Blazing Your Own Trail and Strategic Risk Taking with Vidyard Co-Founder and CEO

Posted June 20, 2017

Matt Hunckler

CEO & Founder

Michael Litt (@michaellitt) is the CEO and co-founder of Vidyard,  a leading provider of video hosting software for businesses and the kind of high-growth company you might expect to find in Silicon Valley. Although the company completed the prestigious Bay Area accelerator Y Combinator, it began and continues to operate in Kitchener, Ontario.

CEO Michael Litt co-founded Vidyard in 2011, and the company has since raised over $60 million and gained world-class brands like LinkedIn, Lenovo, Sharp, Rockwell Automation, Honeywell and Cengage as customers. Litt credits much of Vidyard’s success to the thriving entrepreneurial communities of Kitchener and nearby Waterloo, as well as the co-op program at his alma mater, the University of Waterloo, that helped him build a company that solved a real business need.

Litt and I met last year at the Salesforce user conference, Dreamforce, to record this interview. As we sat in the green room on beanbag chairs, Litt shared some of his most valuable secrets behind Vidyard’s growth. Among them are the foresight he had to take an amazing opportunity over a quick paycheck, his perseverance in the face of investors and customers saying “no,” and of course, the power that video can hold for enterprise businesses.

When you’re finished listening to this week’s episode, head over to Vidyard’s website to learn more about the company and its products, and reach out to Litt on Twitter @michaellitt to tell him what you thought of the show.

In this episode with Michael Litt, you’ll learn:

  • How a co-op education can help you launch a successful business (3:05)
  • The kind of traction you can find by solving real problems in your industry (7:33)
  • Why you should sometimes choose a great opportunity over a large paycheck (15:29)
  • The most important kind of validation a startup can have (20:23)
  • Why you shouldn’t give up when someone says “no” (23:45)
  • How you can use video to pitch customers and investors (29:30)

Please enjoy this conversation with Michael Litt!

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Michael Litt Quotes from This Episode of Powderkeg:

Links and Resources Mentioned in this Episode:

Companies and Organizations:

Vidyard

Salesforce

Redwoods Media

Cypress Semiconductor

BlackBerry

Pebble

MaRS IAF

FedDev Ontario

Venture Capital and Angel Firms:

SV Angel

Bessemer Venture Partners

Startup Accelerators:

Y Combinator

Conferences:

Dreamforce

Universities:

University of Waterloo

Websites:

TechCrunch

Crunchbase

People:

Michael Litt (@michaellitt)

Devon Galloway (@devongall)

Sam Altman (@sama)

Eric Migicovsky (@ericmigi)

Paul Graham (@paulg)

Dennis Kavelman (@dkavelman)

Paul Buchheit (@paultoo)

Joe Kraus (LinkedIn)

Did you enjoy this conversation? Thank Michael on Twitter!

If you enjoyed this session and have 3 seconds to spare, let Michael Litt know via Twitter by clicking on the link below:

Click here to say hi and thank Michael on twitter!

COMMENTS?

What stood out most to you about what Michael shares in this podcast?

For me, it’s how you can use video to pitch customers and investors.

You? Leave a comment below.

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Matt Hunckler

CEO & Founder

Matt is the founder and CEO of Powderkeg, a network of local communities with global reach for tech entrepreneurs, investors, and top talent. Powderkeg entrepreneurs have collectively raised more than $500 million in capital and are disrupting industries, creating wealth, and changing the world from areas beyond Silicon Valley. Hunckler has led successful teams with his own ventures, as well as Inc. 500 companies and venture-funded tech startups. He's been named an Under 30 CEO Entrepreneur to Watch and an IBJ Forty Under 40 Honoree for his entrepreneurial endeavors. @hunckler