Going Against the Flow: Andrew Levy, Co-Founder & CEO of Crittercism

Andrew has been co-founder and CEO of Crittercism since 2011, where Andrew and his team provide the world's leading mobile application performance management (mAPM) solution and enables enterprises to accelerate their mobile business. The company's investors include Google Ventures, Scale Venture Partners, Opus Capital, Shasta Ventures, InterWest Partners and Accenture.

Prior to starting Crittercism, Andrew Levy was the co-founder of AdThrow, a Y Combinator company that built a data processing pipeline for real-time ad targeting. Before YC, Andrew worked at HP Software where he led teams specializing in agile programming methodologies and advocating rapid product iterations. He has a B.S. in Computer Science from Johns Hopkins University.

Andrew Levy (Courtesy of Crittercism)

Q: What does entrepreneurship mean to you?

AL: Entrepreneurship is the process of solving a real problem, fueled by passion, and by building something from nothing. You have to be passionate about the product and the space you are operating in, because success doesn't happen overnight. Startups have their ups and downs, and navigating out of those troughs requires resolve.

Q: What are you most proud of in your professional career? If you could do something over in your life, what would it be?

AL: I am the most proud of Crittercism. We are the leader in mobile application performance management. Since launching in 2010, we've garnered strong traction and now reach 1 billion users in more than 120 countries, monitoring 3 billion mobile events pers day and 30 billion app loads per month. We work with top brands across verticals and industries including PayPal, Groupon and Netflix.

Q: Tell us about an instance where you had to go against the flow to realize your goal.

AL: I was bootstrapping and running short on money right before we started Crittercism. I was also engaged and feeling pressure to "get a real job." At Crittercism, we meticulously validated that we were, in fact solving a critical problem and that there was a large market available and waiting for us.

Q: How did your previous experience as a developer give you a step up in creating Crittercism?

AL: Before creating Crittercism, my co-founders - Rob Kwok, Jee-yun Kim - and I were developing mobile apps. We created an early version of Crittercism for ourselves because of how painful it was to get a handle on our end users' experiences. After speaking at a few mobile meetups we realized it was a widespread problem, and decided to focus all our efforts on mobile performance monitoring. Crittercism was definitely the case of "scratching your own itch," and as result we have intimate knowledge of what companies need to manage mobile apps in production.

Q: LinkedIn style - If you were to give advice to your 22 old self, what would it be?

AL: If you shoot for Mars and you hit the Moon, you'll be disappointed. Don't stretch your stretch goals. Lastly, good things will come in time, just iterate, innovate and fail fast.

Follow Andrew at @AndrewMLevy, and check out the other interviews in Going Against the Flow series at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/charu-sharma/ or thestartupsutra.com.