Meet with Gustavo Caetano: The Founder of Samba Tech

Gustavo Caetano Samba TechChatting with Gustavo Caetano

We spoke with Brazilian entrepreneur Gustavo Caetano, founder and current CEO of Samba Tech, about his vision for Samba and the Brazilian startup scene. This interview has been translated from Portuguese and edited for clarity.

By: Claudia Repsold & Lianna Patch

Brazil & U.S Biz: In what ways do you support Brazilian entrepreneurs?

Gustavo Caetano: From the very beginning of my career, I’ve been invited to be a panelist at universities and startup events to talk about my experience starting my own company. I used that opportunity to tell people the reality of the trade — the backstage of a tech company with its up and downs. Back then, we did not have any kind of organization to help the young tech entrepreneurs who wanted to open a startup, so we founded the Brazilian Startup Association [ABS]. It’s been a few years now, and the association is doing great in helping connect new entrepreneurs with investors, and is providing startups with the supports they lacked before.

Brazil & U.S Biz: What’s the best part of running Samba Tech/Samba Group?

Caetano: It’s connecting to other people all the time. This hub of ideas is a very fulfilling process that keeps challenging you to improve. We work in connection with each other and other collaborative companies, making the whole operation more productive. Everybody pitches in to create a product that will address our clients’ needs, and it’s an open source of ideas to always do better.

Brazil & U.S Biz: What are you saying — that the old  expression, “Secrecy is the soul of business,” can no longer be applied to the new tech business and collaborative economy?

Caetano: No, it cannot. The world has changed. Now, we really need to collaborate with each other to succeed; everybody adds up and is a part of the whole. We need to innovate and collaborate in order to survive in business.

Brazil & U.S Biz: What is your advice for new startups?

Caetano: First and foremost, keep your focus. It’s very easy to have an idea. We all have one. Having an idea is the easy part; making it happen is the hard one. To transform an idea into a profitable business is an everyday, sweat-and-tears kind of job that does not happen overnight. It takes time, hard work, and a lot of focus. The ones who succeed are not the ones with more creative ideas, but the ones who are able to execute a business plan.

Brazil & U.S Biz: What are the dos and don’ts for business?

Caetano: First, the dos: As a small entrepreneur, you should find a niche problem to solve. Do not try to solve a well-known problem that big corporations are already working on. It would be impossible to compete with them. Nevertheless, you should find some niche problem and stimulate your company to create a solution for it and keep focus on it.

The don’ts: Never forget your roots; always remember where you are coming from, and the core of your company’s existence. Do not try to be what you are not. Avoid at any cost what I call “small power syndrome,” which is acting as if you are a big corporation when, in reality, you are a startup. Being a startup gives you the unique advantage of speeding up your operation and changing as fast as the market demands.

Brazil & U.S Biz: How important to Samba Tech was FIR Capital investment? (Not just with regard to the financial aspect.)

Caetano: Closing the deal with FIR took Samba Tech to another level as a company. FIR is a well-known capital firm, and being acquired by them gave us credibility and visibility in the larger market. It also helped to organize our internal operations, since Samba Tech is required to follow FIR standards and guidelines. I’m no longer an owner of a startup business. Now, I’m a CEO who has to answer for [the company’s] actions to a board of directors from FIR. It is much more responsibility.

Brazil & U.S. Biz: How has the MIT G-Lab improved Samba Tech operations?

Caetano: We have been with MIT G-Lab since the beginning of the project. It meant a lot to Samba Tech, because G-Lab presented us [with] new ideas, angles, and technologies that were unknown to us. It helped us to keep our company connected with the trends that are not even available in Brazil’s market.

 Brazil & U.S Biz: What was the tipping point for Samba Tech?

Caetano: The tipping point was when we realized that not only media companies would need a video platform. Nowadays, any company that wants to communicate better with its own employees and clients can use our service. Universities, colleges, and schools are using our service to deliver their content and classes. The online courses will grow exponentially in the next few years.

Brazil & U.S. Biz: What are you looking forward to in the coming year?

Caetano: We will focus on continuing to improve our video platform to better serve educational institutions.

 Brazil & U.S. Biz: What is your personal motto?

Caetano: I have a Rocky Balboa motto that I heard when I was a kid, watching “Rocky,” and it’s still glued to my mind: “It’s not about how hard you are hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit; how much you can take it and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done.”

68 Comments - Write a Comment

  1. Have you ever considered about including a little bit
    more than just your articles? I mean, what you say is fundamental
    and all. But think of if you added some great pictures or videos to give your
    posts more, “pop”! Your content is excellent but with pics and video clips, this blog could definitely be one of the
    very best in its field. Awesome blog!

  2. Hello! Would you mind if I share your blog with my twitter group?
    There’s a lot of folks that I think would really appreciate your imputs about the Brazilian tech co.
    Please let me know. Many thanks

  3. I enjoy what you guys are usually up too. This kind of
    clever work and exposure! Keep up the great works guys I’ve incorporated you guys to my
    personal blogroll.

  4. Nice post. I learn something totally new and challenging on blogs I stumbleupon every day.
    It will always be interesting to read through content from other writers and use
    a little something from other websites.

  5. Everything is very open with a clear description of the challenges.
    It was truly informative. Your website is extremely helpful.
    Thank you for sharing!

  6. I just want to tell you that I’m very new to blogging and site-building and actually savored this web-site. More than likely I’m going to bookmark your blog . You surely have great stories. Many thanks for sharing your website page.

  7. Ηi, every time i սsed to check website posts hsre in the
    eaгly hours in the breаk of day, for the reason tɦat i like to find
    out more and more.

  8. Wow, fantastic blog format! How long have you ever been blogging for?

    you make blogging look easy. The overall look of your site is
    excellent, let alone the content!

  9. Hey there this is kind of of off topic but I was wanting to
    know if blogs use WYSIWYG editors or if you have to manually code with HTML.

    I’m starting a blog soon but have no coding knowledge so I wanted to get guidance from someone
    with experience. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

  10. This web site certainly has all the information I wanted concerning this
    subject and didn’t know who to ask.

  11. I read this piece of writing fully about
    the comparison of most up-to-date and preceding technologies, it’s awesome article.

  12. Hi there! Someone in my Myspace group shared this site with us so I came to look it
    over. I’m definitely enjoying the information. I’m book-marking and will be tweeting this
    to my followers! Great blog and excellent style and design.

  13. These are truly wonderful ideas in on the topic of blogging.
    You have touched some fastidious points here. Any way keep up wrinting.

  14. I have been exploring for a little for any high quality articles
    or blog posts on this kind of house . Exploring
    in Yahoo I at last stumbled upon this web site. Reading
    this information So i am satisfied to convey that I’ve a very just right uncanny
    feeling I discovered just what I needed. I such a lot indisputably
    will make certain to do not put out of your mind this website and give it a glance regularly.

  15. Hi there! I simply would like to give you a big thumbs up
    for your excellent info you have right here on this post.
    I am returning to your website for more soon.

  16. This is really interesting, You are a very skilled blogger.
    I’ve joined your rss feed and stay up for in the hunt for extra of your wonderful
    post. Additionally, I have shared your web site in my social networks

  17. Hi there! Quick question that’s entirely off topic. Do you know how to make
    your site mobile friendly? My website looks weird when viewing from my iphone.

    I’m trying to find a theme or plugin that might be able
    to fix this problem. If you have any suggestions,
    please share. Thanks!

  18. Hi! I know this is kinda off topic however ,
    I’d figured I’d ask. Would you be interested in exchanging links or maybe guest authoring a blog post or vice-versa?
    My blog discusses a lot of the same subjects as yours and I think we could greatly benefit from each other.
    If you happen to be interested feel free to send me an e-mail.
    I look forward to hearing from you! Fantastic blog by
    the way!

  19. elena fredrickson · Edit

    I’m really inspired together with your writing skills and also
    with the structure in your blog. Is that this a paid theme or did you modify it yourself?
    Anyway stay up the nice high quality writing, it’s rare to look a
    nice weblog like this one today..

  20. Cool blog! Is your theme custom made or did you download it from somewhere?

    A design like yours with a few simple tweeks would really
    make my blog stand out. Please let me know where you got your design. Thanks a lot

  21. May I just say what a relief to uncover an individual who really
    knows what they are talking about over the internet.
    You definitely understand how to bring an issue to light and make it important.

    A lot more people need to look at this and understand this
    side of your story. It’s surprising you’re not more popular because
    you surely have the gift.

  22. Greetings from Colorado! I’m bored to death at work so
    I decided to check out your website on my iphone during lunch break.
    I really like the information you provide here and can’t wait to take a look when I get home.

    I’m shocked at how fast your blog loaded on my phone .. I’m not even using WIFI,
    just 3G .. Anyways, wonderful site!

  23. Everything wrote made a ton of sense. However, what about this?
    what if you were to write a killer headline? I am not suggesting your content isn’t solid., but
    suppose you added a headline that grabbed people’s attention? I mean Gustavo Caetano Samba Tech Founder is a little vanilla.
    You ought to look at Yahoo’s front page and note how they create news titles
    to grab viewers to click. You might try adding a video or a related
    pic or two to get readers interested about what you’ve
    got to say. In my opinion, it would bring your posts a little livelier.

  24. Howdy! This post could not be written any better!
    Going through this article reminds me of my previous
    roommate! He always kept talking about this. I will send this
    article to him. Fairly certain he will have a good
    read. I appreciate you for sharing!

  25. I was recommended this blog by my cousin. I am not sure whether this post is written by him
    as nobody else know such detailed about my difficulty.
    You are incredible! Thanks!

  26. Just beneath, are several completely not associated websites to ours, on the other hand, they’re surely really worth going over.

  27. Every weekend i used to pay a quick visit this website,
    as i want enjoyment, since this this site conations in fact pleasant funny material too.

  28. · Edit

    What’s up everyone, it’s my first visit at this web site,
    and article is actually fruitful for me, keep up posting such content.

  29. Good post. I learn something totally new and challenging
    on blogs I stumbleupon everyday. It will always be
    helpful to read articles from other writers and use a little something from other

  30. · Edit

    I simply want to mention I am new to blogs and certainly enjoyed you’re blog. More than likely I’m want to bookmark your site . You definitely have very good stories. Thank you for sharing with us your web page.

  31. What’s Going down i’m new to this, I stumbled
    upon this I have discovered It absolutely helpful and it has helped me out loads.
    I am hoping to give a contribution & aid other customers like its aided me.

    Great job.

  32. Excellent post. I used to be checking constantly this
    weblog and I’m impressed! Extremely helpful info specially the ultimate section 🙂 I
    handle such info a lot. I was looking for this particular information for a very
    lengthy time. Thanks and best of luck.

  33. Outstanding post however I was wanting to know if you could write a litte more on this subject?
    I’d be very thankful if you could elaborate a little bit more.


  34. Heya i’m for the first time here. I found this board and I find
    It really useful & it helped me out much. I hope to give
    something back and aid others like you aided me.

  35. I got this web site from my buddy who shared with me on the
    topic of this web site and at the moment this time I am visiting
    this web page and reading very informative content

  36. I do not even know how I stopped up right here, but
    I believed this post was great. I don’t understand
    who you are however certainly you are going to a well-known blogger in the event you are
    not already. Cheers!

  37. Interesting blog! Is your theme custom made or did you download it from somewhere?
    A design like yours with a few simple tweeks would really make my blog
    jump out. Please let me know where you got your theme. Appreciate it

  38. Good post. I learn something new and challenging on blogs I stumbleupon on a daily basis.

    It will always be exciting to read articles from other authors and use a little something from other

  39. Pingback: Anne

Comments are closed.

Follow on Feedly