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Armando Biondi is no stranger to the world of business and marketing.
Having invested in ~250 startups, serving as a co-founder and COO in 6 different tech and non-tech companies, and most recently as the co-founder of Breadcrumbs, it’s safe to say that Biondi has extensive experience in the various demands the business world will make of its participants.
A notable feat on his list of successes is co-founding AdEspresso, a Facebook ads optimization tool, ranked as the number one Facebook AdTech Partner globally by the number of advertisers. Hootsuite acquired AdEspresso in February 2017, and Biondi joined the leading social media management platform as its Global Head of Growth Operations.
Even with all this success, Biondi has not rested on his laurels. His entrepreneurial spirit has kept him interested in the future of business and how he can improve these fundamental operations for the success of all companies, not just the big guys. His desire for growth and accomplishment has led him to his current venture, co-founding Breadcrumbs, a revenue acceleration platform based on a co-dynamic lead scoring and routing engine living at the intersection of marketing and sales.
What sets Breadcrumbs apart from others is the addition of recency and frequency which means their models create truly dynamic scores.
Breadcrumbs identify the moment intent appears, unlike the self-fulfilling cumulative scoring models of the past. It also helps its users make sense of the data and how the different data points contribute to achieving your objectives.
Putting the Pieces Together (How Biondi Helped Found Breadcrumbs)
“This is the third company that I’m running. I sold both of my previous two companies,” Biondi shares.
We already mentioned his impressive achievements at AdEspresso, but before this venture, Biondi had helped found another company. However, Armando notes that this attempt was not as financially successful as his later endeavors. “First one didn’t make a lot of money. Lots of learning, as they say.” And learn he would, as his future ventures would net him the success he has come to enjoy today.
What helped drive him even through his first bout with adversity?; Believing in himself and understanding how he wanted to approach his career. “I’m highly unemployable, and this is the only thing I can do,” he says.
After his first company didn’t find the success he desired, he buckled down and dug deeper into the philosophies that still guide him to this day.
Since AdEspresso, Biondi has invested in many more businesses. Breadcrumbs was developed out of a problem he was entrenched in throughout his prior business experience. He noticed the recurring issues that companies would have with growth and how the large organizations found success through expansive “growth engines” that required millions of dollars and extensive amounts of time. This eventually led to the idea that would ultimately inspire Breadcrumbs and their Lead Scoring revolution, “Can we productize a growth engine as a service for other companies?” he wondered.
Today, Breadcrumbs is a one-of-a-kind revenue acceleration platform that has revolutionized old-scoring models to provide modern businesses with new and more powerful lead scoring capabilities. Leveraging human-first contact scoring and extensive data collection and analysis, Breadcrumbs aims to help businesses identify stronger and more reliable leads to help exponentially boost their growth. But however revolutionary this new business idea was for Biondi, it was only through his many other business experiences that he could conceptualize and execute this concept.
Identifying Pain Points
Speaking of conceptualizing businesses, many founders may be interested in pursuing their own entrepreneurial ends but unaware of how they can identify relevant pain points for robust business models. Biondi’s advice? “Either [they] experienced that problem or stumbled upon it.” Biondi then recounted how with AdEspresso, he had stumbled upon his pain point and was able to turn this spontaneous inspiration into a feasible business plan. When it came to Breadcrumbs, however, Biondi and his co-founders had noticed issues with lead scoring and growth recurring throughout their many business experiences.
Lead scoring is one of the most important aspects of sales and marketing for a business, as it identifies the best prospects your sales team should look towards. The traditional methods for lead scoring require multi-tiered systems with lots of staff and labor necessary to analyze the relevant data and make the best suggestions. This is a feasible approach for large businesses. Still, for small and medium enterprises, this can be out of reach, leaving them struggling to identify the right leads, which inhibits growth and business success.
Biondi helped found Breadcrumbs to productize this sometimes overbearing system and offer the capabilities of reliable and powerful lead scoring to all levels of business, along with adding new variables to the lead scoring system to make the process even more effective. Ultimately, he identified a pain point through gradual observation of the business world over his long career. His business venture aimed to make a more efficient solution accessible to all tiers of business.
Our discussion eventually turned to funding, with Biondi remarking how much more convenient it is for founders to secure funding these days. He did provide an important addendum; however, “There is a business model that’s starting to work…that doesn’t necessarily mean building a product. Most of the time, it means solving a problem for someone else.” This is where Biondi has found much of his success and what pushes him forward with his current work.
What to Consider When Scaling
Many founders and developers have great ideas and products with a pain point identified and are simply unsure how to proceed with growing their business and scaling for more opportunities. So, I took this opportunity to ask Biondi how he has approached scaling his businesses.
He first mentioned that successful companies are rarely successful solely because of their product but more because of their ability to go to market and distribute. He did qualify this statement by saying that many companies will be successful with a combination of quality products and market success. Still, he wanted to share the main idea that quality products alone will not be enough and may not even be the most crucial determinant of success.
“A better distributed okay product will have more success than an okay distributed product because more people will be using the okay product and providing feedback…Monetization and Distribution…It’s always a combination between those two things.”
This statement might inspire you to rush ahead and reach for extensive distribution as fast as possible, but Biondi also urges caution with the scaling process. “When you make the first dollar, it’s about how you make the next ten dollars. When you make a thousand, it’s how you make ten thousand.” Biondi notes how important it is for founders to consider their current limitations and what they need to solve to get to their immediate next stage of development. Don’t think too far down the line; see the boundary ahead, and target that for improvement.
Advice for Founders on Seizing Opportunities
Biondi has found success with many businesses but, in turn, also left many of these opportunities to pursue new causes. Leaving established success for a new risk might seem daunting for young founders, but Biondi sees it more as seizing opportunity and providing value for your future.
“It comes down to opportunity cost versus time, work and risk adjust return.” On what he recommends for founders, he says, “Most of the time, the question is: what is the opportunity you have in front of you today? If you think about the next three years if you don’t take this opportunity, what’s the additional work, the additional time, and the additional risk you need to take to get to the next relevant and meaningful milestone?” For Biondi, looking back on his success with AdEspresso and Hootsuite, forming this new venture at Breadcrumbs was worth the time, money and risk in return for the value it would bring to his life.
However, not all founders will value the same things Biondi does, so he provides advice for founders to consider when deciding on their business outlook. When discussing the first thing founders should consider when building their company, he said, “Optionality.” For Biondi, this means the ability for your business to adapt and shift as you need to achieve the goals you want for your business and life. A great example he poses is how raising more money can cost you more equity in your business. In the short term, that may mean your business has more money to expand, but you also give up more control in return. Some founders value more control but will have to reckon with less capital. So, founders should consider what they desire for their future and position their businesses to accomplish these things.
Follow Biondi’s journey and check out Breadcrumbs to learn more.