Colin Barceloux, CEO of Axius
Who are you?
Colin is the Founder of Axius, a venture-backed startup creating a platform for device management and cybersecurity in Smart Homes. Previously Colin founded Techmate (YC S16), an on-demand service for in-home tech support. Additionally, he started BookRenter, the very first textbook rental company. Colin founded the company to address the high cost of educational materials and their impact on higher education accessibility. Before BookRenter, Colin helped grow Decide Interactive, one of the first bid management platforms for SEM. Colin holds a BS in Management Information Systems and a Minor in Information Technology from Santa Clara University and an MBA from Stanford’s Graduate School of Business.
Can you tell us the story of your business from idea to where you are now?
In the Fall of 2016, I received a phone call from my Dad, who again had problems with his computer. After troubleshooting for 2 hours, he had to fly to Los Angeles that weekend to fix the problem. I realized there must be millions of other people with similar experiences and it’s only going to get worse with manufacturers rushing to put more devices in homes. However, no one is thinking about all the new complexity Smart Homes will create for homeowners! They are going to be overwhelmed with connected devices. From cyber security to training to monitoring, consumers are going to need a managed service to assist them. In the future with Smart Home consumers will have a monthly “IT Budget” just like they do for a gardener or maid.
What has been your biggest failure or struggle?
Being replaced as CEO at my first startup BookRenter.com. It is never easy to step aside and it was a learning process to let go. Ultimaltey I think its so important to always do what is best for the business. As you scale up your always always choose success over control. Starting a company is all about your business and NOT You. Ego will kill your company and is one of the fastest causes for a business to struggle. As you frame decisions, always ask the question “what’s the best outcome for my company’s success?”
And what has been your biggest achievement or success?
My first startup BookRenter.com. We pioneered a whole new space around renting textbooks and helped save college students hundreds of millions of dollars. Before BookRenter.com no one was renting textbooks and students were hugely disenfranchised by a system that ripped them off.
What’s your must read business book?
Phil Knight’s Shoe Dog. I just read it and its inspirational for any founder!
Who’s your most inspirational CEO or founder?
Richard Branson, someone who I look up to in business has a quote that I admittedly believe – “With success comes extreme responsibility. And the responsibility for me is to invest in creating new businesses, creating jobs, and to putting money aside to tackle issues where we can make a difference.” He is an amazing Founder and is an amazing example of what Entrepreneurs can achieve over their careers.
And can you tell us something weird or interesting about yourself?
I am a 5th Generation Californian. My family came to California from France to farm and we have been in the olive business for over 100 years. I have a huge passion for Olive Oil. Check out our family business Loam Ridges.