“When you buy a new Samsung device, the phone just does more than the iPhone or any other Android,” says Mayur Kamat, Hiya’s VP of product. “Without downloading or installing anything, the user can call a business in the same way they call their friends and family.”
“The argument is, build a large company to be insanely great and change the world, right?” says CEO Jon Fisher. “As we operationalize the financial part, the path to making a real contribution in the world can be formulaic.”
Attribution “is the metric that all brands and media verticals are moving to as it solves a number of gaps in the market.” says Freckle IoT’s Neil Sweeney. He believes measuring how branding strategy is working is becoming just as important as brand visibility.
CEO Stuart Wall says that many tech startups struggle with finding a perfect-fit co-founding developer, as Signpost did, but that finding the right people to hire is one of the most important things a leader can do. “I think it’s two things: skill and will,” Wall says.
Upserve CEO Angus Davis says that seed funding is the most available right now. And because the overall economy is doing fairly well, wealthy people are increasingly doing angel investments where they previously were not.
Neil Sweeney has lots of opinions about how to run a company, especially a newer, smaller one. The founder and CEO of beacon network company Freckle IoT, says that it’s about putting the right people in the right places.
A spinoff company from a larger mothership might already have culture built in. At Conichiwa, a Berlin-based proximity agency and beacon company, that’s not quite what is happening.
Big name tech companies including Facebook, Google, Square, SalesForce, Chase Bank, and many others are offering the knowledge they have acquired on the way up to small businesses that might not be getting all the help they need.
While some company founders sit down and write out their core values and identify what their company’s culture should be before they even find the people who will help them, others just go with their gut. For Pete Gombert, founder of local marketing company Balihoo, his gut feeling about culture has turned into a whole new company.
The company’s mission is to build a new operating system for the physical world, and to get there the team needs zero bullshit. Culture is far too important to leave to chance, says John Cieslik-Bridgen, Estimote’s VP of culture. But it’s also important to allow natural evolution.
Image and video hosting website Photobucket is the latest tech brand that’s going local. The company announced today that it is partnering with location intelligence firm Cuebiq to understand users’ offline behaviors and provide them with a more relevant experience.
Five years young, mobile shopping app company ibotta has already outgrown itself and is rolling out the biggest official overhaul of its user interface today — one that gives users 17% more money back than the last version of the app.
Starting your own tech company often comes with a painful side effect, says Joshua Enders, managing partner of client success at digital commerce company Six Vertical: “It’s an absolute grind. It’s like getting punched in the stomach multiple times a day,” Enders says. “I’m speaking from experience.”
Many small businesses have picked up on referral marketing options, but word-of-mouth referrals are an ancillary benefit of networking with other local business owners. “The entire business community needs a way to connect and have ongoing dialogue,” says Ro Prakash, co-founder of Townsquared.
Environment, talent, and process all encourage the growth of innovation, according to IT research firm CEB, which was recently acquired by Gartner. But there’s a balancing act that must take place between structure and exploration — especially for smaller companies on a fast upward growth curve.
Dublin-based digital search platform startup Pointy is still at that point where the culture is just what it is, without special definitions or structure. “The number of people on our team now is small, almost painfully small,” says co-founder Mark Cummins. “There’s not a lot of structure. Well, there is structure, but there’s not a lot of process around it.”
“If you have the right team, the right employees, then they don’t have to be there physically,” says Kristen Stiles, co-founder and CEO of babysitter-finding app Sitter.me. “If you don’t trust your employees to work at home, you shouldn’t have hired them in the first place.”
“I think it’s important to have marketing leadership from a cultural standpoint,” the company’s VP of marketing, Corey O’Donnell says. “Marketing isn’t just what you tell the world about your business, it’s also what you tell your employees.”