Posts Tagged 'Manager'

November 20, 2015

Under the Infrastructure: Catalyst manager Brendan Yell makes startup dreams come true Down Under

We know, we know. We were only back in Texas for a week, but Under the Infrastructure gets restless being at home too long. This week, we went way down south to catch up with someone that does almost as much globetrotting as we do!

Meet Brendan Yell, our Catalyst Startup Program manager for Australia and New Zealand. He’s been a SLayer for a little over a year, and after you get to know him, you’re probably going to want to steal his job.

But he’ll tell you about it himself.

SOFTLAYER: Describe your role at SoftLayer as if the President of the United States asked what you do for work.

BRENDAN YELL: My role is to work with startups and help them succeed. A big part of this is giving them great cloud servers, but it is a lot more than that. I mentor over 50 startups, and a great deal of the time I am not refining their business model or changing their product. Mostly, I connect them to people who can help them out. This can be in the form of investors, customers, and strategic partners.

SL: The Catalyst crew always looks like it’s having the best time. What makes the Catalyst team different?

YELL: I won’t lie; we do have a pretty good time traveling around the world attending cool parties and events. However, this can be pretty exhausting as well. What makes the Catalyst team different is that even though we are scattered around the globe, we are all great friends that are happy to help each other. Recently I had a startup travel to New York, and our person there, Jen Litorja, met with them and made some invaluable introductions for them. This helps the startup and makes us look great to the startup. Jen had no real benefit from spending her time with this startup other than helping them, and helping me.

SL: What’s the most gratifying thing about your job?

YELL: What I love is when a quick two-minute email to someone in my network can literally change the fortunes of a struggling young startup. Having done startups myself (like most in the Catalyst team), I understand how hard it is to give up a lucrative job to go start a company. I also understand that money is not the only motivator for this; people want to create something, be their own boss, and make a difference.

SL: What’s the funniest, silliest, or strangest thing that’s happened to you on the job?

YELL: I recently had an idea pitched to me in the queue of the supermarket. But the pitch did not come from someone in the queue; it was from the cashier. How cool is that?

SL: What’s your favorite place in the whole world and why?

YELL: While I love San Francisco and New York, when you travel up to 40 weeks of the year, it has to be home. We are lucky to live on a lake about 90 mins north of Sydney. It’s so quiet and peaceful there, unlike the hustle of the startup world. Without it, I would be burned out.

Got a spare room for us down there, Brendan?


March 24, 2008

I Want to Be Your Agent!

Professional athletes have them. Doctors have them. Lawyers have them. Chefs have them. Movie Directors have them. Writers have them. NASCAR drivers have them too.

Are you lost yet? Wondering what this has to do with hosting or small businesses? It's really very simple. Let's dig into a few of them.

Athletes - most are very good at what they do, hit the ball, kick the ball, throw the ball, shoot the ball, swing the club, etc. They are so busy learning to be the best at their trade that they don't have time for the business side of their business. What do they do? They outsource that to an agent. Jerry Maguire might be the SoftLayer of agents. The best, the top of the line, the cutting edge, like us. He gets what the players want and more and was a master at customer service. The players don't mind giving part of their hard earned cash to him because of the benefit they get from him. It is a very symbiotic relationship.

Doctors - they are paid to fix people. They have to keep up with the latest threats to our health and the ways to fix us. They have almost continuous education to worry about and don't have time to worry about the office, and the bills, and whether they are getting timely insurance payments, etc. They are there to do whatever they can to help their patients. What do they do? They outsource to an office manager who takes care of the day-to-day tasks that a doctor just doesn't have time for and frankly shouldn't have to worry about. It's really just another form of outsourcing.

Chefs - this one is interesting because I am going to make the assumption that the chef owns the restaurant. I agree that many times there are restaurants that hire chefs, but the argument goes both ways. Let's say you want to open a restaurant but you can't cook. You outsource to a chef. To turn it around, a chef can cook but wants his own restaurant. He is a master at cooking and has studied in culinary schools for years to become a great chef. What does he do about running the place? He outsources to a restaurant manager. The manager takes care of HR, and guest services, and the chef does what he loves - cooks.

So where does this leave you? Are you an individual who knows (insert what you know here) and have studied it for years and you are the worlds expert on it? Are you a small business owner who is looking for ways to make the hours of the day last longer and find that competitive edge? Are you that IT manager who has hit the technology roadblock and your company doesn't have the large capital for the things you need to continue to scale your infrastructure? If you are then you need to consider hiring an agent of your very own. SoftLayer can be your technology agent and allow you to focus on what you do best!


P.S. Lance is the greatest CEO EVER! Now pay up! (Worth a shot, right?)

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