I had the pleasure of interviewing Ettore Fantin-Yusta. Ettore developed a strong understanding of internet marketing at a young age after achieving some fame on YouTube. Using these skills, he has co-founded a cybersecurity company (which was later acquired by a competitor) and even pitched a business proposal to the Dalai Lama and his advisors. Ettore is now the Director of Marketing at Find.jobs, a startup that is well on its way to disrupt how we find jobs!
Thank you so much for doing this with us! What is your “backstory”?
I spent some of my early childhood growing up in Santiago Chile. My family immigrated to the United States in 2001. With English being my second language, I stood out from my classmates and ultimately ended up spending a lot of time on the internet. I made my first website at the age of 10 in relatively early days of the internet. I was fascinated with the idea of creating something online for other people to see. I was an early adopter of YouTube, uploading my first video in 2007. I reached a point where I was making several thousands of dollars from YouTube revenue while still in high school. This was my first taste at the possibility of making a living online. Through this experience, I gained several skills including media production and internet marketing. While in college, my friends and I were always working on side projects or doing contract work for local entrepreneurs. One of our side projects was cybersecurity software that became a real company with an office and employees. By the time I graduated, the company I had co-founded had grown to 25 employees and I was able to join them full time. That company was then acquired by our largest competitor, and now I am working as employee number 1 at a new startup!
Can you share the funniest or most interesting story that happened to you since you began leading your company?
The early days of founding companies were very fun. My friends and I all lived in one of the cheapest basement apartments on our college campus. There were water pipes all around our apartment and very little sunlight. All of our furniture was taken from the trash. We did not pay for electricity because an electricity meter was never installed, so we ran a small server and mining rig from our closet. Every founder likes to claim that they’re scrappy and lean, but most of the time they can’t compare to our living situation. We would often have multi-millionaires coming in to our apartment for meetings. It was hilarious to have these important meetings and negotiations take place on tables and couches that we had taken from the trash a week before. During these days, I was also detained by police while dumpster diving at an art museum looking for things to make our apartment nicer for future meetings. Luckily, I was able to talk my way out of the situation.
What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?
The main thing helping my company stand out is the fact that we own the .jobs TLD. While many companies use .jobs websites for their career sites (amazon.jobs, indeed.jobs, landing.jobs), being the licensed operator puts us at a great advantage. Since we own this valuable intangible asset, we receive a lot of partnership interest from large organizations.
Are you working on any new or exciting projects now?
Find.jobs keeps me very busy and engaged. There are so many unique challenges. It is incredibly stimulating and rewarding to work on.
What advice would you give to other CEOs or founders to help their employees to thrive?
Other CEOs should learn basic programming if they don’t know some already. It is incredibly helpful to have a better grasp of what is technologically feasible. This is particularly important for CEOs of tech companies, but this is also applicable for most companies. It is incredibly helpful to have a better sense of what can be accomplished in a certain time-frame and it eases communications with developers.
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?
As cliché as it sounds, those people would have to be my parents. I never had teachers who were particularly supportive, and I was a pretty terrible student. I have no family in the United States outside of my immediate family, so we are very close.
How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?
There are about 10 founders and entrepreneurs that I advise and regularly mentor. I’ve rejected all of their offers to pay me. I like to see others around me succeed in their own regards, and I am glad to support them.
Can you share the top five ways that increased diversity can help a company’s bottom line? (Please share a story or example for each.)
1. Superior understanding of target demographics: Having a more diverse team helps relate more with the customers and users. Napster was able to grow at record rates because of their diverse team of hackers who all met on IRC. Their young age and diverse backgrounds allowed them to develop for an audience that no large corporation could despite several attempts.
2. Better problem-solving: Diverse viewpoints allow for more create solutions to problems. A team with more diverse backgrounds is able to come up with more unique solutions than a team with similar backgrounds. I’ve experienced this time and time again, when I talk to a founding team, they’re often missing an obvious solution due to their lack of varying perspectives.
3. Risk mitigation: Diverse teams with diverse perspectives are more likely to identify potential risks. This greater foresight is crucial for a company’s survival.
4. Makes recruitment easier: Your recruitment network expands as you bring on people with different backgrounds. Recruiting can get very expensive, and this can really help cut costs.
5. Personal growth: Diversity does not just help the company as a whole, but also enriches the employees on a personal level. Diversity is not just about culture, it also includes things such as age, gender, religion, and economic status. With greater interactions with people different from yourself, you become more open minded and understanding.
Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this 🙂
Pieter Levels: I think Pieter Levels is the epitome of a lean serial entrepreneur. I think a lot of entrepreneurs, particularly in SF, could learn from following his journey. Pieter lives as a digital nomad in Bali and has earned Product Hunt’s award for maker of the year twice. While louder entrepreneurs like Tai Lopez and Gary Vaynerchuk get a lot of praise for their hustle, Pieter is a true hustler and a maker. He isn’t focused on building a massive following, but instead is focused on building great products by himself in an extremely lean manner.
Paul Buchheit: Similarly, to Pieter, Paul is also an incredible maker. He was an early employee at Google, and he is credited with developing Gmail. He has found great success by developing great products. Just like Pieter, except he was able to achieve this in a more corporate route. His combination of software developer and angel investor is very rare and valuable.
Originally published at medium.com