Founder Interview: Spideo CEO Gabriel Mandelbaum on their big US push

Aug 9, 2013
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Throughout the month of August, the Rude Baguette will be running a series of interviews with some of France’s top and rising entrepreneurs, where they’ll share their reflections on their year thus far, their plans through the end of the year and how they manage their businesses through the August down period. In this installment, we talk with Gabriel Mandelbaum, cofounder of Spideo.

Founded by Gabriel Mandelbaum. Thibault d’Orso, and Paul de Monchy, the team has been working in video recommendation since 2010, powering video recommendations for the online video catalogs of such publishers as Canal+ in their CanalPlay Inifinity catalog.  They’re definitely in high growth mode having launched in the US and launched their video recommendation iPad app in France last spring. I recently asked cofounder Gabriel Mandelbaum to share his reflections on his business for our August entrepreneur interview series:

gabrielWhat have been the big accomplishments for Spideo since the beginning of the year?

First, we’ve extended our existing agreement with our very first customer, who we’re excited has decided to continue working with us for over the next few years. Next, the very successful launch of the Spideo iPad app,  both in France and the USA.  Finally, we’ll have big news very soon coming from across the Atlantic, so we’re very excited about that.

What are your goals for the end of the year?

Between September and December, we’ll be launching a new iPhone, Android and web version of Spideo.  We’re also working on closing a new funding round and closing another deal with a TV operator.

What have you learned this year that you think every entrepreneur should know?

  1. Get out of the office (at the very least, the founder/ CEO);  travel, meet people and tell the world how hard your team has been working to build really cool stuff. If you don’t dot it, nobody will ever know what you’re up to.
  2. When sh*t happens, positive panic is an acceptable option; talk to the team, to outside people, call your trusted contacts to discuss your problems and listen to their advice. The worst thing is to sit around waiting behind your desk having a nervous-breakdown.

How does your company handle vacation & the August down period?

Half of the staff is going on vacation this summer (one week on average), but everyone’s not gone at the same time. It’s actually a very busy time for us, particularly as we have 3 apps under development at the same time.

We will also try to take time during the vacation period to think deeply about our organization and work process. We have a lot of informal one-on-one and group discussions for example.

We have decided though to close the office on the 16th so the team can have a long August 15th weekend ( a strong tradition in this country).