In your life, have you ever thrown yourself into something unknown? Anjali Sud did it and she was not afraid; one day she decided to bet everything on something new and she lucked out.
In this way, she became the administrator of Vimeo, a company that has annual revenues of around $300 million.
Basically, Vimeo is a website where you can upload high-definition videos, and then can be shared them on social networks.
But there was a moment when this young woman (she was 30) risked it all. The company could have scuttle, instead, it has taken off.
Read on because at the end of the story you will understand a beautiful thing. Anjali’s experience gives us a very useful moral both for those who are entrepreneurs and for those with great goals in life.
I am an almost millionaire Italian entrepreneur. I have told this story to several friends because of what it teaches.
But let’s start from when she was very young…
Anjali’s parents are immigrant doctors in an Indian community in Flint, Michigan.
After public school lost her scholarship, she didn’t give up. She applied to 12 colleges and entered the Phillips Academy Andover in Massachusetts.
Her character was already clear here. Don’t give up and try, always.
She graduated from Wharton and then made her first experiences after a graduate degree at Harvard Business School:
– She worked for Amazon
– As a toy buyer
– In marketing for Diapers.com
Then she was hired by Vimeo.
But already after a year, Anjali was a visionary. She saw long-term plans.
She started noticing commercial clips and product demos. Those published alongside the usual documentaries and author films they once made on Vimeo.
“There was everything from mothers to tech startups, to the marketing department of large companies. They were so different, it had to become a trend.”
That’s what she said. In fact, here’s what happened.
In 2014, Vimeo dreamed of Hollywood. Its directors and the crazy movies they produce there. But….
Anjali Sud, when she was only 31, was already the company’s marketing director. But she already had great insights.
She was in a role that many dreamed of at that age. She could only continue to do her job, but she convinced everyone to follow her on a new adventure.
But it was also a risk…
She believed that the company would have no future unless the market changed, but she had a good idea.
“Anjali felt that the future of the company did not necessarily lie in the logic of Hollywood success.”
Silicon Valley attracted her attention.
Thus she shifted the focus from entertainment (films and documentaries) to the needs of entrepreneurs.
These are two of her statements:
1. “Vimeo had long been a director’s software company, but the market was too small”, she explained recently.
2. “There was another much larger market; businesses. What Squarespace and GoDaddy have done for websites, we could do with videos.”
So she explained her idea to the boss, Joey Levin, the CEO of IAC.
He believed in the very young girl: he gave her a small team to test her proposal.
Joey played a pivotal role in this incredible story. He trusted her, and that was really important.
“We like to find smart, talented, and ambitious people, throw them into the sea, and see if they can swim.”
This is Vimeo’s philosophy. A business philosophy that has been successful and Anjali has been able to interpret it very well.
Today’s numbers speak for themselves.
A decade ago Vimeo was a small, money-losing business with an annual turnover of less than $40 million.
“Vimeo recorded sales of $84 million during the fourth quarter of 2020, a 54% increase over the same period the previous year.”
Last quarter, net subscribers increased by 300,000 to a total of 1.5 million with a gain of nearly 25%.
Annual revenue is expected to reach $300 million.
Anjali Sud became the new CEO in 2017. The same year that IAC (the company that owns Vimeo) closed the streaming division.
Today Vimeo is a unique showcase for shooting, editing, archiving, and distributing videos. All this is now possible, thanks to the insights of a formidable girl.
At the end of last year, the company was valued at $2.8 billion by Thrive Capital and Gic, the sovereign wealth fund of Singapore.
Just two months later, it got $300 million more from San Francisco-based T. Rowe Price and Oberndorf Enterprises, reaching a valuation of nearly $6 billion.
In short, Anjali has all my admiration. She is a super-intelligent superwoman.
But here are some golden rules…
Realize how an idea has revolutionized a company. This is what she said recently on Vimeo;
“In no time at all, the video tool went from nice to have to necessary to have”, says Sud.
You recently hired new resources to expand Vimeo’s technology and customer service. Today the group has more than 700 employees.
And she went from marketing director to CEO of a publicly-traded company in less than four years.
How? She trusted herself and her ideas.
And then she was not afraid to propose them to work colleagues and bosses.
Here’s how you can go about having this push inside of you and making your intuitions count:
– Express your point of view and use the “right” words
– Explain it authentically and without comparing yourself to others
– Set achievable goals and keep your promises
– Surround yourself with constructive people
– Deal with situations you fear
– Learn the importance of gratitude
These teachings hold true even after you win a bet as Anjali did.
“As a woman, mother, and CEO of a tech company, I am unique in the world of software,” said Anjali. “I am thrilled to bring my perspective and style to the industry. It will be funny.”
And in fact, the woman, the daughter of Indian immigrants, always smiles during her climb.
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