Mikhail Damiani is the Co-founder of Blue Bite, a leading mobile-marketing solutions provider. It utilizes a targeted, location-based approach to reach captive audiences on their personal mobile devices.
Blue Bite has partnered with many of the leading Out-of-Home Companies in the U.S. and prides itself on creating an interactive two-way engagement by enabling consumers to connect with digital and traditional media via their mobile phone.
What does your day/week/month usually consist of? Give us the run through of a typical day (if there is one).
The great thing about being part of a start-up is that there is no “typical” day. Every day is different and can consist of sales meetings in or out of the office, meetings/calls with potential media and technology partners, brainstorming sessions with the team, administrative tasks and hands on operational work for current and upcoming campaigns. I do a lot of traveling, typically 2-3 trips per month around the top media cities in the U.S. (New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Boston, Philadelphia, Dallas, Miami, Las Vegas, Toronto).
How did you become interested in this industry?
When my founding partner Tom and I were in our first semester of NYU, we had a professor who came in with one of the only Bluetooth-enabled PDAs at the time and he said to us, “One day, you're going to walk past a GAP store and you'll get a coupon on your phone and you'll walk right in to redeem it.” This got us thinking and after we graduated Tom found a technology that did exactly that using Bluetooth and thus Blue Bite was born.
What was your first job in the field? How did you get it/what was the application process like?
Blue Bite is my first job in media/marketing. Both Tom and I worked in Finance after graduating NYU. Tom on Wall Street and I in San Francisco working on M&A deals in the tech space. We both quit our jobs and I moved back to NY to start the business alongside Tom in his parent's basement in Long Island. Within a year we had an office on Park Avenue in New York City.
What is the best business/career advice you've ever received?
When I was leaving my investment banking position in San Francisco, one of the managing directors wished me luck and told me, “Just remember, it always takes at least twice as long and costs at least twice as much as you initially expect.” One of the things we have continually received kudos on is our perseverance.
What do you suggest to 20-somethings aspiring to get involved in your field?
Marketing is a very expansive industry and there are many careers that allow offer an opportunity to be part of it. The most important thing is to find your niche and knowing your strength – are you creative, are you technology focused, are you good at coming up with strategies, are you able to manage logistics/operations? Depending on your particular skillset, you can be a great asset to an organization as long as there is a right fit.
What is the most important thing to know about your job?
I think what makes a good CEO is knowing everything about the business from the ground-up. The ability to relate to every single individual in the organization and know how all of the parts are interlinked, allows me to make informed decisions about what moves we make as a company.
What is the biggest misconception about your work?
I think people believe that CEOs sit in an office all day with their feet up on a mahogany desk telling people around them what to do. Maybe this is more prevalent in a start-up scenario, but our experience is a stark contrast to that belief. The management of our company is not afraid to get their hands dirty. We join our operational team on the ground and spend days in production facilities when our help is needed. Whatever is necessary to ensure the success of our company and our industry for the long-term is done without question by any and all members of the Blue Bite team.
Are there perks to your position/job? Any downfalls?
One of my favorite perks is the ability to travel and making my own schedule helps me combine business with pleasure. I can travel for meetings and then spend the weekend with my friends in those cities. A downfall is the fact that my compensation is never guaranteed. What we make is completely a product of our efforts and success. This is both a positive because your performance and reward have a direct relationship, but a negative in the fact that there is a huge risk and no guarantees.
Are there internships/entry level job openings currently available? Where can readers find more information?
We are always looking for talented and qualified individuals for our team. Potential candidates can email us at HR@bluebite.com.
Be sure to check out the website for more information.
Hilary Sheinbaum | Elite.