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Marco & Venzee

We recently had the pleasure of chatting with Marco Sylvestre, the Chief Technical Officer of Venzee. With their #NoMoreSpreadsheets campaign, Venzee is dedicated to replacing the current practise of manufacturers using spreadsheets to share product information with retailers. With 90% of manufacturers around the world doing exactly that, it’s the #1 problem for the trillion dollar e-commerce industry.

Marco started his career in tech as a software developer in 2000. He started his first company while still in highschool, inspired by his after-school restaurant job. He noticed they were using an outdated computer, which led him into selling computer parts on the side. Marco’s business saw him experience first hand, suppliers using spreadsheets to send him product information and inventory updates. Marco went on to become a certified scrum master, something that has proven invaluable as a CTO managing a distributed developer and QA team.

Similarly, Kate the now CEO of Venzee had built and sold two e-commerce startups and like Marco, had experienced the pain of turning spreadsheets into updates compatible with the solutions her company was using. Together with Xin, a big data and connectivity specialist (and Venzee’s Chief Architect), they founded and built Venzee.

Unusual to many other startup stories, Venzee has three cofounders, where many typically have just two. “I feel like we filled a gap by being the three of us,” Marco recounts. As the self-described “third guy,” Marco describes himself as the calming influence and the glue.

The Venzee team are distributed, a practice made popular by companies like Buffer, Zappo’s and Invision and have team members in 12 countries and 14 time zones. Not to mention customers in more than 30 countries.

The Daily Flow

Marco’s daily routine is a reflection of his duties as CTO: all over the place. His main task is to be the link between the business and the product. Setting up systems for support and development, he oversees a lot of the processes throughout the company. He makes sure the rules that have been set in place for the engineers and dev team are being followed to best practice. Also, in keeping up with the technical side of things, Marco uses his past experience as a QA manager to test with the team.

However, he wears many hats. One role Marco plays that he has come to thoroughly enjoy is that of support. He loves to learn about all of the different customers of Venzee while helping to solve their issues and figuring out how they use the product. “I really like doing support,” he admits with a laugh. He finds himself bored of concentrating on one area of Venzee and relishes in the diversity of moving from one task to another.

Marco, along with Kate and Xin, all have their hands in the Human Resources process, and share various other administrative responsibilities.

Marco on TeamPassword

When we asked Marco how he would describe TeamPassword, he responded, without hesitation, “As I use it in my team, my Bible.” Though flattered, we were astounded by his enthusiasm. “TeamPassword is the word I repeat most during my day,” he tells us as he plays out a scenario of the team asking him questions, and he responds with one word, “TeamPassword!”

The Google Extension is his right hand. As an everyday tool for him, he is able to feel secure about managing security as well as generating new passwords all the time. As he also manages his personal passwords within TeamPassword, Marco likes the having the segregation between personal and business within the same account.

Marco found TeamPassword on a quest to find a solution to easy and effective password management and security. He was familiar with LastPass and liked their product but was not a fan of the hefty price tag that came along. He continued his search, but was finding himself disappointed with the options of tools he encountered. He knew one thing for sure, he did not want to use an Excel spreadsheet. This dislike of spreadsheets is a bit of a theme with Marco and Venzee.

After a few more searches, he found TeamPassword and met his match! It didn’t take him long before he fell in love with the use of groups within the product. To be able to be granular and specific with who has access to what is a very alluring feature for him.

We asked Marco what problem he would solve just by uttering TeamPassword as the solution, he recalled, “If you have more than 5 passwords and 2 people on your team.”

Marco’s TeamPassword Wishlist

Marco’s wish list includes more focus around 2-step authentication, especially in making sure it’s an fast and smooth signup process.

He would also like more liberty in choosing who has admin access to groups. He would like to add accounts to groups rather than the other way around, a process that we here at TeamPassword definitely have on our radar.

Marco’s last suggestion for us is considering who has access in changing passwords within the accounts. He doesn’t want everyone to be able to do that, just the admins.

Talking to Marco with his extremely positive attitude and infectious passion for tech was truly a joy for us, and we’re excited to see the amazing things Venzee has in store for the future.