Startup Spotlight #146: oxio
oxio exists to change the way people connect with their telecommunications provider.
Founded in 2019, oxio is an independent digital service provider offering Canadians (eventually the world) secure, accessible and convenient internet services. The startup have now more than 20,000 subscribers and has just closed a $20M series A led by Xavier Niel.
By combining a human approach with modern technology, oxio is transforming the way people connect with their internet service provider and deliver affordable, high-performance and reliable services. The company wants to change the way people think about access to the internet—not as a commitment but as a utility. For oxio, the internet is all about equal opportunity.
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Startup Spotlight: oxio
Problem: The problem in telecommunications is twofold: everyone hates their ISPs and the global industry is built on local oligopolies.
Market: In 2018, the Canadian telecommunications services industry generated revenues of 53.1 billion Canadian dollars, 2.8 billion Canadian dollars more than during 2017.
Solution: We are building the first connectivity platform for the internet. We shield our customers from the big telco bullshit and provides them with the best internet services available, tailored to their needs.
Team: We are a fully remote team, spreaded across Canada. We have 60 team members & our two biggest departments are engineering & customer care.
Campagna: Before starting oxio, I've heard countless times through books & podcasts that building your culture was so critical that it could make or break your company. I really, really thought that it was bs advice at the time. I mean, who has time to focus on building a company culture when they don't have product market fit yet?
Since a lot of people I looked up to seemed to think that it was the secret sauce of successful startups, I still decided to give it a try.
We created our Culture handbook when we were less than 10, with the ambition of codifying what oxio, as an evolving organism, would like to reinforce as it evolves through a more mature form in the future.
With all the culture handbooks available now online, you literally can just go online and copy past excerpts from the ones that resonate with you & your team. That's exactly what we did. When people ask us what oxio culture is, we say it's 40% based on Netflix, 30% on Dee Hock's book *One From Many,* 20% on Amazon and 10% on our own definition of radical transparency and how to give & receive feedback with positive intent.
To this day, I think that I cannot overstate how valuable it was, is & will be for us.
Campagna: I've struggled with a lot of things and made more mistakes than anyone else inside oxio. Right now, the thing that I struggle with is how should I spend my time to maximize leverage as a CEO of a company with 60 teammates?
I've read somewhere, but I don't remember exactly where it was (maybe High Output Management), that as a CEO, if you increase the output of your teammates by 10% each, if you have 60 people for example, you're going to increase the company's output by 600% as opposed to being capped at 100% if you would focus only on yourself.
I've actually blocked 3 mornings a week this summer, to write, think and decide where in the company I'll be able to add that value to our ecosystem.
I don't have a clear answer yet, but I'll get there.
Campagna: "Speed is the ultimate weapon in business" - Dave Girouard, CEO of Upstart & former President of Google Enterprise Apps.
Speed as a habit. If you break it down to its essence what fundamental edge startups have over big companies, it's speed.
Everything else, big companies have an edge over you.
It's really easy to be fast when you're a team of 10. It's harder when you get to 50. After that, if your C-suite doesn't reinforce it, it's downhill from there.
Making the distinction between reversible and irreversible decisions is critical to speed in companies. Very few decisions can't be undone.
There's a really great blog post about speed as a habit that I highly recommend.
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