Smith YewellOct 11, 2021
A Conversation with Smith Yewell
Founder and CEO of Welocalize, One of the World’s Largest Translation Businesses
New Books Network 2021
In this episode Smith Yewell share’s his route into translation and we hear how Smith’s personal life intertwined with his need to communicate in other languages. We learn how his ROTC Military Scholarship was an entrepreneurial decision, and how the experience of combat helped harden him for coping with the pressures of the entrepreneurial journey. The impact of his military service on his awareness of leadership, leading him to conclude that everyone is a leader, which he defines as the ability to inspire others to achieve what they previously thought was impossible.
He shares stories of a highly entrepreneurial childhood, cleaning out the yard, mowing lawns, selling goods at the side of the road, and the strong competitive ethic that stays with him even through the 2020/21 pandemic.
He takes us through the “Welocalize” story, how is first client just wanted one word translated, and how his early insight into the potential of the internet, led him to set up an online marketplace which he was able to sell just before the first bubble burst, giving him to capital to make the first of many acquisitions. Thanks to translation memory technology he was able to be faster and lower cost than competitors, winning big contracts. The four pillars of the company are and were innovation, global teamwork, quality and customer service. Final advice was to always aim to work yourself out of a job, and at some stage, just “do it”, or as Smith puts it, at some stage you have to “Jump in the pool”.
About Smith Yewell
Smith Yewell is CEO of Welocalize, which he co-founded with Julia Yewell in 1997. Prior to establishing the company, Smith served as a Field Artillery Officer in the US Army and received a Bronze Star for service in Operation Desert Storm. Smith serves on the board of The Aslan Foundation
and Color Me A Cure Foundation. He’s also the lead guitarist in a band called Fuzzy Match, a nod to the industry
The NBN Entrepreneurship and Leadership podcast aims to educate and entertain, sharing insights based on the personal story of our carefully selected guests aiming for the atmosphere of an informal conversation in a bar or over a cup of coffee.
Kimon is the founder of both Argos Multilingual and PMR. Both companies were founded in the mid 90s with zero capital and both have gone on to become market leaders in their respective sectors. Kimon was born in New York and moved to Krakow, Poland in 1993. Listen to his story here,
Richard is a business and social entrepreneur who founded or invested in more than 30 businesses, including investments in Argos Multilingual, PMR and, in 2020, the New Books Network. Richard has been a TEDx event organiser, supports the pro-entrepreneurship ecosystem, and leads entrepreneurship workshops at all levels: from pre- to business schools. Richard was born in Oxford and moved to Poland in 1991. Read more here. Listen to his story in an autobiographical TEDx talk here.