[quote style=”boxed”]There is no typical day in a startup. We start every morning asking ourselves what is critical tactically, and what can we do today to improve ourselves strategically. Then we try to strike a balance.[/quote]
Mike Peroni is an experienced leader in business and sales operations, with particular aptitude for startup and technology environments. His track record includes executive positions at three successful startups, where he drove double-digit EBITDA growth.
Mike joined Content Raven from Hybrivet Systems, where under his leadership as chief operating officer, the company realized a 16-time top line growth and 20-time bottom line growth, and ultimately was acquired by 3M in 2011. Prior to his efforts at Hyrbivet, Mike served as senior vice president at Dextrys, where he was responsible for a $30 million services group that experienced year over year top line growth of more than 12 percent for three consecutive years. Before that, he held various executive, management, and software architect roles at TR2 Solutions, Commerce One, AppNet, and Research and Planning. Mike holds a Bachelor of Arts in Computer Science from Boston College.
Where did the idea for Content Raven come from?
We had a customer that was sending out training videos on DVD all over the globe, and they were hemorrhaging Intellectual Property, on YouTube, bit torrent sites, etc. We figured they couldn’t be the only ones with this issue, so we decided to create a cloud-based platform where businesses can control and track content shared online.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
There is no typical day in a startup. We start every morning asking ourselves what is critical tactically, and what can we do today to improve ourselves strategically. Then we try to strike a balance.
How do you bring ideas to life?
Act very quickly to beat them up, extensively. Then find a way to test them. Once all the feedback is in, ask yourself if this will have a material impact. Get some early customers to participate in building on your idea.
What’s one trend that really excites you?
Mobile first, cloud first. Everything should be easy!
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
Constant prioritization, from the strategic opportunities down to the tactics.
What was the worst job you ever had and what did you learn from it?
I worked for a tree cutting service. I learned that I never want to work for a tree cutting service. I learned that working next to a massive wood chipper is a lot more dangerous (and loud) than building a team of product engineers. I also learned that hauling, and dodging tree limbs is a lot more difficult that creating and selling useful software to people!
If you were to start again, what would you do differently?
I would have made growing my network a priority way earlier than I did. Especially as an entrepreneur, it’s so important to meet people who could potentially become business partners or even customers.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Exercise. It’s healthy physically and mentally, and you’re more productive. If you don’t have the time for it, you’re probably not focused enough and may even be trying to be too many things to too many people.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business? Please explain how.
Finding product market fit is priority number one. Put all your efforts into that. Build it and they will come is a myth. You don’t need a perfect product to test. Once you have insight and confidence, improve the product for that market.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
Several years back, I started a consulting business. It did alright, but I learned that, before you have the resources to hire people that compensate for your weaknesses, you have to fight your tendencies to do the things you’re good at and procrastinate with things you’re not good at.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
Appliances as a service. I’m talking washers and dryers. And I’m not talking about leasing. The key to success here would be a disruptive business model focused on the largest segment. Not glamorous, but the numbers look outstanding. If anyone is interested in pursuing it, call me.
Tell us something about you that very few people know?
I compete in collegiate level Greco Roman and Freestyle wrestling tournaments.
What software and web services do you use? What do you love about them?
That’s a long list of the usual suspects. That said, I love Evernote. So easy. Cumberland Farms Smart Pay app. I save 10 cents a gallon! I’m also totally addicted to the game 2048 right now.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
Any from the “HBR 10 Must Reads” series. HBR provide real world business lessons provided by folks that lived through it. It’s a unique perspective in that these folks lived and breathed the problems, solutions and created best practices everybody can learn from and implement in their own businesses.
What people have influenced your thinking and might be of interest to others?
David Skok. Read his blog . Follow him on Twitter @BostonVC. Very insightful stuff!
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