Category: On Startups

Startup Canada Podcast: Flexibility, Finding Time for Family as a Founder

Entrepreneurship can be a long, arduous, and gruelling journey, but if you ever wanted proof that there’s light at the end of the tunnel, look no further than Manny Padda. Padda is an entrepreneur, educator, angel investor, and philanthropist. He is the founder of New Avenue Capital as well as the founder and managing director of PM Search Partners. A self-made entrepreneur who built his first multi-million-dollar company at age 26, Padda is dedicated to providing education and mentorship to today’s youth. He is a co-founder of GradusOne, an organization that connects students and graduates with mentors and provides them with resources

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Understanding your ideal customers and how to sell to them

Fiona Lee: You’ve probably heard this before: “What gets you to your first $50 million is not what’s going to get you to $100 million.” We’ve thought about this truth a lot during the last few months as we’ve been going through our annual planning. As part of the process, we’ve spent a lot of time reviewing who we should be selling to these days, and how we should be selling to these customers. The process of defining your positioning strategy is not a one-and-done deal – in a crowded marketplace, it needs to be an ongoing exercise. And as

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Product engagement: the most important metric you aren’t tracking for your SaaS business

Derek Skaletsky, writing for the Intercom blog: If you have followed us over at Sherlock, you will likely have heard us say many times that product engagement is the lifeblood of any SaaS business. This is because the entire SaaS business model is dependent on people using (and getting value from) your product consistently over time. The entire model is dependent on product engagement. In short, creating a method for scoring engagement is essential for every SaaS business. Without a proper way to score the engagement of your users and accounts, it’s pretty much impossible to know what the hell is

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You Have a Great Tech Idea. Now What?

Frank Landman, writing for ReadWriteWeb: There are seemingly countless stories of tech innovators who simply woke up with a brilliant idea, got investments to build it out, and ended up becoming billionaires. Of course, these stories are extremely rare, but they are exciting to think about—especially when you wake up with a brilliant tech idea of your own.You don’t need much experience in the tech field to have a good tech idea. For example, you could have come up with the idea for Uber without an in-depth knowledge of how to build it out, or you could have come up with

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The 4 questions you should stop asking during your one-on-one meetings

Claire Lew: Looking at the clock. Staring into the distance. Short, nondescript answers. A CEO recently told me how he’d frequently see this body language from an employee during their one-on-one meetings. Flat. Disinterested. Preoccupied. It felt lousy to witness, but it’d always been this way. He’d silently concluded that he was wasting both of their time. “I want to know what’s on his mind and how I can help, but these one-on-one meetings just aren’t working,” this CEO admitted to me. “I’m not really sure what to do except to stop having them.” To see if I could help,

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Ryan Holmes talks about the tech job no one talks about

Hootsuite’s Ryan Holmes: Mention “tech jobs” and thoughts typically turn to developers — the programmers and engineers who translate great ideas into working technology and keep the platforms we all use humming along. But the reality is that it’s impossible to scale and sustain most software platforms today without a highly capable, highly trained sales team. Indeed, at many of the most successful cloud software companies, the sales squads are just as big as the technical teams. I’ll repeat this for clarity: the current innovation boom hasn’t just created an outsized demand for IT pros; it’s created an equal — if not greater — demand for

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Learning by fixing

Drago Crnjac: Breaking things and fixing them again is one of the best ways to learn. I learned this lesson early, thanks to my younger sister and her Japanese robotic toy dog. Somehow, I convinced her to let me take apart her robodog so I could see how it works. “I’ll put it back together. Don’t be such a baby!” How wrong was I? It would probably have been easier to put back together a Volkswagen Beetle than this toy dog. There I was, sitting clueless on the floor, surrounded with plastic parts and electronics. My sister was crying and

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The Little Trade-Offs

Claire Lew: I was running a leadership training a few months ago, when a CEO said this to me… “I think I know why it’s so easy to become a bad manager, even when we don’t mean to be: It’s because of the little trade-offs.” I nodded and smiled. I knew exactly what he meant by “the little trade-offs.” I’d made so many myself as a leader, across my own career. The little trade-offs are the moments when we succumb to what feels most pressing in front of us, at the expense of what our company needs down the road

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Clark Kent’s shoes

Seth Godin: Back when Superman used to change into his outfit in a phone booth, the question was: where does he put Clark’s shoes? Because even if he could compress them with his super strength, they’d be ruined. Organizations that need to adopt different personas often get into trouble. On one hand, most of the time, they’re invisible. They’re a boring bureaucracy, optimized for stable jobs, predictable if not low-cost processes, mediocre customer service and average (or below average) user interface design. They’re a monopoly and they act like one. But then, when things break, they’re expected to act like

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3 Marketing Techniques Every Startup Must Master

Remember Pokémon GO? Of course you do because it was all you heard about for a few quick months in the summer of 2016. With millions of people downloading and playing the game, retailers and restaurants leapt at the opportunity to sponsor in-game experiences. Players flocked from location to location to virtually battle one another or to catch new Pokémon, and numerous companies were able to cash in on quick marketing wins. There’s a lesson here, though. It’s most likely been a while since Pokémon GO was part of a recent conversation. Chances are that businesses are also no longer

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