Mailbird is an email client that allows its users to control multiple accounts in one convenient location. Whereas other clients can be clunky or overly complex, Mailbird offers a simplified user experience. A number of integrated apps allow users to customize their client to fit their business’s exact needs, without ever having to deal with any unnecessary features.
Name: Andrea Loubier
Andrea Loubier picked up a full-time job with a marketing firm immediately after college (following a part-time position with them). While she worked there, she learned a wealth of new skills. People management, project management, and how to help a company a run as efficiently as possible. The type of knowledge that can only come from hands on experience (and dealing with real problems).
After six years Andrea began to feel a bit burnt out. So, when a friend told her just how valuable the skills she had learned was, and that many companies would love to have her aboard, she reached out to businesses that she could help.
An acquaintance of Andrea had launched the prototypical tech startup, a basic software built out of a basement. But now, it had expanded and become a legitimate business. But it never quite lost the charm of a startup and wasn’t bogged down in ‘professionalism’.
It was a completely new environment for Andrea. The company had an extremely diverse team, with both men and women working without much friction. The employees were not expected to put in a huge number of hours, so they had a great work-life balance. And the team was supportive and encouraging of one another, helping the company achieve greater heights. It would be a lesson Andrea would carry when she assembled her own team.
Unfortunately, she could not stay. Once you make such a huge transition (such as leaving one job for an entirely new industry), you start to be more comfortable with pushing your comfort zone. You begin to wonder, “What Else Can I Do?”
So, when a friend in Bali told Andrea that he knew an entrepreneur who was toying with a tech startup, she was more than willing to take the leap.
Becoming CEO of Mailbird
The startup, the earliest stages of Mailbird, was nothing more than an idea at the time. Which makes the leap to Bali that Andrea made all the more impressive. But, she loved the idea and partnered up with the entrepreneur.
Mailbird was born out of the countless frustrations that users experience with email. It can clunky, management software can be difficult, and sometimes it is a nightmare to use with a team. Mailbird was designed to be a new type of email client that is far more innovative, easier to use, and enjoyable than anything else on the market.
When Andrea moved to Bali, Mailbird did not have any type of structure or processes in place. So, she took the initiative and wrote a detailed business plan, set up a marketing strategy, recruited and hired a team of people, and built the very foundation of the business. Once things had settled and everyone receiving structured positions, it only made sense to name her CEO.
Women in the Industry
Andrea has written extensively about being a female CEO of a tech company, and having worked in America and Bali in different types of companies, she sees that women are becoming increasingly accepted in the workplace.
Tech, in particular, which is largely dominated by men, she recalls going to a conference in 2012 and being the only female speaker with only a handful of women attending. However, thanks to the push of programmers, executives, and speakers, things are changing. When she returned to the conference in 2017, there was a better balance of male and female speakers and attendees.
While women have become more common across start-ups and the tech industry as a whole, new issues have risen. Subtle problems can arise that make work difficult and unreasonably stressful for female employees. But, as awareness is raised about these issues, these challenges can be dealt with.
By talking about experiences and inspiring other women, the industry can continue to move forward and become even more diverse and inclusive.
What You Can Learn from Andrea
There are so many lessons to be learned from Andrea’s story. But perhaps two, in particular, stand out.
First, if you are a female entrepreneur or work in a male dominated field, then you are not alone. Things may not always seem completely inclusive, but there are many ‘badass women’ (to use Andrea’s words) who are changing the world and redefining their respective industries. As you advance and find success, you will have opportunities to inspire young girls and show them a career or life path that may not have been open to them before.
The second is that you should never write off opportunities. It must have seemed crazy for Andrea to jump into a new industry. Or to leave her life behind and help launch a brand new company in a different country. But, instead of thinking they were too much, she asked herself, “What if I did this. What would happen?”
If you do the same, it may work out very well for you.
September 27 – 28, Bellesalle Shibuya Garden
Tech in Asia Tokyo 2017 is the largest tech conference in Asia and will open doors for those interested in entering the Japanese market, and for locals searching for global opportunities.