Interview with CEO Aydin Mirzaee

Shaaz Nasir

Who is Aydin Mirzaee?

Aydin Mirzaee CEO

Mindthis is gathering advice from young CEO’s all over the world in various sectors. Young professionals are more eager to start their own company and it’s critical to get advice from those who have accomplished this feat successfully.

Introducing Aydin Mirzaee

Aydin Mirzaee is the co-CEO of Inc., a new internet software company focused on empowering feedback. Mirzaee has focused his efforts with one creating two great software products: FluidSurveys & myReviewRoom. Before, Mirzaee was the co-founder of a mobile 2.0 company, where prior he was part of the Network Management Software Group at Nortel. Before working with Nortel, Mirzaee was the manager of a call center that helped raise funds for educational causes. Furthermore, he also served as the assistant to the executive director of the Student World Assembly.

1. What’s all about?

Our company makes two awesome online software products:

a. FluidSurveys is an enterprise-grade online survey tool that is also remarkably easy to learn and use. Many different organizations, from small non-profits to Fortune 500 companies, use our software for a wide variety of things. This includes mobile data collection, customer satisfaction surveys, and more.

b. MyReviewRoom is a do-it-yourself online tool that allows organizations to quickly set up an online application process. Colleges and universities, for example, have used this tool to set up scholarship programs that can be easily accessible for students to apply online. Reality TV shows have also used us to accept applications from people who want to be on their show. It’s a seriously disruptive product and we’re glad to be at the forefront of the industry.

Aymin Mirzaee Team

2. Has being relatively young hurt or helped your progress with

Well the way to succeed, in general, is to list all of your weaknesses and then figure out how to convince yourself that they’re actually strengths. So, it’s not that you’re young, but rather that you’re full of energy and in tune with the latest trends in your industry. With that said, there are times when your age can seriously matter; in those cases (think selling to very large organizations or governmental institutions) you can overcome that by being resourceful and showcasing other members of your team, your partners, advisers, and even the list of customers that already do business with you.

3. How do you balance the hectic life of a start-up CEO with your personal life?

The best way to balance both aspects is by not considering them to be separate things. Realistically, no matter how much you love anything, you will get tired of it. You can love basketball, but after playing for 8 hours you’ll likely get tired and want to do something else. The great thing about “playing company” is that there are so many different modules to play and so many different levels to go through. Whenever you want to take a break from “playing company” then you can do that and come back to it later. It’s important that you like playing the game, though as long as you do, you’ll want to keep playing.

4. What were the main road blocks to making a success?

The main problem we had in the early days was that we didn’t know how to properly compete in a crowded marketplace. As your readers may know, there are 1000s of survey tools out there. The problem was determining how to get people to discover FluidSurveys in order to understand the value proposition behind it. We knew we had to show people why they should choose us over everyone else. Without going into too much detail, it comes down to the fact that you can’t boil the ocean all at once. The key is to identify segments of the market where you can become #1 and start to address them one at a time. Once you’re a dominant player in a given segment, then you can start to move to others. Eventually, you’ll build a brand, and you’ll have the muscle to be able to take on the whole ocean. Team

5. Collaboration > Competition Do you agree or disagree?

Collaboration is awesome; I think that in order to benefit from it the most, you need to position your company to be in a place where it can effectively collaborate with as many companies as possible. If you take a look at competitor ABC and copy them entirely, then, you’ll never be able to collaborate with them.  However, if you have a clear differentiation in your value proposition, partnerships can be possible.

6. What are your thoughts on Generation Y? Overly Naive or Bravely Optimistic?

Everyone should be overly optimistic – it’s fun and it leads to great things – you’ll have to try it to see what I mean.

7. What are the three things you would say to a young professional trying to create a start up in the tech industry?

a) Work at a start-up to learn the ropes

b) Do it

c) Rinse and repeat until you succeed

8. Where is heading in the next 5 years?

The real question is where isn’t it heading! But if you really want to define it, I’d really like to see us get past the $50 million/year revenue mark – I think that’s the point where you can seriously say that you’re a big company. It’s a milestone more than anything else; it’s not easy and that’s what makes it fun.