When we started this category on our blog, we wanted to show our readers personalities who are a great inspiration in their industry.
So, if you are a designer you can read our interview with Jacob Cass or with Zipeng Zhu, if you are interested in social media you can read the interview with Chris Brogan or Dragos Stanca or if you are more interested in display advertising you can read the interview with our Head of Product, Raul Popa or Joe McCambley. Today I want to present a special guest. His main activities include corporate innovation, product conception, development, management and overseeing the operations of the start ups and internal projects he is involved in at Evozon. Lorand Minyo is a calm and mindful person, passionate trend spotter but most of all, in love every second of every day of his job.
Lorand’s next big start-up is Neveli – the predictive and proactive healthcare platform designed to fix worldwide issues caused by the increasing lack of qualified doctors and healthcare professionals.
Official Website: www.lorandminyo.com
Could you tell us briefly about your background? How did you get started and for how long have you been doing it?
“It’s a fun thing to ask. I’ve been into ancient Greek and Latin in high-school, with a strong accent on history and civilizations, then moved towards economics and marketing in college and ended up working in tech. I like to think of this journey as one that helped me connect the dots in some strange ways.
I actually started work as an internet café attendant back in 2000. It was supposed to be a summer job that would help me gather some money to ease the financial burden on my parents, since by the time I finished high-school they were already retired. But it turned out to be quite interesting, so I moved on to promote game servers for a local company. That was my 1st experience with what I call “the sweet spot” – at the intersection of what I learned to do (marketing) and what I loved (technology). Ever since then I can say that I pretty much loved my work as long as it involved marketing, advertising and technology. Lately I’ve started connecting even more dots at the intersection of product design, human behavior and healthcare.”
What difficulties did you face at the beginning of your career?
“Pretty much what many others faced as well: Not really knowing which path to take. As children in a post-communist country we’ve been told finish school, get a good job, get married and have children then live your life as best you can. Then the advice changed to “find something you love and do that for the rest of your life”. That’s one of the most dangerous advices you can follow, since rarely something you love doing is also useful early in your life. I’d rather advise going with something you’re really good at doing and learn to love it. For example, a little known fact is that I’ve been working with one of the largest advertising agencies in the world for the past 9 years writing copy. It’s not something I particularly love, but I’m rather good at it, so I continue doing it. And I learned to like it.
Also, do things that matter & which have a positive impact in people’s lives. I realize that this is harsh, but it’s much better than loving something and wasting your life on meaningless things. If you can find something you’re both very good at and love it, you’re among the very lucky ones.”
What type of brief or project do you enjoy working on the most?
“Projects that I’ve never worked on and I know nothing about the industry or target market. It forces me to come up with ideas that possibly have never been tried and tested before. This gives me the opportunity to innovate – also to fail fast if it’s the case. I rarely get to work on these types of projects though, thus my love for innovative startups that tackle problems in an entirely new way.”
What do you think which are the most important aspects when it comes to defining a good design?
“Users and usability. Ask questions. Make design idiot-proof. Test and iterate.”
Let’s move on online advertising. What are the trends that you think will continue to influence online advertising?
“I don’t think that there is something that will “continue” to influence online advertise.
I believe that advertising will not only become fully social & personal, but also predictive and proactive. If not, I’m sorry for those that cannot kill ad blindness.”
What’s the role of advertising in today’s acquisition strategies?
“As it always was – a necessary evil. Ok, evil is a strong word – if we’re talking about user acquisition I’d rather go with innovation and building something new that has the “wow factor”.
Advertising will take care of itself if you have these.”
What do you think about advertising on social media?
“It’s the future – but we’re no longer calling it social media advertising. We’re calling it community powered media. And many other names. Regardless of what you call it, advertising is now a two way communication deal, so you need to act accordingly.”
And because you work with a lot of start-ups we want to know what are some of the biggest problems startups struggle with and what solutions you see for those?
“Where do I even start? Most startups don’t have a marketing or advertising problem, they have an ideation one. The most common problem is that they are building things that nobody wants. Out of the ten most common reasons why startups fail, poor marketing is at 8, with ignored customers and ill timing behind it.
So definitely marketing needs to be taken into consideration, but there are so many things that startups need to solve and get right before they get to solve the marketing & advertising issue.
I know this for a fact since I’m on my 3rd startup now, with one failure and one small buyout. “
Final question, are there any secrets that you would like to share with our readers?
“These are not so much of a secret, but rather some random thoughts: We become what we think about. Live in the future & build what’s missing. Start. Be kind, help people. Do things that matter. Exercise. Invest in experiences. And in the tools & things that you spend the most time with. Don’t take yourself too seriously. Smile.”
Thank You Lorand!
I rarely get to work on these types of projects though, thus my love for innovative startups that tackle problems in an entirely new way