By Leo Valiquette
Happy New Year.
The holidays are behind us and it’s time to get back to the grindstone. But while routines are a good thing, slipping back into poor habits, biases, and preconceptions that limit our professional success are not. Consider this a time to wipe the slate clean and make a fresh start.
I personally don’t care to make resolutions. Instead, I look back and consider what lessons I learned over the past year and how I can apply these in a positive way to my life and work over the next 12 months.
So in the spirit of a new year, here are some thoughts to guide founders, executives, and managers of any growing concern as they work to bring their technology to market and earn their time in the spotlight.
By Francis Moran
I’d be a semi-rich man if I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard someone point to one of the spectacularly successful companies that have exploded onto the marketplace over the last few years and say, “They didn’t do any marketing. They just …” and then fill in the blank with some seemingly trivial thing, like “They just went to South by Southwest,” or “They just did social media.”
I heard it again just last week when I guest lectured to a University of Ottawa MBA class, with Twitter and Facebook held up as the examples of companies that “didn’t do any marketing.” As I told the students, Twitter and Facebook are no more examples of predictable startup success than buying a lottery ticket is an example of sensible retirement planning. I drew a bell curve in the air and said that if that bell curve described the distribution of success for a given collection of technology startups, then Twitter and Facebook — and here I moved several meters to the right and stretched my right arm out — are way over here. They’re not even outliers; they’re in a completely different orbit.
And still the mythology persists. I can understand it. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat are all wildly successful companies, and who wouldn’t want to emulate them. The truth is, though, that most who do, fail. We hear about the (very) odd one that succeeds but, by definition, we hear nothing about the failures, of which there are countless.
March was an exciting month, full of changes and new developments.
In the commercialization ecosystem, all eyes were on the federal and Ontario budgets, which shook up government investment and spending in Canadian business and innovation. In social media, the Stop Kony 2012 campaign went viral, spurring fervent debates between its supporters and critics all around the globe. Facebook also unveiled its new brand pages, leaving many businesses scrambling to update their pages and understand the new format on deadline. We covered all of these subjects and more last month on this blog. If you missed any of our posts, here is a handy roundup.
March 22: What an IP co-ordinator should know, confidentially speaking By David French
March 14: Looking for that sweet spot to get market traction by Francis Moran & Leo Valiquette
March 01: Yikes … we forgot the demo! by Peter Hanschke
And on a related note…
We kicked off the second year of our new blog with a strong month of posts that covered a wide range of topics including leadership, content marketing, SEO, Pinterest for B2B businesses, trademarks, free tools for social media and PR, and succession planning.
On that final point, we said a sad farewell to a valued colleague last month. For our Linda Forrest, it was time for a new challenge in a new city. After a successful seven years with us, Linda has taken on the role of Digital Media Communities Manager at the Canadian Digital Media Network based in Kitchener/Waterloo. We welcome you to reach out to her on LinkedIn or Twitter to stay in touch.
Without further ado, here are our posts, in case you missed them, from February.
February 8: Giving your team ownership by Francis Moran and Leo Valiquette
February 15: Burning the candle at both ends as the clock ticks down by Francis Moran and Leo Valiquette
February 21: What an IP Coordinator should know: Something about trademarks by David French
And on a related note…
In addition to our series, our associates and guest bloggers were also busy writing on a great range of topics. Here are our other posts from February, as ranked by the enthusiasm of our readers:
This week marked the one-year anniversary of our new blog. We thank you for being with us and participating in our conversations, which covered a whole host of technology marketing issues.
Last month, we offered new counsel for startups from startup founders themselves. Screenreach, Host Analytics, CommentAir, Genevolve and NanoScale all weighed in on the specific issues that all entrepreneurs should be aware of, including the importance of strong teams, ways to overcome the status quo, how to ensure your product meets a specific market demand, attracting a flagship customer, and how to bring to market a compelling product that is protected by a rigorous intellectual property strategy.
We also explored the benefits that could come from industry and academia working together, what an IP coordinator should know and tribes in a techno world. Of course, this list just scrapes the surface. Read ahead for more.
January 3: When selling yourself as faster and cheaper is no longer enough: Part 2 by Francis Moran & Leo Valiquette
January 10: Putting your assumptions to the test by Francis Moran & Leo Valiquette
January 18: Wanted: Partners willing to take a leap of faith by Francis Moran & Leo Valiquette
January 23: What an IP coordinator should know: Are we getting value for our money? by David French
January 25: Dealing with the devilish details by Francis Moran & Leo Valiquette
January 30: Preparing for a major offensive by Francis Moran & Leo Valiquette
January 31: You really can achieve great things when industry, academia work together by Jason Flick
And on a related note…