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Andrea Loubier of Mailbird: “You’ve got to be strong”

Cutting edge communication tech doesn’t necessarily mean that it requires some fancy new technology that no one has ever heard of, or Artificial Intelligence that writes your emails for you, or that it’s so technologically advanced that only the techiest segments of society are able to use it. Cutting edge communication tech is realized when […]

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Cutting edge communication tech doesn’t necessarily mean that it requires some fancy new technology that no one has ever heard of, or Artificial Intelligence that writes your emails for you, or that it’s so technologically advanced that only the techiest segments of society are able to use it. Cutting edge communication tech is realized when we actually significantly improve our lives through experiences that enable us to live happier, more balanced lives where we are in control and able achieve things with ease and efficiency. This all comes down to how we engage with technology and also balance our engagement with technology in communication versus using real life and real time communication interactions. As humans, we need this. As humans, we are social beings and cutting edge communication technology means building true relationships through reliable communication. It means simplifying complicated things in life, so that we can enjoy life to the fullest.


The telephone totally revolutionized the way we could communicate with people all over the world. But then came email and took it to the next level. And then came text messaging. And then came video calls. And so on…What’s next? What’s just around the corner?

In this interview series, called ‘The Future Of Communication Technology’ we are interviewing leaders of tech or telecom companies who are helping to develop emerging communication technologies and the next generation of how we communicate and connect with each other.

As a part of this series, I had the pleasure of interviewing Andrea Loubier.

Andrea Loubier is the CEO and Cofounder of Mailbird. She is passionate about Women in Tech, Remote Work, and Behaviors Between Humans and Technology. You can find Andrea solving the problems with digital communication, human connection, being a spokesperson for equality and inclusion and building a healthy relationship with technology.


Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive in, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your ‘backstory’ and how you got started?

I wanted to become a social worker, to help people. However, working with legacy governmental systems was frustrating, didn’t pay well and was not exciting enough. I then decided to fall on my degree in marketing so got my first post grad job working at a market research firm — worked there 6 years, promoted each year, left to do something new. Got a job with a software company. This is where I was inspired and the decision-making wheel began once I got a taste of being able to own creating a life that I was proud of and that had greater purpose.

So, I kept my eyes and ears open for opportunities, especially internationally outside of the U.S. At this time tech was booming and Southeast Asia was developing faster than ever. I applied to work for a property rental tech company, through which I became friends with one of the founders. From this, I was introduced to my current partner and co-founder in Mailbird and decided to pack up my bags and meet to build an email company from exotic Bali, Indonesia. The motivating factor was working for a tech firm previously that was thriving, growing and had a positive culture. I wanted to get into tech. I wanted to start my own company. I wanted to learn and fail and succeed.

I started tackling one of the biggest challenges since the invention of the internet, that being email management and the experience that comes with it. Today I’m more passionate than ever in getting granular on human behavior in relation to technologies that rule our lives today. I’m intrigued by the psychological motivators that create work flow, but also stress. I wanted to solve the problem with email, a daunting task. I was excited for this new chapter and challenge. I can say that the decision paid off, as I don’t think I’ve ever hit the ground running so fast and so hard with the outcome of learning so fast since starting a business and not being afraid to fail.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?

I was invited to partake in a startup reality show on the TV network Channel News Asia. One thing I learned from starting a company, is you have to jump right into it to learn and to choose living a life with no regrets. I was always interested in seeking creative opportunities to help grow our business and this is one of the more crazy opportunities I took on.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

“Life is a series of baby steps” by said by Hoda Kotb. I think this is more recently relevant given the relation to parenthood and watching a child observe and grow in the real world. They learn by doing, falling, making mistakes and without fear of judgement from others. It’s unfortunate that this changes as we mature in age and what others think becomes more impactful in shaping our minds. However it’s a positive when our circle of influence is propelling us forward. So much of life is rushed these days, so in the spirit of slowing down and being present in the world that is moving fast, I feel strongly that we shouldn’t be afraid to slow down. When we slow down, we have more clarity and time for reflection. I believe that progress happens when we take baby steps, making big daunting goals feel much more achievable.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

I cannot say just one person to be honest, I’d say it’s a number of people in my life that have inspired me and motivated me. Encouragement and living the life you want is so important to me. I don’t want to ever feel regret because I was too fearful of doing or not doing something. So in this case I wouldn’t say one person, but rather many from my parents, my business partners, family, friends, successful VC guys, business coaches, influencers and teachers. This intricate network of people that help propel and empower me to do things outside of my comfort zone were pivotal in my achievements. I’ve recently become a first time parent, and they say it takes a village to raise a child. Much like this sentiment, I believe it takes a village to build a person of character, resilience and success — no one successful ever….ever….did it alone.

How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?

Being an entrepreneur I believe that I have an opportunity to set an example for young women to encourage them to aim for opportunities and roles that go beyond the limitations that still exist today for women. Another element here that I think is important is representing women in Southeast Asia, as culturally there is a stronger need to empower and motivate women to reach high and achieve great things where gender roles are still rather conservative. Finally, since Mailbird has been a remote-first company, with strong values on inclusion and diversity, I have the chance to innovate and lead the way in which we work. Crossing boarders through communication and technology to build strong teams that can work efficiently, openly, professionally and with greater ability to solve tough problems like our unhealthy relationship with technology today.

Ok wonderful. Let’s now shift to the main focus of our interview. Can you tell us about the cutting edge communication tech that you are working on? How do you think that will help people?

Mailbird has continued to be in the spotlight as one of the most reliable email management solutions today that enables people and teams to manage multiple email accounts, from multiple email providers, all unified into one tool. If we look at a few things in our environment when it comes to communication tech, what is evident is that email is tried and true and continues to be the core communication platform that many new technologies have been built upon — this includes social, productivity, marketing, calendar management, record keeping, chat and video meetings. You can say that email was the technology that served as the “gateway drug” to all the new mediums and platforms for communication — and remains to be one of the best inventions since the introduction of the internet.

So today, we are plagued with thousands of different tools to communicate, be productive and get things done. The challenge is then being selective and navigating through multiple applications to exchange information and make connections. The core use of email is prominently used in business communication, and that can be B2C or B2B. Mailbird solves this by unifying those core communication platforms and technologies into one application, with email management at its core. Our team at Mailbird focuses on ensuring the experience with email management is easy, enjoyable, convenient and reliable. The other side of this is human behavior and our relationship with technology.

Not only does Mailbird focus on delivering a unified and positive email experience where you actually feel good when managing your inbox, but our team also continues to serve people around the world in educating email users on best ways to manage email and bring balance to our interactions with technology versus the real world that is in real time and face to face. It’s important that we distinguish both sides of the problem with email management being time consuming and a negative experience, and also teaching people how to take control of their precious time on this planet to not waste it on things like compulsively checking their inbox.

Cutting edge communication tech doesn’t necessarily mean that it requires some fancy new technology that no one has ever heard of, or Artificial Intelligence that writes your emails for you, or that it’s so technologically advanced that only the techiest segments of society are able to use it. Cutting edge communication tech is realized when we actually significantly improve our lives through experiences that enable us to live happier, more balanced lives where we are in control and able achieve things with ease and efficiency. This all comes down to how we engage with technology and also balance our engagement with technology in communication versus using real life and real time communication interactions. As humans, we need this. As humans, we are social beings and cutting edge communication technology means building true relationships through reliable communication. It means simplifying complicated things in life, so that we can enjoy life to the fullest.

How do you think this might change the world?

Mailbird as a company will change the world in how we deliver value through a unified and reliable email experience. This is further complimented with integrations of other communication tools that enable people to find a positive balance with communication via technology. It is clear with the fast pace the world is changing with technology, that we haven’t taken a pause to investigate and truly understand the outcomes of our addiction to technology. Many technology companies profit off of our addiction and time spent using different technologies.

They are built upon capitalizing on our attention. With our company values and approach to human behavior when it comes to technology engagement, we hope to lead the way as a communication tech company that puts our customer’s well-being as our top priority, by providing solutions that are focused on efficiency and ease and not on how much time people will spend with our app — because no one wants to live in their inbox. People want to eliminate stress from their lives, and one way to do this is by eliminating the constant pull of our attention to checking messages and notifications to no avail.

Mailbird will change the world because with the work force increasingly becoming remote, there has been a lack of attention to ensuring we learn positive and efficient behaviors with communication tech. It is inevitable that we will continue to heavily grow our reliance on technology to stay connected and get things done, without the limitation of boarders or time. It is our responsibility to deliver those solutions that bring ease of communication management online, whilst leading the way in shaping positive, healthy, and balanced behaviors with these technologies.

Keeping “Black Mirror” in mind can you see any potential drawbacks about this technology that people should think more deeply about?

It’s already happening today, where you go anywhere and the culture of being connected 24/7 punches you in the face. Go to almost any public setting, and you are guaranteed to see at least 75% of the people staring at a screen — and particularly evident in cities. This is both good and bad. Good in that it’s amazing that technology enables us to access information 24/7, and to fulfill that innate need as social human beings to feel connected. Note that I use the word “feel”, because there is only so much that technology can do at this stage to substitute real life, real time human interactions.

At Mailbird we aim to lead the way in avoiding the drawbacks of the addiction to technology, and to find a means to use it efficiently, spending less time with tech and more time in the real world, off our screens. What if people could cut the time spent engaged with technology by 90%, so that the remaining 10% could be time spent engaged in real time and space with people, face to face. We wouldn’t want to live in a world where human beings are so entirely connected, that the true outcome is that they are disconnected from truly living their life by being present in the world around them and with those close to them.

This goes without saying, communication technology, like email, is never going to loose value in the fast paced, ever changing world of technology. So now is the time to really pay attention to our current human behaviors with technology and how it has positively impacted, and negatively impacted our ability to connect with each other, collaborate and make things happen without the need for being truly present in space and time. Realizing this and bringing awareness to this can help us avoid a black mirror tech dystopia spun world where our lives are damaged by such poor behaviors and relationships with technology in how it contributes to our means of communication and connection.

Was there a “tipping point” that led you to this breakthrough? Can you tell us that story?

When starting Mailbird, we were careless during that time, when the issue was not as prominent. We wanted to build the most badass, tech centric, fancy email client that looked good. After several years of growth and building and iterating, the clarity came in our own personal engagements with technology and communication. The stress, the headache, the overload, the disorganized spread of tools across different platforms, the misuse of the tools, the misunderstandings that easily occur when communicating through asynchronously via text. The sheer time we spend with technology in any given day. When assessing work life balance and overall well being and good health, it took several decades for these negative patterns to emerge.

I was able to internalize those shortcomings of communication technologies, and recognize the patterns in this industry that has lead email users and tech consumers to negative outcomes. They say, the first step is recognizing that there is a problem. Now is the time to focus and continue optimizing and improving and solving that problem, by creating efficiencies in our time spent with technology to communicate with one another. Once you put a few rules in place, also known as boundaries, with the relationship and engagement you have with technology — then it becomes clear that our time is of value and our priorities in life go far beyond our incessant need to react to message pings in our multiple inboxes.

What do you need to lead this technology to widespread adoption?

As with most things, it takes diligence and persistence in communicating these findings. We need to start conversations in real time, in real space with one another. We need to bring the opportunity and education of creating positive and balanced relationships with our communication tech to everyday people and businesses, through testing, feedback and multiple iterations that assess the quality of life when using the right technologies, in the correct manner with a key focus on reducing precious time.

Instead we focus on efficiency and smart use cases for communication tech, so that we can live more fulfilled lives. It doesn’t matter if you are an introvert or a total social party animal, the negative impact of technology on our well being does not discriminate on our social styles or preferences. Having a person of influence speak on this would perhaps bring more attention and realization to this troubling matter we face with information communication technologies. Look at what Elon Musk did for crypto and clubhouse, as an example. All jokes aside, it takes a person of influence and significance to gain that initial spread of adoption. With that, adoption only happens when there is clarity and understanding of the value proposition. In this case for us at Mailbird, it is understanding the inevitable demise that negative behaviors and addition to technology has on our well being. We want to simplify that use case for people that need email in their life. We want to make the time spent with email enjoyable, reliable and efficient. We are doing that already with our focus on unification and education.

The pandemic has changed so many things about the way we behave. One of them of course, is how we work and how we communicate in our work. How do you think your innovation might be able to address the new needs that have arisen as a result of the pandemic?

At Mailbird we specifically focus on results. Being a remote-first, international company — we are the first to experience and endure the hardships of how we communicate in our work. Having experienced it first hand, and thus seeing the rest of the world slowly adapt to this remote work environment there are definitive habits that can send any company down the windy road of email stress and mismanagement of communication and the frustration of misunderstandings that happen through written communication through technologies like email, chat or any other platform that requires us to communicate clearly and with a human touch, what we want to say. It’s easy with asynchronous communication — given the delays and lack of context or understanding of communication styles — to create a very frustrating and negative team culture when working remotely.

The thing is, this already existed before the pandemic, but the circumstances now bring more light to the issues. Many companies are struggling to adopt this new work flow of asynchronous, text-dominant communication. When you are used to running into people face to face in the office, transitioning to experiencing that same “run in” and relationship building opportunities present new challenges when handled remotely. At Mailbird we are tackling these emerging needs with email management and education through content development that teaches people and teams how to best optimize email usage. We are starting with reduction. Reducing emails. Reducing time spent managing emails. Reducing negative habits with email. Reducing misunderstanding. Reducing stress.

We kick that off with our most key value proposition to email users worldwide, which is unifying those channels into one place. No more running around. One place where you can streamline and focus your email management and ensure that your communication is clear, positive, productive, engaging and built on the foundation of building healthy relationships with one another.

Fantastic. Here is the main question of our interview. What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started” and why? (Please share a story or example for each.)

  1. You’ve got to be strong — you will face many challenges so you need to stand tall and get through them. Leadership is something that comes easy to some and not so much to others, however it can be something that you learn and develop into. My biggest learning is that the best leaders are both task and relationship oriented, so I continue to deliver on both to ensure I empower my people and elicit the most impact in team collaboration.
  2. Never give up — it’s easier to just walk away sometimes, but if you are truly committed to making your business succeed, then you need to know that you will not give up. It’s important to trust yourself and continue to believe in yourself to cut through the many obstacles and barriers that will get in the way, distract you and prevent you from achieving what you want
  3. Be persistent — if you want to make something happen, trying once and failing will not get you there. I spent a year building relationships with the right people to have one of the most successful software launches with Mailbird that got covered by top publishers from TechCrunch to CNBC. And I did it with my own grit and determination, unlike those tech companies that have access to VC networks that tap them into all the key media influencers. I did it alone, and that says a lot for the type of drive I have as a leader for Mailbird. Being persistent and sticking with it for the long run is the path forward, there are no shortcuts.
  4. Be consistent — relationships in business are built on knowing what to expect from you or your solution every single time, so you need to deliver the same thing to ensure expectations are always aligned. Making sure communication is clear and consistent is also the key to ensuring success in business.
  5. Get help — you don’t need to do it by yourself, in fact you must find those who are going to help you reach your business goals. As some say, no one successful got to where they are on their own. Remembering that you have nothing to prove, and to be humble to the process of learning and failing, then iterating and succeeding.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

I believe in our particular interest in the behaviors between humans and technology, that we’ve become disconnected with our current world. In some cases, this is culture specific, however there is no doubt that the way in which a human exists in the world today has been largely impacted by constantly being connected to technology that has become addictive. Technology that has become a source of stress, anxiety and distance from real life.

There is an incredible amount of misinterpretation and miscommunication that happens on text based communication that happens through technology — look at the U.S. presidential elections for example, where a lot of misunderstanding and misinformation was happening online because people read words and didn’t speak to each other face to face, in real time in the same space. We’ve forgotten the power of humans as a social and intelligent species, and the thing that enabled us to be considered a superior animal in the world is our ability to connect, empathize, engage, support and collaborate in ways that keep us thriving, alive and healthy. The tipping point with the benefits of technology and its ability to connect us is that it very easily turns into something that is inefficient. Today we lack the most important thing that enables us to grow, which is connection in the flesh, that can only happen when you are face to face in real time, and in a shared space. The challenge today is to be able to fill that personal, positive, supportive and empathetic gap, whilst continuing the efficiency in our communications via technology.

How can our readers further follow your work online?

Forbes https://www.forbes.com/sites/andrealoubier/

Linkedin https://www.linkedin.com/in/andrea-loubier-87026b18/

Twitter https://twitter.com/aloubier

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/andrea.loubier1

Instagram https://www.instagram.com/andrealoubier/

Pinterest https://id.pinterest.com/andrealoubier/_saved/

Quora https://www.quora.com/profile/Andrea-Loubier-1

Thank you so much for the time you spent doing this interview. This was very inspirational, and we wish you continued success.


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