founder, Andrea Loubier about how she started this revolutionary business online.

Mailbird sets to make managing emails for companies and busy people easy
Mailbird sets to make managing emails for companies and busy people easy

With key productivity hacks and differentiators like multi-account support for both IMAP and POP3 accounts, multi-language support to make Mailbird more globally available, data driven email management with the Wingman productivity booster and a community driven initiative to solve the many unique problems with email.

(a)    Getting to know The Start-Up Entrepreneur

  • Tell us more about yourself – Who are you, what do you do, what are your qualifications (If any) and what have made you into the successful entrepreneur that you are today?

My name is Andrea Loubier and I am the CEO of Mailbird. I have 7+ years in business development, project management and marketing. I love spicy food, building things from nothing and am addicted to travel. Thanks to the great community at Startup Getaway in Bali, I’ve learned so much and made great connections and lifetime friends that have both motivated and challenged me in my entrepreneurial journey. I believe that people around the world need better tools to help them get more done every day, and that Mailbird is the email platform to make that happen.

  • Why did you get started on this path towards building your own business?

I’ve always had a strong passion for entrepreneurship. The idea of starting a new business or creating a real solution to a problem faced by billions of people worldwide is exciting to me. Technology is the inevitable means to deliver solutions to everyday problems we experience today. I want to be an influencer in helping people communicate better online and to become more productive. I love to learn by doing. I believe you learn a lot through failure, and feel that it is important to observe future outcomes for your business through mistakes made. It’s the best way to learn.

Andrea Loubier Entrepreneur behind Mailbird
Andrea Loubier Entrepreneur behind Mailbird
  • Was there any inspiration or anyone who inspired you to pursue your dream to become an entrepreneur today?

Women in tech inspire me. My current favorite is Marissa Mayer, one of the original Google developers and Yahoo’s newest CEO. Others include Sarah Lacy, Leah Culver, Jessica Mah and Hermione Way.

  • In your experience, what are the 3 Winning Traits that Entrepreneurs should possess when they start their business?

Relentless drive for discovering and learning. Motivation to really make an impact. And Passion for what you are pursuing.

### END OF PART 1 ###

About Mailbird: 

Mailbird is a creative email platform that brings productivity back into your life on the most widely used operating system today, Windows. Email today has become very insecure, a major stress in the workplace and slow with the innovative process that adjusts to how we work and communicate online today. With key productivity hacks and differentiators like multi-account support for both IMAP and POP3 accounts, multi-language support to make Mailbird more globally available, data driven email management with the Wingman productivity booster and a community driven initiative to solve the many unique problems with email.

About The Entrepreneur: 

Andrea is the CEO and co-founder of Mailbird, an email tech startup based in Bali that focuses on email security and productivity hacks on the most creative platform for email innovation ever. She is half American and half Filipino, thrives on diversity as a social connector, particularly for women in Asia that are leading influencers and founders of tech companies. With 7+ years of marketing, project and community management under her belt, she is a firm believer in the strength of women in the world of tech, in the fast-evolving startup ecosystem emerging across Asia

7 Secrets of Jack Ma Entrepreneurship Lesson

7 Secrets of Jack Ma Entrepreneurship Lesson

An inspiring speech by Jack Ma, the former Chairman and CEO of Alibaba Group. Jack Ma shared his experience to the aspiring entrepreneurs who are joining “Win In China” competition, a reality show for aspiring entrepreneurs to win 10 million RMB for their business startup. In the 1st season, 3000 participants were selected to join the interview session and 108 participants will be selected to join the competition officially.

Jack Ma – Win In China – Part 1

The article is filled up with Most Important key points and translated into English.

Jack ma

1. Always Know Your Choice
Jack Ma started his first business in 1992, running a language translation center. The business performance wasn’t so good in the beginning. After the third month, they decided to sell flower and premium gift to earn extra income and to cover the rental expense. They found that premium gift was more profitable than language translation business. This also made them struggle whether they should stop the language translation business and focusing on premium gift business. However, they chose language translation business because it was their why they want to startup business in the beginning – to fill the gap between teacher and the market demand of language translation.
“Many entrepreneurs will meet with many new opportunities in their journey. When you meet with these opportunities, you must know how to make the choice. Of course, we have chosen to run the language translation center.”, He said.

2. Small Businesses Need System Too
This incident happened in Teacher’s Day. He had a cashier to help him during that period.

“It was a very busy day. I estimated the revenue is 1100 RMB. However, there was only 400 RMB on the next day and I was curious where the money has gone. So I decided to check the account and found that the cashier has stolen about 100 to 200 RMB everyday. We didn’t know it for 3 to 4 months.”
“Whose fault? It was our fault, it was the system’s fault. A poor system will turn a good employee to a bad employee. Startup entrepreneurs always like to think about the big move such as how to grow the business and forgetting about the system and management in the small company with 4 to 5 people. Without a good system, it will be a disaster of the small company”
Therefore, small businesses need good system too.

3. Riding on The Giant’s ShoulderJack Ma
Jack Ma went to US and decided to run internet business when he returned to China. The business was China’s Yellowpages, also known as China’s first internet-based company.

“1995 was the harder year to run internet-based business. I decided to do internet business after returned from China. I invited 24 friends to meet at my home and nobody understands after 2 hours meeting. There was only a friend agree and he told me to try, if it doesn’t work, I can still come back.”
“Because I have seen internet before and I felt that it will be even better in the future. However, nobody believes in it, because they never seen it, so they didn’t know how to make it.”
“Bill Gates was widely known around the world in 1995. Bill Gates said that internet will change people’s life. Well, actually, Bill Gates didn’t say that. If I told people that Internet will change the world, nobody is going believe. Therefore, I told people that Bill Gates said internet will change the world because I believed that Bill Gates will say it one day.”
He mentioned that the tactic is riding on giant’s shoulder.

To be continued…

This Article is provided by Ray Beh! The Founder of Frambie

Lessons from Apple Founder Steve Jobs for Entrepreneurs

A special story dedicated to the late Apple Founder Steve Jobs and Most Renowned Innovator of our time, Steve Jobs, on his most genuine ways of becoming the legendary entrepreneur and ‘Lifestyle Designer’ that he is so associated with. This special report dissects the different strategies that were deployed by Steve Jobs in becoming the Genius that he is and will always be. Continue reading Lessons from Apple Founder Steve Jobs for Entrepreneurs

oDesk vs Elance vs Freelancer and 99designs

Online global outsourcing is growing at a rapid pace with a projected growth of over 40% for the industry. The biggest platforms are oDesk, Elance and Freelancer. 99designs is really in a different category as it’s a crowdsourcing site more focused on design, whereas the other platforms encompass any type of online work.

In this infographic we compared the funding received, number of freelancers and jobs posted, percentage they charge and cumulative earnings of freelancers. Great information if you are interested in the online outsourcing space!

UPDATE: We have a comment from Matt Barrie, CEO of Freelancer. I have posted it here as it points out that some of the figures in the infographic (based only on publicly available information) are inaccurate:

“The graphics are neat but the numbers sourced for the infographic are way off. Freelancer user earnings are much higher. vWorker alone had $140M in user earnings before Freelancer acquired it. Also the commissions are 0-3% for employers and 0-10% for freelancers, not 13%. At 3% for freelancers, this is the cheapest by far for a freelancer doing any volume. The amounts raised by all companies is also incorrect. Elance and Odesk have raised significantly more than reported by Crunchbase and Freelancer hasn’t raised anything near $40m. Freelancer hits 8 million users today.”

Staff.com - Comparing the Big Outsourcing Platforms Infographic

This Article was originally posted at  http://biz30.timedoctor.com/odesk-vs-elance-vs-freelancer-and-99designs-infographic/

My Road Trip with a Google YES Chromebook Around Malaysia

Recently, we took a road trip around Malaysia to look at interesting startups and it was the perfect opportunity to stress test the Google YES Chromebook which was launched recently. The trip took us from Kuala Lumpur, to Penang and to Kelantan and back.

Transit On Tour

Firstly about the Samsung manufactured Chromebook. According to YES, this is World’s First Samsung 4G Chromebook. It looks good and it loads up pretty fast at around 8 secs. Because of Google Sync, all your browsing details and bookmarks are all sync in as soon as you login with your Google ID. You can also easily connect over to the both Wifi and the YES 4G network using your existing YES ID. The Chromebook is around 1.1Kg and the first impression is the keyboard is so much better than the first gen Chromebook.

 

YES-4G-Chromebook2-1024x682

Here Some Specs
11.6 inches (1366×768) display
0.7 inches thin – 2.42 lbs / 1.08 kg
Over 6.5 hours of battery*
Samsung Exynos 5 Dual Processor
100 GB Google Drive Cloud Storage with 16 GB Solid State Drive**
Built-in dual band Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n
Built-in Yes 4G Connectivity
VGA Camera
1 x USB 3.0, 1 x USB 2.0
HDMI Port
Bluetooth 3.0™ Compatible

My findings
I am a fairly heavy user and I noticed the battery life last around 3 to 4 hours from a full charge. I was trying to conserve power by lowering the brightness.  It was good for me replying emails and updating my site.

We did try to watch a couple of Youtube videos but I can’t open up another tab to do other stuff. The video then will not be able to play well in the background.

Connection wise, the handover during the trip was a bit choppy. We tried connecting to the YES network using the Huddle instead and the connection was better. I was primarily using it as the main computer from Kuala Lumpur to Penang but looking at my usage I would not be using it for my main computer as I will needing it for video editing etc.

Conclusion
Although not as high end as the Google Pixel, this is a fairly well built Chromebook. The keyboard is good to type and if you are not travelling in a bus like me, I think this is a good secondary computer for most people. I realized I was using it more and more just to do some casual browsing at night. (easier compare to an tablet, IMHO)

For a price range of RM988 to RM1,299. I think it is a good buy if you are not a heavy user and need something light for email, browsing and living in the cloud since Google is providing 100 Gig of online storage for this.

3 Things You Should Know about the Extreme Entrepreneur Peter Sage

In celebration of TEDxKL 2013, we have gotten the chance to research and do a scoop on the Extreme Entrepreneur himself, Peter Sage. One of the headline speakers for the annual TEDxKL this year, we will explore the origins of Peter Sage, an entrepreneur whose daring ventures had brought him to launch companies that harvest the energy potential of space, to becoming an advisor of a leading business school and ultimately inspiring thousands of entrepreneurs to live their potentials to succeed! Here are 3 things that you should know about the Extreme Entrepreneur himself. Continue reading 3 Things You Should Know about the Extreme Entrepreneur Peter Sage