You Can Make A Career Out Of Breaking Rules -- ooVoo Executive Larry Lieberman
ooVoo CMO Larry Lieberman falls into a category that many of America's best executives typically find themselves in. You may well know all about the business that he's helped become a success, but you might be less inclined to know who he is as person, or care for that matter.
But for millennials, the 20-somethings who make up the generation that has increasingly become known for being all about disruption, it might only take a few seconds of hearing Lieberman speak to realize that he is the exact type of person that is worth listening to, especially when he pushes a message that members of Generation-Y are bound to find relatable.
"All I ever wanted to do was the stuff that people told me I wasn't allowed to," Lieberman told Elite Daily. "What I found is if you have a vision and a goal you can usually convince your boss not to fire you for breaking the rules. This is how innovation happens."
With a career that has seen him work with world-renowned brands from Pepsi, to MTV and now ooVoo, the video messaging service that supports twelve-way visual chatting, "innovation" is very much a concept that Lieberman is likely to have mastered, having kept it at the forefront of his priorities all along.
And while the idea of success might be measured by some in dollars and cents, for Lieberman it's the perception -- the way of thinking and the mentality of an individual -- that's most important. The loss of that and one's core values, and not the loss of monetary gain, is the true downfall that he says people should be wary of.
"Failure in vision is the greatest loss," he said. "When I conceive a new product or business I always focus on how I want the audience to use the product and how I want them to react and feel about the experience that they just had. The biggest failures come when voices around you force you to focus exclusively on the money."
For the most cynical of readers, the notion that one's vision is more valuable than the actual making of millions may sound ludicrous, but Lieberman insists that any person's vision, especially that of an entrepreneur, that is comprised of the right ideals will lead to a success that is long lasting.
"Customers – especially millennials – will come back and buy from you again if the product you've offered them is authentic, creative and truthful. The customer doesn't care if you're earning a profit from that very first transaction you are having with them."
The more Lieberman speaks, the more the mind begins to wonder about exactly what types of experience could lead an executive to think in a way that is so much likelier to resonate with a younger generation than that of his own. The mind wonders, that is, until he traces back the steps of his career, to a time during which mass media wasn't as ubiquitous as it is today but still very much a powerful thing.
“I was fortunate to start my career as a roadie for rock bands," Lieberman said. "This allowed me to develop a keen understanding of how young people react and see it in action seven nights a week across all 50 states and several continents. Live interaction was 'social media' long before anyone bought their first iPhone.”
It's those experiences, Lieberman says, that have shaped the business philosophy of a man who is motivated by taking on the task of giving people an opportunity to experience enjoyment through the things he helps create.
“Personally, I am driven by the audience and their reaction," he says. "I understand that most people in business specialize their career around a single product. I am more concerned with having the customer enthusiastically embrace my products and share them with their friends.”
It's that type of drive and mentality that the ooVoo executive intimates leads to the ability for underdogs to take on the big boys in any industry. And with the likes of multi-millionaire and RadiumOne CEO Gurbaksh Chahal in agreement with the idea that offering something unique is the key to taking on tough competition, Lieberman says that ooVoo is living proof that the madness in his methods works.
"It's hard to imagine that a small startup like ours can take on such a behemoth and thrive, but we do it. And we succeed because there really is something we can do better than Microsoft [which purchased Skype in 2011]. We understand that in order to be productive and successful people also need quality time to be unproductive," Lieberman said. " "ooVoo is all about allowing people to be unproductive. Our users love our product because we know them and we know they want to use ooVoo to watch TV shows together with their friends, gossip, and just hang out with their crew. As far as we are concerned, Microsoft products are for parents and for offices."