#ConnectedWomen: Andrea Loubier, CEO Of Mailbird
Contributed by Andrea Loubier November 3, 2017
She left a firm to move to Bali and build her startup. She saw a need and addressed it by creating a solution.
As women continue to be a driving force for change around the world, this series aims to highlight those who demonstrate an exceptional commitment to creating an impact.
Andrea Loubier, Mailbird CEO is a prime example of how meeting an insatiable need can reap massive rewards.
It’s not about the money, it’s about helping others get things done right without wasting time. It’s about making every detail of a platform quench the once-desired. There are definite highs to ride in successful startup and plenty of lessons to learn for the future.
She is a champion for women to embrace tech in entrepreneurship. She’s got her finger resting on the exact same page as Connected Women. This is our exclusive interview with Filipina-American, Andrea Loubier.
How did you get started on your journey? Tell us about your background, and the path that led you to where you are now – to who you are, and what you do.
I realized that I was not the only one completely consumed by email when I started working professionally after graduating from college. No one ever teaches you how to manage information overload, prioritization and balance between technology and other communication channels.
I also learned a lot from the last company I worked for, which was a fast-growing tech company and decided to quit after a skype call with my future Mailbird co-founder.
We were going to take on the challenge of unifying and streamlining the email experience so it wasn’t so terrible or counterproductive. I grew up in Indonesia, and thought it would be a perfect opportunity to pursue entrepreneurship in the fastest developing regions of the world, Southeast Asia.
I moved to Bali to meet my partners and started to build and create. The best part of starting a business is the beginning, where you have a blank slate and your creativity and imagination start to flow.
A Need That Couldn’t Be Ignored
I first realised that I needed to go out and do something when I was struggling with information and time management at my first career with a market research firm.
When I talked to other people, they also felt the same pain and stress that came with email management. Most of them in my corporate office jobs were on Windows / PC machines. Therefore, most of them were using Outlook to manage email… and EVERYONE was complaining about it.
Powerful Learning In The Midst Of Difficulties
Some of the most difficult, most significant choices I had to make along the way were letting people go when things simply did not work out in terms of cultural fit and performance, which are key with early team members where the company’s success depends greatly on each person to push it forward and make it work.
We’ve had some difficult situations where costs had to be significantly cut, yet this was a great learning experience.
The choice to pack up and leave your life behind in pursuit of creating and building something was tough, because it was scary and risky… yet it turned out to be the best decision I’ve ever made. No regrets.
Riding The Highs And Lows Of Business
One of our biggest successes was our public launch for Mailbird. It was covered by techcrunch and lifehacker. Later we were covered by bigger media outlets like CNN, CNBC, Forbes, Huffington Post, BBC and more.
I was nominated for Forbes 30 under 30, but because I just missed the age cut off (I was already 30 when they nominated me) I was more than honoured to pass that nomination to one of my other team members who was with me from the beginning.
I’d give that award out to all the first team members who joined Mailbird in the most risky and uncertain stages as a startup. They committed and stuck with me almost six years later.
My biggest failures were not conducting proper planning and research for a localized launch of Mailbird in China.
Another one was not saying ‘No’ to things that could have saved us some runway. At the same time, taking these risks is what entrepreneurship is all about, as well as the key learnings from these failures – this is how you become an experienced entrepreneur, more business and tech savvy.
My personal values during successes were to ensure the whole team was also recognized for the wins for the business, and for failures it was important to analyse and understand what went wrong, and avoid pointing fingers while also encouraging people to take responsibility for their part.
Andrea’s Passion And Purpose
I have a passion for great UX [user experience], communication and the flexibility to stay connected and productive no matter where I am in the world because I love travel.
My purpose is to continuously learn from others who have more experience than me, to share my story with more women, inspiring more women to pursue entrepreneurship, ideally in tech, considering the expansive opportunities it has opened up for women around the world.
What drives me is being able to provide solutions and help for people and businesses that struggle with email and online communication management, evolving technologies drive me to continue learning. Competition drives me too and never settling for anything.
I’m motivated by growth, by progress and by challenging my capabilities.
Excited About Communication
I’m excited about how the increasing channels of communication will innovate through unification and AI [artificial intelligence]. Collaboration between people and businesses in Information Communications Technologies is also pretty exciting.
This is significant because as a society we are adapting and evolving fast
with our relationship with technology, attention to simplifying. Customizing
and unifying all our key communication and productivity tools will be necessary.
Women In Tech To Change The Philippines
I’d like to see more women in the Philippines pursuing entrepreneurship in tech.
I don’t come from a technical background, yet I learned from personal experience. I started talking to people, created a plan and growth strategy, set goals to build an incredible team to work with me in building Mailbird, and we’ve since received accolades as the best email client for Windows.
We are just getting started too! And there are many opportunities ahead.
I am already starting to champion this hope as I am a Forbes contributor specifically covering stories about women in tech entrepreneurship. Hearing those stories initiates community-building and support to make tech entrepreneurship a reality for more women.
Again, you don’t have to be a techie to start.
Andrea reminds us that to make an impact you need to be speak up and share your journey.
As human beings we can all empathize and relate to struggles and find opportunities to reposition ourselves in our culture and society and do something positive for women around the world, to create more opportunities and to be an example that builds more confidence in women. It does take strength and courage to do this but just start by having a conversation with someone. Then it is up to you to just do your research, plan, execute and learn.
We are the leaders, activists, innovators and visionaries – whether in the public eye or behind the scenes
– who are revolutionising the way people think and live. We are #ConnectedWomen.
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