Founders’ Friday: Michael Lang, Cybrains, Inc.
Hi, Brandon here again. Today’s featured Friday founder is Michael Lang from Cybrains, Inc. I had the opportunity to sit down and talk to him about his company and where his passion for what he does comes from. Enjoy.
Founder: Michael Lang
Company: Cybrains, Inc.
BC: Tell me a little bit about your company:
ML: Cybrains, Inc. is a high tech consulting company offering a wide range of Information Technology (IT) related services. We solve business problems in a way that makes sense to your enterprise.
In short, I am a software developer, business analyst, online marketing expert, network/server systems administrator and data management guru for hire – I typically augment teams for short term efforts to rescue failing development efforts or simply to get projects completed and successfully launched.
BC: Where did the idea come from?
ML: For Cybrains, itself, the company was founded back in 2001 when the dot-com bust occurred. The company I worked for at the time lost their angel funding and we had to let go a staff of 40 employees. We pared the company down to just four and we attempted to complete the software system that was funded by the angel funding and fulfill the sales orders we had.
Unfortunately for the company, the two clients we had sold our system to also had their funding pulled and we lost our pending sales at that point. The company was dissolved and Cybrains was formed to carry on the outsourcing work I had already secured. I have been the sole employee of Cybrains over the years, occasionally pulling in additional contractors to help me out when I secured more work than I could handle by myself.
BC: Why should your target audience use your company and not someone else’s?
ML: As a consultant, I am an expert at listening to the challenges my clients have and coming up with solutions that solve their issues. Because of my broad experience, I don’t just deliver a software application – I solve the problems with a mixture of software development, hardware systems (networks, desktops, servers in the cloud, etc.), and process re-engineering/streamlining and end-user training.
BC: What have been some of your biggest challenges so far?
ML: The biggest challenge over the years was in not pursuing the ideas I have had for business ventures because I was too busy consulting or swinging back into full-time employment for a spell. Nowadays, I keep my consulting/billable hours to around 30hrs/week. In the past, I would push billable hours well into 60 to 70 hours a week and be too drained to bring good ideas to fruition.
BC: How would you rate your company’s progress so far?
ML: I am four months into returning to full-time self-employment and I am presently augmenting various development teams at other companies for the bulk of my work-effort during the weekdays. Meanwhile, I am working with my wife, Elisabeth, who is a fabulous holistic health practitioner with a wealth of knowledge that can help people take their health into their own hands. We decided to bring this knowledge to the online masses as we believe it’s one of the best ways to make a strong positive and altruistic impact and have been feverishly working on doing just that. We’re now less than two months from launching.
BC: Would you ever consider selling your company if the right offer was presented?
ML: Yes. Although I did not really have anything worth selling since the business has been 100% consulting revenue up until now. However, that will change as the new focus is to build and deliver online, software as a service solution.
BC: What is your biggest strength?
ML: Biggest strength is listening. I am hearing impaired and cannot hear on the phone. While for many with such hearing loss, it’s a handicap parlayed into a weakness, it has actually become my strength as my hearing loss actually forces me to pay far closer attention to the speaker and to the details of the dialogue than most hearing-enabled people do. I hear less than 20% (literally one in five words) of what’s spoken and so I actively “fill in the blanks” during all my verbal communications. Sometimes I get it grossly wrong (just take me to a non-captioned movie and ask me to summarize afterwards), but more often, I not only get the points of the conversation, I get what’s not spoken as well and this has served me very well in translating needs into software requirements and then into deliverables.
BC: What is the best thing about being the founder of your own company?
ML: My own work hours, projects that interest me thoroughly, wide exposure to many different companies and how they operate and implement solutions and the challenges they face. I really enjoy when I’m able to deliver a solution to their immediate pain/crisis that gives the client a very strong positive experience with technology.
BC: What particular quality do you bring to your company that makes you stand out as a founder and leader?
ML: Compassion and desire to see everyone succeed and they themselves feel successful in whatever they chose to pursue.
BC: What is your favorite thing to do when you are not working?
ML: Anything physical and outdoors. Tennis is my principle physical outlet and is also how I met my wife.
BC: If you could sum up in one word what it takes to make a company work what would it be?
ML: I think you need two words. Perseverance coupled with Passion.
If you would like to know more about Cybrains, Inc., you can visit Cybrains’ website.