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CEO Says Good Engineering Talent Hard to Find

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Staff members work on their computers at Viki's office in Singapore May 24, 2012. Who would want to watch a South Korean soap that was a flop back home? Lots of people, it turns out - something that Singapore-based startup Viki feels vindicates its ... business model: an ad-supported streaming TV and movie site where unpaid fans add the foreign subtitles. The service plays on a number of trends both in Asia and worldwide: a passion for watching video over the Internet; a growing interest in content from other countries; and the emergence of more sophisticated software to spread the burden of laborious tasks like subtitling. REUTERS/Tim Chong (SINGAPORE - Tags: BUSINESS SCIENCE TECHNOLOGY)

Small Business Spotlight: Unitrends, @Unitrends_Inc

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Who: Mike Coney, CEO

What: Unitrends, a backup and data recovery company

When: 1989

Where: Columbia, South Carolina

How: Unitrends provides backup, data recovery and archive protection to small and medium enterprises. “We recently introduced the cloud strategy,” says Coney.

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Unitrends has more than 210 employees, and anticipates over $50 million in revenue this year – up from $5 million a year in 2009 when Coney took over the firm.  

Biggest challenge: “When I took over, there were roughly 40 people in the firm,” says Coney. A big challenge has been hiring enough engineers to support growth. “There’s a worldwide shortage, so we continue to struggle to find good talent,” he says.

One moment in time: “Hiring 180 people and giving them a livelihood … creating opportunities,” says Coney, when asked to describe his proudest accomplishment with the company.

Best business advice: “Trust your instincts. Listen to people and get all sorts of opinions. And make sure your management team gives you good criticism, advice and feedback,” says Coney.

Best business book: Coney says he’s read “every management book ever made,” but has recently turned to the videos produced by TED conferences to continue learning about fields like digital marketing and employee development in the Internet age, he says.

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