Wed, 27 September 2017
Great entrepreneurs have that rare ability to take risks that others find crazy, coupled with a single-minded determination that allows them to bring their visions to life. But some of us want to do much more with that talent than simply create a profitable company. Some of us want to change the world for the better.
If that sounds like you, you're going to want to hear what Samasource founder Leila Janah has to say in this episode, as that's exactly what she's done during her incredible career.
Janah runs one of the most influential social enterprises around, responsible for raising over 30,000 people around the world up from poverty, and rebuilding entire communities.
Rather than the typical charity model of distributing donations to make an impact, Janah realized early on that in order to combat global poverty, she needed to come up with a more innovative solution. She decided to build a social enterprise that operates like a business, but in service of reducing poverty.
Janah focused on empowering poverty stricken communities in India, Haiti, Uganda, and more, contacting companies like Google and Microsoft that were looking to outsource their work, and training individuals with the skills they needed to complete that work.
This revolutionary business model has changed the way people think of success when it comes to social enterprises. Janah has shown what happens when you use the powers of entrepreneurship for something other than just profit, and the world is so much better of for it.
In this episode you'll learn:
Thu, 21 September 2017
Ask yourself, just how many hours have you sunk into that palm-sized rectangle of plastic, metal, and glass known as the smartphone?
As the co-founder of Kabam, one of the world's leading companies in mobile games, Holly Liu might be able to provide an answer to that, and it would likely be a huge number. But luckily for us, and our listeners, she's far more interested in talking about how she managed to build a billion-dollar company from scratch by giving away her products for free.
If you don't know Kabam already, you've probably heard of the company's hugely popular games, such as Kingdoms of Camelot, The Godfather, and Marvel's Contest of Champions, just to name a few. Each one operates on a "freemium" model, where users can download and play games for free.
This might sound crazy, but it's actually a ludicrously lucrative business model, with Kabam making the bulk of their revenue through in-game currency and advertising revenue. Kingdoms of Camelot alone has, to date, grossed over $250 million.
The secret behind Liu's success is simple, she just asks herself:
"Where are the people?"
That question led to Kabam's successful pivot into building a Facebook game and tapping into the power of viral marketing, to even partnering with the major studios in Hollywood to build games for upcoming movies and franchises.
For Liu, there's so much more to surviving in the mobile gaming industry than building a successful product, especially when great products exist on almost every corner. It takes an equal amount of dedication to marketing, finding the right partnerships, and, as always, understanding where your customers are.
In this episode you'll learn:
Fri, 15 September 2017
After 16 years in the game, Patel has established himself as one of the most prolific marketers in the world. Hundreds of thousands of entrepreneurs eagerly await his latest blog post, video, or product.
And yet, Patel says, more than anything, he deeply regrets building a personal brand. Pretty shocking, considering the majority of Patel's businesses have been built off the back of his personal brand and status as an influencer.
"If I had to do it all over again I wouldn't build a personal brand, it was the biggest mistake of my career. I built a personal brand by accident," Patel says.
For all the benefits and advantages Patel's personal brand has brought him, he also feels that it's seriously held him back in other areas he wants to pursue. While it's brought him more clients as a consultant, that very same notoriety has made it difficult for him to even build businesses without encountering problems.
But, like any other entrepreneur, Patel isn't stuck on what might have been. He's here to talk with us about what he's doing now, and how he manages to wield the double-edged sword of having millions of people recognize his name as an entrepreneur and a marketer.
In this episode you'll learn:
Fri, 8 September 2017
164: Why You Need More Swiss Army Knives and Paratroopers on Your Startup Team, says Ryan Holmes of Hootsuite
What separates the companies that make millions of dollars from those that never make it?
It's not the vision, or the product, or even the founder, it's the people. You can't build a successful business, let alone grow it, without having the right people by your side.
It's a lesson that Ryan Holmes, CEO and founder of Hootsuite, is intimately familiar with. Today, Holmes finds himself at the helm of one of the fastest-growing companies around. Hootsuite is a mega-popular social media tool that boasts over 16 million customers and 5 million messages powered by its service every single day. As of 2013, Hootsuite has raised an impressive $165 million in funding from some of the biggest VC firms in the world and continued to dominate the social media landscape.
In this episode, Holmes advises founders that when it comes to finding your first batch of employees, you're looking for the "Swiss Army knives" and "paratroopers" of the world. People who have the ability to take the smallest instruction and make their own way. It can be tempting to want to hire specialists in the early days, but as Holmes explains, they're more likely to hold your business back in the early days.
Finding the right people is as much about timing as it is finding the right skillset. And according to Holmes, the number one reason Hootsuite managed to grow so fast is that he had the right people by his side from day one.
In this episode you will learn: