The joys and pains of running a tech startup - Maeve Kneafsey

Maeve Kneafsey, co-founder of CloudKPI, talks about creating a tech startup, constantly reinventing yourself and going international.

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Maeve Kneafsey, Co-founder, CloudKPI

The minute you start to build a business, you're out of your comfort zone.

Fight your instinct to go back to it.

Maeve KneafseyMy guest on this podcast is Maeve Kneafsey. She is the co-founder of CloudKPI, a company that provides startups with easy to read metrics for finance, marketing and sales. This gives startups an edge when they need to gather very precise data to give to potentially interested investors. She and her co-founder Brenda Jordan were recently selected to take part in the prestigious Women's Startup Lab in California. 

"I can see people getting angry and frustrated because they don't get it"

Maeve talks about the leap to digital, and what she has noticed. As everything digital permeates every single aspect of business, Maeve sees the widening gap between the CEOs who get it, who are on board, who know to surround themselves with people who understand digital; and the CEOs who simply don't get it. They don't see why metrics matter and how to leverage data technology to keep track of KPIs. 

Those CEOs who have an appetite to learn have a huge advantage. Others who don't know enough feel like giving up.

Reinventing yourself is the name of the game

In 1999, most of the internet services we take for granted today hadn't even been created yet. We had email, but we didn't have Twitter, Facebook or YouTube. Even Google had only just started. Maeve worked in marketing at the time, but in an amazing flash of foresight, she realised online content was the future. When the board of her company rejected her idea, she told herself "I'm going to teach myself 'online'". And she did.

But in order to reinvent yourself, you will have to leave your comfort zone. Maeve jumped into entrepreneurship with her eyes wide open - she hadn't really thought about being an entrepreneur before. Since then, she's created several businesses.

Each time, she had to start from scratch, sometimes in a new industry. What made the difference in the fast-moving tech world was the ability to be comfortable with not knowing all the answers, and with things sometimes not working out.

Having a foot in Ireland and a foot in San Francisco

Maeve shares her time between Ireland and the Silicon Valley. She opens up about "the joys and pains" of being an international startup. Managing your energy when you're zooming across the world on a regular basis, why she chooses not to stay at hotels, getting the 'in' on a different culture, knowing exactly where your startup is at, and doing your homework before networking events: she has a wealth of essential practical tips to help business founders keep their sanity and avoid wasting opportunities.

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Follow Maeve on Twitter (@kneafsey_maeve)
Follow CloudKPI on Twitter (@CloudKPI)
The website is at

Listen to the Savvy Women Podcast episode about managing your energy.

Savvy Women Podcast Maeve Kneafsey (52.71 MB)Savvy Women Podcast Maeve Kneafsey (52.71 MB)

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