Michael Litt
CEO
Vidyard

(4.5)
Review

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!

Your name and email will not be shared publicly and are used only for internal verification purposes.

Please enter your name here
Rating

Profile

Michael is the co-founder and CEO of Vidyard, the leading video marketing platform that helps businesses expand their use of video content and turn viewers into customers. He is a passionate entrepreneur, avid surfer and skier, and has recently been recognized as Ernst & Young's Entrepreneur of the Year and Marketing Magazine's Top 30 Under 30.

Reviews

2 COMMENTS


  1. (1) Vision and Innovation: A school project led to the identification, development and concept creation that we all know today as Vidyard, the video platform that helps global organizations track video views back to successful sales. In 2010, while attending the University of Waterloo, Michael Litt and his classmate, Devon Galloway, saw an opportunity to start a video production company–Redwoods Media. But when their clients starting requesting success metrics to show how well their videos were performing, the two founders saw an opportunity to redefine and improve upon the existing way marketers measured “success”– simply by tracking the video views that YouTube provided. Instead, they demonstrated creativity by establishing a brand new process that drove video viewing analytics into an easy-to-understand dashboard experience. Following a successful admission into the prestigious Y Combinator program, Michael and Devon began building their business and onboarding early customers. With pressure to stay in Silicon Valley, the two eventually made the difficult decision to instead re-establish and build their startup, Vidyard, as a Canadian company. Many successful entrepreneurs have since have followed suit, including the founders of North (Thalmic Labs), and BufferBox (acquired by Google). Since first establishing the video analytics platform, the flourishing team then recognized yet another growth opportunity– partnering with the world’s largest customer relationship platforms (CRMs) and marketing automation platforms (MAPs), including Salesforce, Marketo, HubSpot and others. In doing so, video viewing data could be tracked into individual “user” records so that video views would be tied to other prospecting activities, like whitepaper downloads or cold calls. This partnership trend has since kicked off the now readily-established Integrations Directory, a network of more than 30+ integrations designed to bring Vidyard’s GoVideo video messaging app into external, third-party applications. (2) Leadership: Michael has 20/20 vision in seeing the future of business, and his bullish nature toward championing team diversity, inclusion, and belonging have become core strengths in the development of Vidyard. Michael firmly believes that businesses, and their leadership teams, need to embrace these principles as they grow within their respective markets. In doing so, he’s confident that we’ll see more Canadian companies on the global stage who have developed products and services that deliver incredible, well-rounded customer experiences. Michael’s also kept a close eye on STEM programming. Recently, he challenged the industry by adding an “A” to the STEM acronym to spell STEAM–the “A” standing for Arts. He wrote a piece for Fast Company that kicked off a broader discussion around the importance of Arts degrees, alongside Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. While some questioned that vision, Michael pushed his reasoning and stressed the importance of creativity in crafting a business foundation that was made up of a variety of people with different backgrounds and perspectives. Innovation never slows down at Vidyard, and Michael’s attitude is a key to that success. In May 2017, Michael’s contributions helped the company be selected as one of 10 profiled at the MIT Sloan CIO Symposium Innovation Showcase for being an outstanding, early-stage company with cutting-edge solutions that combine both value and innovation for Enterprise IT. Michael welcomed Canada’s Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, into the Vidyard office for a discussion on the country’ technology economy in April 2017. Michael also actively shares his policy ideas with the Canadian government to support constant innovation around immigration, infrastructure, and taxation. Vidyard was even called out in the Government of Canada’s Federal Budget 2017, listed as one of two companies that support innovation scaling– which was a direct result of Michael taking a ton of risks as a founder. (2) Impact and Influence: Watching Vidyard grow, Michael worried about effectively scaling and aligning company culture. One day, while on a family vacation, he fell ill with food poisoning which led to the writing of the Vidyardism document–a “manifesto” that has now become the company’s guide for culture alignment. Employees were asked to sign it when they joined if they believed in it, and if they didn’t, that was ok too, but Michael wanted to know why so they could talk about it. And while it’s now a ratty old document, everyone has signed it which gives Michael the confidence that his staff are all on the same page. Michael also saw an opportunity to get ahead of the conversation of ensuring diversity, inclusion and belonging. This is when he brought the idea of an internal committee to his leadership team. Nearly two years old now, #MyYard is an open form community that invites any staffer to join in on internal discussions that surface opportunities and issues development. Outside of Vidyard, Michael lends his influence to respective entrepreneurs and startup founders. After spotting a major opportunity to help grow the tech scene in the Waterloo Region, Michael co-founded Garage Capital as a general partner. Garage Capital is an angel seed stage fund focused on supercluster companies that are looking to expand their networks into Silicon Valley that is set up by a small, local network of highly successful tech entrepreneurs. Within the higher education space, Michael is also a mentor with the University of Waterloo’s Velocity program, supporting startups in the Kitchener-Waterloo community. In 2017 and again in 2018, Vidyard was named one of Deloitte’s 2018 Fast 50™ and Technology Fast 500™ Fastest Growing Companies, which honours Canadian technology companies that have seen the highest revenue-growth percentage over the past four years. In 2018, that 1,198% revenue growth was attributed to Michael and the team’s focus on innovation, culture and customer centricity. (4) Social Responsibility: In Dec 2018, Michael and his leadership team reordered Vidyard’s stakeholder list, ranking ‘Community’ above ‘Investors’ in a bold move for tech–and it was all backed by the board of directors. In addition to disrupting the way that businesses communicate, they strived to challenge the local community through impactful CSR programs. Michael supports employee volunteerism, corporate philanthropy, and community-based initiatives through the company’s commitments to Pledge 1%, a program which challenges companies to give 1% of equity, profit, product, and employee time to community activism. He’s supported daily catered food donations, annual holiday food drives, and bike-building team activities that benefit local charities. This Feb 2019, over two weeks, over 200 staff will be given the opportunity to volunteer work hours (35 teams) to 6 different local charities. Michael and other community leaders across the Waterloo Region have also co-founded Plugin, a local organization that arranges charitable, fun, and memorable events that unite young professionals and tech workers, while giving back to the local community. More than 700 people have participated in Plugin events, with many more planned for the future. As a long-term member of Communitech’s board of directors, Michael’s provided frank input during discussions of numerous key issues facing the tech community. His success as an entrepreneur, combined with his extensive network of contacts, bring a necessary and valuable perspective toward efforts that help build a world-class entrepreneurial cluster. Michael’s vision on the future of work and non-stop innovation have helped underpin his role as a flag-bearer for the Canadian entrepreneurial community. He regularly liaises with government officials (at federal, provincial and municipal levels) to advance the Canadian innovation agenda and drive policy changes that ensure stronger access to capital, customers and talent for Canadian technology companies.

    Mid-level professional, submitted on

  2. NA

    NA, submitted on

See All Reviews >