Corner Office Q&A: Pixability CEO Bettina Hein On “The One Thing Women Don’t Do Enough” In Business
3:15 pm, July 19th | by Diana Gerstacker
We often detail the lives, times and plights of women in the business world, so it’s no surprise how much we enjoy speaking with ladies at the top. Recently we were able to talk with Bettina Hein, founder and CEO of Pixability, a video marketing company that takes clients from developing their earliest ideas to promoting the finished product. Before creating this video-advertising wonder company, Hein built other companies in the U.S. and abroad including SVOX AG, which she co-founded in 2001 and later sold for $125 million. She is an author, public speaker and a role model for entrepreneurial hopefuls.
And her message to those looking to follow in her fast paced footsteps is bogglingly simple: “Just go out and do it.” When climbing the rickety ladder of starting your own business, Hein outlines just what you need to succeed.
The Jane Dough: Where did the idea to incorporate video into marketing come in?
Bettina Hein: I was at MIT until 5 years ago and while I was there I saw YouTube coming up and I saw YouTube being acquired by Google and I also saw that the input factors into video, so what it costs to make a video was going down radically by orders of magnitude, and I knew that there was a business opportunity there. But also, I was passionate about video because I saw the effect that it had on people.
TJD: Why do you think people react so well to seeing video?
BH: It’s an emotional medium. As people we react most strongly to other people. Text and words and pictures are only incomplete substitutes for a direct interaction with a person. Video comes closest to direct interaction with another person and if you use video in an authentic and human way, you know, not overly produced or overly artificial, people will react strongly to that. Just as humans are conditioned to react to others.
TJD: What advice would you offer to a woman looking to follow a similar career path?
BH: Just go out and do it. Found your own company, be brave and put yourself out there. All you need to become an entrepreneur are three simple things: naïveté, chutzpah and perseverance. You need to be naïveté in the sense that if you knew how hard it would be you would not found your own company, but that also means you have to have the passion for what you’re doing, like my passion for video. You need to have chutzpah, which means the audacity to put yourself out there and say “I have a great idea, come and listen to me, come follow me, come buy my product.” And the third thing is perseverance because it is hard to build a company from scratch; it takes time and it takes perseverance. But if you have those three things you can build your company.
Think big while doing it. Don’t think small, think big. That’s one thing that women don’t do enough — think big.
TJD: What is the worst business advice you’ve ever gotten?
BH: A while back, when I decided that I was going to study business, I was 19. I interviewed to go to this fancy business school in Germany and they asked me why I wanted to study business and I said, “I want to change something in the world, I want to make the world a better place.” [The interviewer] actually said, in German, “Missy, if you want to save the world, become a nurse. There’s no place for your idealism in business.” And that made me so angry that I didn’t go to that business school. I went to another one but I’ve kept that. My husband and I have created over 500 jobs in our careers. I create livelihoods for people, I create jobs for people, that’s what I do and I think that is very well a noble cause. I do something to make this world a better place.
This interview has been edited and condensed.