Bali heißt das neue Startup Mekka inmitten des indischen Ozeans. Eines der dort ansässigen jungen Unternehmen heißt Mailbird mit einem internationalen Team. Andrea Loubier ist CEO von Mailbird und erklärt im Interview, warum Bali der perfekte Standort für junge Tech-Unternehmen ist und weshalb es ein Gerücht ist, dass Startups immer Produkte für Apple entwickeln.

Andrea Loubier CEO Mailbird
Andrea Loubier ist CEO von Mailbird, welches seinen Standort in Bali hat. (Bild: mailbird)

Andrea, please let us know in few words what your Startup Mailbird does?

Andrea Loubier: Would love to! Mailbird gives you a much more productive email management solution on the Windows platform. It is a software that you download to your Windows machine (yes its only for Windows, at least for now), enabling you to manage all emails and email accounts, all in one well-designed, productivity focused application. At one point we called it the “Sparrow for Windows” – Sparrow was an awesome, simple and clean email client that worked really well for Gmail email accounts.

Mailbird is better than its competitors because it is ultimately:

1) Faster
2) More intuitive to use and discover great email features
3) Innovative, with the tools to help you get more things done like the first email speed reader
4) Productivity focused
5) Customizable and well-designed to cater to your personality

People hate email. Why? Because sometimes it doesn’t work. Sometimes it slows them down. It’s distracting, can be overwhelming and counter-productive. It’s old and has not innovated much to how we work online today, adjusted to the influx of information shared with us online every day. People struggle with email management. It can be fast. All things in life stop when you are disconnected from the internet and have no email access. Some email clients just don’t feel right. People loose countless hours each day as a slave to their inbox. We are going to change that with Mailbird 2.0 – we promise that you will love email again.

Our team is fully passionate to making online communication better. We invite all the Windows/PC users in the world, especially with the upcoming launch of Windows 10, to start de-stressing your email management with Mailbird.
The Mailbird team is dedicated to delivering quality by paying attention to every detail and interaction you have with your emails. We take our user’s happiness seriously, and offer awesome free customer support to everyone who is on Mailbird.

Most of the young companies are developing products for Mac and are also users of Apple products. Why did you decide to develop a Windows Email Client?

Andrea Loubier: Haha, I knew I’d have this question of “Why Windows?” and I totally have an answer for you. So it is quite the misconception that most young companies are developing products for Mac and are Apple product consumers. There are just as many, like our company, who are building for Windows as well. We are seeing a larger focus for cross-device, cross-platform software and service providers, but why we opted to focus on Windows comes down to the following reasons:

1) The market share of Windows OS users still remains as the majority in the world, and Mailbird strives to be a global email solution for that massive market that represents 82 percent of all operating systems in the world. Thank to Bill Gates’ vision of getting a PC in every home ;)

2) Windows is very much an under-served market for great email applications such as an email client. On Windows you are stuck with Outlook (bloated, slow and not innovating), Inky (newer one but is a web client packaged as a native email client – so it just doesn’t feel right and very buggy), Thunderbird (poor design, Mozilla ceased further development), Postbox (just another email client, nothing special), EmClient (an Outlook wannabe). On Mac, you simply have an abundance of email client options to choose from.

3) We feel that it’s better to focus on just one OS, so we picked the largest one that had a user problem to solve with email management. Think of it as going to one of those restaurants where they serve everything – every type of food under the sun (much like many tourist restaurants you’ll find in Bali, where the Mailbird hub is located). The food is always, well… “Meh.” Then compare that to a specialty restaurant that does one thing, and they do that one thing REALLY well. This would be like a BBQ ribs place – a place so good they only need one awesome product that they rock at. Then they become THE BBQ rib place to go. It’s about focusing on one thing and on delivering the best quality with that one thing. For us, its Mailbird 2.0, an email client carefully and meticulously hand crafted for every Windows user in the world.

How are you funded?

Andrea Loubier: We bootstrapped with an initial $100k of capital injection from our CPO, Michael Bodekaer. Since then we’ve hit profitability and have taken a smaller chunk of angel investment to invest into the company’s growth.

Why Bali is the perfect base for your Startup?
Andrea Loubier: Bali is great for building your tech startup for many reasons.

1) It remove the hectic stressed feeling that you would normally feel in busy cities. People say that cities are where all the action is, but Bali is where you build product, where you really get shit done! ;)

2) You are surrounded by amazing nature that stimulates a very positive and happy work environment

3) There is an amazing startup and entrepreneurial community in Bali

4) Bali is quiet international, and I am someone who firmly believes that building relationships is one of the most important things you can do to move your business forward. Here with the community and revolving door of travelers from all over the world who are also entrepreneurs – you build some amazing partnerships and gain important introductions to your network.

5) Livit is a startup ecosystem in Bali that Mailbird is a part of, and here many day to day mundane tasks that just eat up your precious time as an entrepreneur simply melt away. Why? Because of an infrastructure, providing staff to help take care of those things so startups and entrepreneurs in the community can focus on building their business. More time to dedicate to the success and growth of your company.

6) People are really friendly and hospitable in Bali

7) Cost of living is quite low when compared to Western or European countries, which is great for startups that need to keep costs low.

8) Lots of great talent in Indonesia too, where a large percentage of team members are local and we all love the diversity and learning this stimulates.

You are working at a place where other people spend their holidays. How does your business outfit look like?

Andrea Loubier: Well given the climate conditions and the fact that a lot of the areas where people work at Livit are spaces that are open to the elements, you’ve got to dress accordingly! Hehe, so yes if you come to our “office” you’ll see a lot of tank tops, shorts and flip flops. Important to be comfortable when working in a hot climate.

What you won’t find are business casual or business professional attire. You won’t see anyone around here wearing a long sleeved button up work shirt, a blazer and some long slacks. You know how people in offices usually have a “casual Friday” where they can take a break from their business casual work attire, and come to work in their jeans or a t-shirt? Well, it is rare to see in Bali – but we thought instead we’d take a break from the island casual wear and have a “fancy Friday”. Was actually strange to see people all dressed up in nice work shirts, skirts, blouses, heels and black slacks. It was fun and everyone got a good kick out of it.

Not to say that even though you might find us running around in casual wear in Bali, when the occasion is right we all know how to clean up nicely and look really professional and sharp ;)

What is your advice for other female founders?

Andrea Loubier: So I’m a mega advocate for women stepping into leadership, executive or positions that are not typical to see women in. I’ve held many management roles as a young female in the professional business world. Since starting Mailbird, I had many doubts about being able to “do it”, to run a brand new tech startup with no technical background. When getting into tech culture, entrepreneurship and startup communities – it is quick to perceive that you are outnumbered by men. The truth is, we shouldn’t look at one’s success to lead by their gender. Instead we should evaluate one based on their experience, merit, resourcefulness and grit. My advice to female founders is to not let anyone make you doubt yourself – just go for it, and go full throttle.
Don’t be afraid to be “bossy” (referencing the Ban Bossy campaign), to take a strong stand, use strong will and trust yourself even if you screw up or fail. I hope more women are encouraged to lead and start building great companies in the years to come. I hope more women feel the spark to be a badass in whatever she does. It is important developing how we solve problems and do business in the world.

My biggest advice is to stay persistent and make it happen when developing your business, build relationships with the people that can help you move forward faster and start engaging with and encouraging massive customer feedback on whatever you do. In my mind, it’s always been about building those key relationships that challenge you, support you and inspire you to do something really awesome.

Thank you, Andrea!

Andrea Loubier ist CEO des 2013 gegründeten Startups Mailbird. Sie ist ein sogenanntes „Third Culture kid“, da ihre Mutter von den Phillippinen stammt, ihr Vater aus den USA und sie selbst in Frankreich geboren wurde. Sie bringt Erfahrungen aus den Bereichen Marketing und Projekt Management mit und sorgt für den Zusammenhalt des Mailbird-Teams. Sie hat eine Leidenschaft fürs Netzwerken und für scharfes Essen.