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Hack To Start
episode 168

Paul Canetti

Founder @mazdigital. Ex-@apple. Teach UX at @Columbia_Biz + @GA.

Listen to this episode on iTunes, Stitcher, & Google Music

Paul Canetti is the Founder & CEO of MAZ, a platform that empowers leaders in media to become pioneers in OTT and mobile technology. Growing up, Paul was exposed to design and technology through his father’s work and hobbies. Paul taught himself digital design and although he studied philosophy in college, he continued to maintain an interest in technology. After working in corporate environments and then consulting, Paul started building websites and then iPhone apps with a high school friend. Their passion for building products led them to creating MAZ, raising $2M, and then continuing to build and scale the business in a sustainable way. Paul is also an Associate Professor at Columbia University in New York, where he teaches a class on user experience and product management for the MBA program. He is also a podcaster and the host of Wizardest, a podcast that features startup founders, VCs, and other interesting personalities to learn about their past experiences and views on the future. Paul joins us to share his story, how he got into startups, what it was like growing MAZ in the early days, how he approaches fundraising, why he got into podcasting, and much more.

Main Objectives For This Episode

  • Learn more about how Paul got into design & startups
  • Learn more about what it was like transitioning from a consultancy to building some of the first iPhone apps
  • Learn more about what it was like building and scaling MAZ
  • And more!

Episode Overview

Paul Canetti is the Founder & CEO of MAZ, a platform that empowers leaders in media to become pioneers in OTT and mobile technology.

Growing up, Paul was exposed to design and technology through his father’s work and hobbies. Paul taught himself digital design and although he studied philosophy in college, he continued to maintain an interest in technology.

After working in corporate environments and then consulting, Paul started building websites and then iPhone apps with a high school friend. Their passion for building products led them to creating MAZ, raising $2M, and then continuing to build and scale the business in a sustainable way.

Paul is also an Associate Professor at Columbia University in New York, where he teaches a class on user experience and product management for the MBA program. He is also a podcaster and the host of Wizardest, a podcast that features startup founders, VCs, and other interesting personalities to learn about their past experiences and views on the future.

Paul joins us to share his story, how he got into startups, what it was like growing MAZ in the early days, how he approaches fundraising, why he got into podcasting, and much more.


Some Of The Questions We Ask

2:43
Can you tell us more about yourself? Where are you from and what did you study?

3:29
So how did your passion for design and technology develop?

8:07
You then ended up joining Apple. So how did you create that opportunity and what was it like working there just as the iPhone was coming out?

12:53
What was it like helping GA transition from in-person to online courses? And what was it like trying to scale these programs and compete with other emerging online education platforms?

18:12
Can you tell us more about what MAZ does and what motivated you to start it?

20:02
How did you approach building the first version of the product?

25:50
MAZ has raised over 2M from VCs. What was it like raising money for MAZ and what advice would you have to share with others?

31:30
What have been some of the biggest lessons you’ve learnt since launching MAZ?

34:42
You’re also an assistant professor at Columbia University in New York. Can you tell us more about what led you to teaching UX and Product Management?

40:51
You’re also a fellow podcaster. Can you tell us more about your show Wizardest and what motivated you to start that?

44:58
Do you have any final thoughts or words of advice for other entrepreneurs out there?


Here are some of the most important links and resources mentioned throughout the show.

Twitter Handles & Websites

Paul Canetti on Twitter
MAZ on Twitter
MAZ on the web
Wizardest Podcast on Twitter
Wizardest Podcast on the web
Tyler Copeland on Twitter
Franco Varriano on Twitter

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