Alexander, or Alex, Austin is the CEO of Branch Metrics. Branch Metrics was founded in 2014 by Alex Austin along with partners Dmitri Gaskin, Mada Seghete, and Mike Molinet. It basically provides a deep linking platform with business analytics software development kit/application program which offers developing tools for independent and large mobile application companies and marketers to both gain and retain users. The technology of Branch Metrics helps users to access content directly, share applications through referrals, and grow their applications by deep linking. This deep linking platform works with solutions which unify mobile user measurement and experience across devices, channels, and platforms.
Alex Austin has started to become more famous as his company makes great strides forward. However, some may not have heard of either him or his company, especially if one is not tech savvy and not in need of his company’s deep linking platform. Here’s 10 things you didn’t know about Alexander Austin.
1. Born and raised in Carmel, California.
Austin says he’s never really left California. One of Branch Metrics office’s is in Palo Alto and his place of birth is only about an hour south of this branch office. In addition, Austin claims that Carmel is his favorite vacation spot and goes on to highly recommend that everyone who’s never been there should most definitely visit.
2. Austin always wanted to be an engineer.
Not only did he always want to be an engineer, but growing up he also knew he wanted to be an engineer in Silicone Valley. Austin says he knew from the a very young age, around five or six, that’s what he wanted to do. In fact, he already had it planned to go to college there, work there, and live there. In addition, he had also been building things since a very early age as well.
3. Austin actually studied electrical engineering.
When he studied engineering, Austin actually studied electrical engineering instead of software engineering, primarily focusing on device physics. He says this ”whole software thing” that Branch Metrics know works on is completely different from his educational background. However, he feels that engineering is a base requirement for building any company or addressing any problem. He says that engineering is about being trained to solve problems.
4. He thought about becoming a professor.
Austin said he absolutely feel in love with studying while in undergrad, almost making education his career. He began studying for a PhD in electrical engineering at Stanford fully intending to go into research and become a professor. However, during the process, he saw how successful some of his friends were doing in the industry. When he was offered to join a startup in Santa Clara about the same time he began his PhD program, he decided to take a chance. Austin says he essentially took advantage of the best of both worlds, getting an education and working towards his masters and PhD while also working full-time.
5. The first startup he joined failed miserably.
Even though the startup he was invited to join in Santa Clara raised half a billion dollars, it still failed. It started out with only about twenty people, but grew to employ over seven hundred. He said it was just a sad story when the company failed and its assets were sold for the technology to a Chinese conglomerate. Furthermore, after watching this startup crash and burn, he decided he wanted to build his own company. He said he could see why the startup had failed, blaming some of the strategic decisions for the ultimate reason they failed. He believes he could have done a better job of keeping the startup afloat had it been his and he’d been in charge.
6. That first startup did have a positive effect.
Austin says that it’s because of that first startup that he fell in love with software. Completely self-taught, he built a bunch of tools and began writing apps. He knew then that he wanted to go into mobile software development. Austin claims that the thought that he was capable of writing a piece of software to push out to a distribution platform that would have the potential to touch billions of people was more exciting to him than anything else he could dream of.
7. Austin actually left a company because of others’ laziness.
At a company where Austin and several other employees were individual contributors. He felt as though one of the contributors wasn’t doing his fair share of the work and brought it to the attention of his superiors time and again. Austin said when this person did contribute, he felt it was toxic, bringing down the overall productivity of the team. Each time he had a one on one with his manager, he brought up this person, asking for him to be fired due to him bringing the team down as a whole. When the manager refused to do anything about his person, Austin ultimately left. He says you can’t be on a team when a team member doesn’t contribute. In addition, he felt it was also an enormous waste of company dollars, paying someone who didn’t pull their weight.
8. Austin met his collaborators at Stanford.
Austin decided to apply to Stanford’s business school in order to have a backup plan should his startup idea fail. He said he felt that if he at least had a piece of paper to show at the end of three years, then the time would not have been wasted. As luck would have it, he met his classmates early on, recognizing them as fellow engineers and convincing them to join him in building a printing/photobook app instead of working the internships they had applied for over the summer. The app ended up being successful enough for them to sell it, although it wasn’t a billion dollar company.
9. Austin gives some advice.
He says the most important thing when it comes to building a company is not only the execution, but also the lack of fear of making a mistake. Austin says you need to be prepared for lots of disappointment, but to use that in order to move on to the next thing. The important thing is to acknowledge you will eventually find your answer.
10. Last, but not least, some random facts about Austin.
- The Mistborn Trilogy is his favorite book.
- Austin gets about seven hours of sleep, typically.
- The CEO that he follows is Jeff Bezos, who is the Chief Executive Officer of Amazon.
- His favorite online tool is JMP Statistical Analysis.
- His advice for his twenty-year self: Start you own company and don’t wait until the ”right time”. There is never the right time.