An Interview with Entrepreneur Healey Cypher

Healey Cypher (yes, that’s his real name) is CEO of ZIVELO. Prior to this, he was the CEO/Founder of Oak Labs (acquired by ZIVELO). He served as Head of Retail Innovation team and Chief of Staff to the CTO at eBay Inc. after the acquisition of milo.com where he was VP, Business Development. He has been recognized as Silicon Valley Business Journal’s “40 under 40,” WWD’s “Ten of Tomorrow,” and one of Goldman Sach’s “Top 100 Most Intriguing Entrepreneurs.”

Healey regularly speaks at conferences around the world and with top-tier media. He has hosted or attended several panels at SXSW Interactive, regularly speaks at NRF & shop.org, and has been interviewed by CNBC, CNN, Fast Company, the New York Times, Forbes, WWD, TechCrunch, The Wall Street Journal, VentureBeat, Entrepreneur, TIME Magazine, CBS, Fox, and more.

He is an alumnus of the University of Pennsylvania and from Nebraska but spent the majority of his early life in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Are you an entrepreneur looking for your MVP built? Get in touch with us at hello@devathon.com

Devathon has built software for companies backed by the world's leading investors like Betaworks, Greylock, Andreessen Horowitz, Accel, KPCB, Lightspeed and many more.

In the following interview, Healey talks about his firm Zivelo, his entrepreneurial journey, struggles and the lessons learned along the journey.

When did you first discover your entrepreneurial spirit and How is your entrepreneurial career developing so far?

In 2010 I joined a startup called Milo.com that one of my students had founded (I was his TA at undergrad). The moment I started, it was addicting. Within seven months we had sold to eBay, and not soon thereafter I founded a new team with eBay which led to me starting another startup: Oak Labs. Being an entrepreneur is a simultaneous mix of incredible highs and incredible lows. It's being both absolutely free and potentially staring into the abyss. There's nothing quite like it. And yes, it's addicting. I've joined two startups so far, and both have been acquired, so while I'm not claiming to have started a Facebook, I think it's going okay so far! :)

What has been the most significant success and biggest failure stories you went through?

Every startup has both of these things! At Milo.com, we sold for $75M after seven months to eBay, that was a pretty fun ride with an incredible team. At Oak, we had both success and failure. We started with a product that was way too early and complicated for the market - so that was rough. However, we then pivoted to something that led to a handful of acquisition offers and ultimately our joining the amazing ZIVELO team, so that was pretty great. :) Perhaps the punchline is that no success comes without its share of failures and challenges on the path - it's important to remember that at the moment - even though it's much easier to realize in retrospect.

Tell us something about ZIVELO

ZIVELO’s mission is to revolutionize the way brands use technology to interact with their consumers on-premise and in the physical world. Founded in 2008, ZIVELO has rapidly grown to become the leading self-service technology brand offering sleek and sophisticated product design, intuitive user experience, and cutting-edge modular hardware solutions. In 2018, ZIVELO acquired Oak Labs, the creators of OakOS - the world’s first operating system for public computing experiences. Through the acquisition, ZIVELO now provides brands with an end-to-end solution for the roll-out of kiosks and digital signage and is one of the only full-service kiosk providers to offer world-class hardware, software, services, and financing under one roof. ZIVELO is headquartered in Scottsdale, AZ, with offices in San Francisco and Seattle. For more information, please visit http://www.zivelo.com/.

What are your growth plans for the near future?

The self-service ("kiosk") market is growing insanely fast - so to a certain extent "more of the same" would probably be a sufficient growth strategy. But here at ZIVELO, we realize that the industry is asking for even more powerful and streamlined solutions to make our customers successful. We aim to become the Apple of public computing - with beautiful hardware, powerful software, and compelling services.

Looking back, what did you learn and what would you have done differently?

There's nothing more important than hiring amazing people around you who are smarter than you. Listen to them. Empower them. Get out of their way.

In your opinion, what are the hurdles that keep people away from starting an entrepreneurial career? What advice would you give to the new entrepreneurs?

My advice is simple: if you want to start at a startup: don't do it. It's too hard. You'll probably fail. You won't sleep. Still want to do it? Think again. You'll be scared. You'll be alone. Fighting your team, investors, and clients all at the same time. Still want to do it? Okay. You're ready. Go for it!

Are you an entrepreneur looking for your MVP built? Get in touch with us at hello@devathon.com

Devathon has built software for companies backed by the world's leading investors like Betaworks, Greylock, Andreessen Horowitz, Accel, KPCB, Lightspeed and many more.