Pat Osorio is the co-founder of Birdie, a venture-backed insights-as-a-service startup that is helping brands like P&G and Samsung transform consumer-generated content into granular insights about buying and ownership experiences, brand perception, product performance & features, and ultimately how all that can impact NPS and market share. She is also the co-founder of GVAngels, an Angel Investment Group with 200+ members that has already invested more than $2 million in 20 startups across several industries. Previous to these 2 endeavors, she also became a partner of a Marketing Technology provider in Brazil that she helped to grow from 30 to 400 employees while expanding to other countries in Latin America, and co-founded a subscription e-commerce that grew to $8 million in revenue in 3 years.
Where did the idea for Birdie come from?
We started Birdie about two and a half years ago when we started noticing that with the growth of eCommerce and more people purchasing products online, there was a lot of content being generated by consumers – 62% more user reviews are written every year according to IDG. As we started to learn more about the market, we discovered that 94% of consumers don’t buy a product before they’ve read at least a few reviews – in what we call the validation economy. We started looking at that data and noticed how rich was the information there to learn about user behavior and satisfaction – imagine having millions of consumers giving spontaneous opinions every day about your products and the ones from your competitors? When we spoke to a few manufacturers about it, we learned that they spend up to 80% of their time just trying to make sense of the amount of data that they’re capturing and 85% of Consumer Insights and Customer Service executives don’t believe they have the right tools to help them capture and learn from that information. That made us feel confident that there was space for a solution and started evolving Birdie to become that: a platform that captures, understands, and organizes reviews to transform them into feedback about consumers’ expectations and satisfaction. Birdie has an AI engine that turns that data into relevant and granular insights that helps brands identify pre-critical insights based on data and take action faster, improving their overall results.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
I’m a morning person and I love to exercise frequently, especially outdoors. Exercising helps me tire my body and relax my mind, so I always start my day going out for a run or working out at the gym – normally from 5 to 6 in the morning. This helps me get the energy and concentration needed to start the day. After that, I get back home, take a shower and have a smoothie for breakfast while I take a glance at the news, emails, or listen to a podcast. These are the key things to make me have a good start for the day. To make sure I’m productive I also try to stick to my planned calendar, starting with a daily meeting with my teams and later saving some hours for individual work before my afternoon meetings start. I also try to end the day always before 7pm so I can have time for personal stuff and chores.
How do you bring ideas to life?
One thing I always try to do is to take small breaks where I breathe deeply, walk a bit, and look outside. Looking outside allows me to get inspiration and to put things in perspective before going back to working on something. I also try to collaborate with my team – other people not only bring different ideas, but they also complete me in a lot of ways and allow me to get the best out of myself and out of them to in order to accomplish something.
What’s one trend that excites you?
Not sure if this can be considered a trend, but I’m pretty excited about how we’re growing into a more inclusive and diverse society – little by little.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
One thing that I do is that I always give myself some time before an important meeting, because I know that I need to be 100% present and these extra minutes are important to settle down. Every time I had to run to an important meeting without the time to prepare for it, I noticed my performance wasn’t the same.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Believe in yourself and don’t be afraid of trying – take risks and test different things. Most of my regrets are for not doing that. You are as capable as anyone else, so give yourself value and challenge things you disagree with. Take better care of your knees too : )
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
That’s a hard one. I’d say that, among my friends, almost nobody agrees that waking up 4:40 am to exercise helps you start the day with more energy hahaha. Most of them are night owls!
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Two things: listening and building relationships. These are the most important things for entrepreneurs. It’s listening that makes we learn and confirm if we’re going in the right path: listening to customers, to your teammates, to your network. And building relationships – which is intertwined with listening – is what will make you not only get further, but also enjoy the road.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Focusing in one thing at a time. As entrepreneurs we always see a lot of opportunities, and although that can be great, that can also mine a company. Not having focus makes you spent a lot of energy and not producing results. It’s better to focus in one thing and do it really well before moving to the next one. We’ve had opportunities to expand our focus to other things related to our core, but we’ve turned a number of them down exactly because we knew they would make us drift from our goals and from becoming the best in what we do.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
I make a lot of choices badid what a lot of entrepreneurs do: I fell in love with our product and stopped to really listen to our customers’ feedback. If somebody told me that our product was amazing but they never bought it I’d still believe them, instead of realizing they were just afraid to tell us what was wrong and hurt our feelings. It made me learn how to validate and revalidate anything we heard and to value actions much more than words.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
Creating an app to manage all your subscriptions. We’re all full of subscriptions today, from services to food, and some times we loose track of it. I’d love to have a place to pause/cancel/manage everything from.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
Can it be more than $100? I recently bought a bike to ride around the city. I love doing sports, especially outdoors, and using my bike to discover hidden places is something that energizes me. If it’s $100, I’d say probably a special dinner with my life – I enjoy having these moments with her and any money spent that way is money well spent (especially if it involves food!).
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
I don’t live without my calendar. I put almost everything on it, even if it’s small breaks or a personal thing. I learned to do it with the Unscheduling method, from the Now Habit book. It pretty much says that you should put personal stuff in your calendar and make them be as important as a work meeting – otherwise you will procrastinate.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
What is your favorite quote?
There are several quotes that inspired me during my journey. One that really moves me is one that was said by Skinner, an American psychologist that pioneered Behavioral Psychology. He said, among several other amazing things, that “A failure is not always a mistake, it may simply be the best one can do under the circumstances. The real mistake is to stop trying.”. I love this quote for a few reasons: first, because it makes us more tolerant of other people’s mistakes — and our own — by framing the fact that sometimes that is the best someone can do at that moment given his circumstances and background. Second, because it states one of the principles of behavior psychology, which is that we can teach almost anything to anyone if we give them the right stimuli. Last, because it reinforces one of my great beliefs, which is that we shouldn’t stop trying and pursuing something and that the worst we can do is give up.
- Building relationships and listening to people are the foundations for success;
- “A failure is not always a mistake, it may simply be the best one can do under the circumstances. The real mistake is to stop trying.”
- Focus in building one thing at a time – this will take you further than if you try to tackle all opportunities at once;
- Find out the things that energize you and put them in your calendar. They should be a priority as much as any work-related activity;
- Collaborating with other people and having a team that allows each one to put their best into a project is the best way to turn ideas into action.