Ryan Holmes is a Canadian computer programmer and internet entrepreneur. He is best known as the founder and CEO of Hootsuite, a social media management tool for businesses. Holmes began developing Hootsuite in 2008 through his agency Invoke Media... (wikipedia)
As an entrepreneur, one of the biggest challenges you will face will be building your brand. The ultimate goal is to set your company and your brand apart from the crowd. If you form a strategy without doing the research, your brand will barely float - and at the speed industries move at today, brands sink fast.
Working with lots of old media clients, I've had a front-row seat on the ascension of new social players and the decline of traditional news outlets. And it's clear to me that old media has an awful lot to learn from social media, in particular in five key areas: relevance, distribution, velocity, monetization, and user experience.
Hammer down product fundamentals first. Make sure you've got something that works before doubling down on promotion and marketing. Create a groundswell of organic support, and only then leverage PR and advertising to spread the word.
During the early days of HootSuite, when social media was still seen as a fad, I made the decision to treat our funding as if it were my personal bank account. That's not to say I blew it on fast cars and fancy dinners. Exactly the opposite.
For everybody in their busy lives, you need to invest in sharpening your tools, and you need to invest in longevity.
Ultimately, I'd love to see a legacy company that has alumni that come out of it and go on to create other big things. A maple-syrup mafia, a HootSuite mafia.
It may be coincidence that the decline of newspapers has corresponded with the rise of social media. Or maybe not.
Companies and managers that find a way to harness social media stand to gain.
Providing better computer science education in public schools to kids, and encouraging girls to participate, is the only way to rewrite stereotypes about tech and really break open the old-boys' club.
As technology has improved, our digital lives have only grown more tangled and cluttered.