More than 400 people registered for the Tech Toronto Meetup in August for a variety of topics concerning the business of technology startups.
Dessy Daskalov of Nudge Rewards, a mobile app that provides actionable data to businesses, explained that it was often cheaper to pay for services that aren’t core competencies rather than building them in-house. In building its app, it cut costs by, for instance, paying for managed hosting and using other existing solutions that weren’t the company’s core competency.
Darrell Heaps, CEO of Q4 Websystems, a SaaS platform for Investor Relations, shared some advice from his dad: “Don’t believe your own bullshit.” Heaps has successfully sold businesses and raised venture capital, but he always reminds himself that we often tell ourselves lies about how amazing we are and how good things are going. He said it’s a dangerous trap to think things are either good or bad. Instead, identify problems and get things done.
And if you don’t have problems, you’re not pushing yourself hard enough.
Phil Jacobson, a co-founder of PumpUp, a startup focused on helping people achieve their health goals, talked about creating a social media strategy that is consistent but that also engages fans. He recommends initially focusing on two or three social networks that most suit your brand. He recommends optimizing your social media presence by filling out your profiles and using consistent cover images and branding.
On the topic of engagement, fans should not be made to feel that they’re being talked at. Find ways to interact like commenting and liking their posts. PumpUp even allowed one of its fans to take over its SnapChat account.
But – above all else – if you’re serious about social media marketing he said it’s important to track ROI. Even if it’s just for new user signups, you’ll know the impact of your social media efforts.
Mallorie Brodie from Bridgit discussed how taking the Myers-Briggs personality test confirmed that she has a stubborn “Commander” personality, but that this information can help people get along in a corporate environment. She said that being self-aware of personality characteristics can mean that someone drawn to big-picture ideas doesn’t take on projects that require attention to detail. It also helps people be more aware of other peoples’ personality traits so that you don’t inadvertently hurt someone who tends to take things personally.
CardSwap’s Zaheed Poptia talked about how it’s important to immediately follow up with interested potential clients with a professional contract. In his reasoning, he compares this to the dating scene – you don’t want to hear “Let’s keep in touch” because that doesn’t mean you’re going to get a second date. You need a specific next step.
In the ensuing panel discussion, Brodie explained that your personality profile isn’t a life sentence. She said people start to make up for weaknesses they have early in life. In other words, we all have the propensity to change.
The next Tech Toronto Meetup is scheduled for Monday, September 21, 2015.