So here’s the story
, starting a start up is hard. There are lots of things to think about, the bottom line is always one of them. How do you make money so that you can pay your team and have enough left to keep developing your business? Forget paying yourself for the moment, just focus on paying the talent that is moving your idea forward. Love it or hate it, this is business and it doesn’t change in the startup scene.
As of recent, I’m worried because there are serious changes being considered in relation to Canada’s Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED) tax credit. If you’re a Canadian start up, you should be as well.
In the past and to date, SR&ED has allowed start ups to offset the cost of operations while running a great team with competitive salaries to retain talent. There is a growing concern that changes to the SR&ED program are in the works, this could have enormous implications on Canada's ability to commercialize its research and development investments. Doing what you love, making money, paying your team, developing ideas could get a whole lot harder for start ups in Canada.
Recently there was a great piece
published on Forbes where La Jolla Group made some key observations about the need for social business. Yes, there are a lot of businesses online trying to be social, but there is a huge contrast between businesses being social and social businesses themselves.
As Daniel Neukomm, strategy chief quotes in the case of La Jolla Group, a multi-brand apparel licensing company: “The journey involves novelty: they are having to build a new social layer in their online interactions; and the future lies in the use of data to guide their strategy. Those are today’s two topics: data driven behaviour & the new social layer.”
Stop marketing. Start engaging. I just re-read Scott Stratten’s Unmarketing
book, I hear the sequel is on its way and like a breath of fresh air, it was replenishing and inspiring all at once. If you’re a true fan of social media as a tool for communicating, you will have heard & read about the concept of engagement many times and likely be putting some of the books key ideas into practice in your day to day.
Our social culture is shifting and how we communicate is changing, there is no doubt about that. How many people saw no value of being on Twitter and how many are actively using it now? Guilty.
How many said they would never have a need for a cell phone and cannot imagine a life without one? Guilty.
How many did not think that we would ever be punching a credit card number to make an online purchase? Serious trust issues aside, guilty.
Like it or not, this online community is hear to stay and it’s a great one to be a part of.
I realize this is early 2012, a time when users are empowered to share in real time what’s going on in their lives, in business, and in culture. There is no doubt that we’re in a world where social business is now more important than ever. Being online is so vital to partake in conversations that are happening about you, near you, and for you.
However, there seems to be a lag in social business behaviour. There is still a control C, control V approach when it comes to social business. Content is created, deployed and it seems the opportunity halts there. More times than not, (good) content is underutilized and relationships established are not reaching maximum potential. It is time to innovate how businesses communicate & more importantly how to harness that energy and deliver content that is of value…
You: are thinking, how do I validate this? Metrics? I’ve got those.
I: am saying yes, but, the purpose of those metrics is not to focus entirely on the numbers (though they are important) but to create metrics that incentivize behaviours through measurement.
You: think I might be on to something.
I: am not kidding, because I am.
We need to make a case for the web.
Not too long ago I recall feeling completely overwhelmed with the resources and tools available to engage with people online. I felt my privacy was in question regarding who was saying what about me and how they were going about doing it. My instinctive reaction back then was to advocate for no participation in social media, never to hear a praise or criticism ever again. No more sharing of photos, music, or videos. If people wanted to speak to me, they could meet me in person or pick up the phone. For many businesses, there is much paralleled value in this story.
What was once thought of as a barrier or perhaps an interrogation of my space is now a toolkit that enables literally anyone to share thoughts, experiences, videos, photos, or comments about anything under the sun. This can all seem very overwhelming for the newcomer; however, there is great value for small (and large) businesses alike to be active with social media and by extension social business.
*Note: This blog post was published on Tech Vibes
, November 17, 2011 & StartupNorth
, November 18, 2011
hits home for me on many levels, it speaks about the passing away of Diaspora's co-founder Ilya Zhitomirskiy due to unknown reasons, however highly associated with the pressures of startup life. As a follow up to my post "The Start Up Girlfriend
", it is clear that startup culture becomes a lifestyle. It is not a 9-5 job with the ability to turn yourself into "off" mode. Do people actually get
that? Startup mode is always on.
It's fuelled primarily by passion and for those of us who find ourselves working on things we are passionate about, time is not a factor. But as this taboo topic poses, where is the fine line between madness and sanity? Is the line so far away that it's a dot?
Check out Resume 2.0, my personal resume which aims to summarize what I’m about in a visual and concise way. Who would have thought taking text and distilling key information would have resulted in this? One idea, lots of layout schemes, good music, and the rest is history. If you have any leads for a community engagement or content curation role in social medial, please get in touch. I'm interested in metrics as a method to generate leads, drive new business, craft content and manage online presence.
My inspiration on this one? Taking vizualize.me and making it my own.
*Note: This blog post was published in Forbes
, November 4, 2011
Okay, not too long ago, my good friend @dholowack
came up with a brilliant idea. He was going to start a blog called The Start Up Girlfriend
, it was going to feature stories, experiences, and know-hows about survival as a Start Up Girlfriend
. Since @dholowack
's ventures to Toronto and afar, I have been inspired to write an entry that would pay tribute to this very concept.
It all started when I came across a worthwhile read, this girl knows what she's talking about:Why you should never be a Start Up Girlfriend.