Atlanta Spotlight: Jim Anderson – COO - Vitrue

Jim Anderson

Jim Anderson is the COO of Vitrue, the global leader and innovator of social enterprise software. Based in Atlanta, Vitrue offers marketers and agencies around the world the ability to succeed with social media. Vitrue's cloud-based platform powers brand activities across social networks including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google+, Pinterest, and Instagram.  On these social networks brands can target global to local, publish content that engages fans and drives leads. 

Born:

Huntsville, Alabama

Grew up in:

Huntsville.  Moved to Atlanta in high school.

Interested in technology as a child:

Actually was most interested in construction as a child.  But went through the same technology discovery experience as many other kids of that era (starting with an Atari 800).

When to college at/major:

Bachelor's and Master's degrees from Georgia Tech in civil engineering.

How did you get involved with Mindspring:


I moved from the consulting engineering business to a startup that had plans to create an internet-based university (recall that in 1997 dial-up internet service was still a novelty).  The idea and the academic model were impeccable, but the market timing and the execution were not.  One of the people we talked with about investment was Charles Brewer, the founder of MindSpring.

What brought you to Vitrue:

MindSpring and EarthLink merged in 2001, and went through a period of significant growth.  When EarthLink's CEO passed away in 2007, the company went through dramatic changes, ceasing new product innovation and ultimately shifting to become a business-based telecom company.  One my colleagues who was one of MindSpring's earliest employees had joined a small technology startup named Vitrue, and I was intrigued by the space, and by the concept--especially given his track record of landing at promising tech startup companies!

Exactly what does Vitrue do:

We provide technology that allows marketers to be more successful with their presence on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.  Think of big consumer brands like McDonald's, Apple, and AT&T:  they want to have a presence on Facebook because there are nearly a billion people spending time on Facebook.  For example, instead of a marketer who works for McDonald's going to facebook.com <http://facebook.com>  to manage the McDonald's Facebook page, that marketer logs in to our system.  We handle access control, authentication and authorization, and then provide a range of powerful functions that allow them to publish, manage content, and even enable transactions on their social properties.  Our technology allows brands to do things that they wouldn't otherwise be able to do.

Some people have said Vitrue should be in Silicon Valley. What is good about Vitrue being in Atlanta:

We were founded in Atlanta, and have deep ties here.  Many of our employees went to Georgia Tech--and many others went to other universities in the area (Georgia, Emory, Georgia State, Florida, etc.).  Silicon Valley has a wonderful startup ecosystem, but by no means is it the only place to build a successful technology company.  The cost of living is lower here, there are great universities and a great labor pool, and Atlanta is a great place to live.

Why are you excited about what you are doing today:

I love the art of consumer marketing--determining how to connect with consumers, to engage them on their terms, and to ultimately help them learn about products that fulfill a need.  I also love technology, and the process of discovering how business needs and technology possibilities intersect.  What we do at Vitrue is is a great combination of the creative and the analytical.

Staff Writer
ATLANTA TREND™

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