Leadership Tips from Proven Tech Disruptors

Technology is today’s business game-changer. Its growing influence impacts everyone from the c-suite to the customer service frontlines. Now it’s impossible to discuss marketing, B2B or retail trends without mentioning technology’s impact.

That’s why – regardless of the sector we’re in – it’s important to learn from successful, innovative tech leaders. Their valuable experiences and insights can infuse our companies with the wisdom we need to move forward and remain competitive.

As such, you and your company can benefit from the leadership insights and trendspotting observations from tech leaders in Toronto.

Tips and trends from TechTO innovators
The following tech leaders spoke last night at the monthly TechTO meet-up, now held at the spacious RBC Waterpark Place in Toronto. Here are the tips and trends they shared.

Chris Ye - Uken Games - TechTO
How to truly succeed
(from a company on Deloitte’s Fast 50 list for its 11,000% growth rate)

“Fail fast and fail cheap. Trust your gut. Follow your heart. Stay humble. Surround yourself with inspiring people who will challenge you. Focus on the road ahead (not the wall). Persevere.” Also, know your audience because, if you build it, they will (not necessarily) come.

~ Chris Ye, Co-Founder, Uken Games

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Adopt a customer-centric approach to service

“Marketing does not exist in a silo; it’s everyone’s job to make customers happy. Great marketing isn’t about quantity of leads — it’s about attracting the right leads.” To make the customer experience seamless, continuously solve service issues (“plug the holes”) and remember: “It’s all about speed.”

~ April Dunford, Co-Founder, Sprintly

Sol Orwell - Examine.com - TechTO
Weigh whether to pursue investment capital

“How badly do you need investment money? Can you get friends and family to help you instead? What’s your end game? Do you want to be a disruptor? Are you willing to lose control? Investors = The Man. What share of the pie is left for you? How much time do you have? Your personal and professional life can blur. Weigh your business and personal goals.”

~ Sol Orwell, Founder, Examine.com

Ariel Garten - Muse - TechTO
Respect the unstoppable consumer demand for wearables
(e.g. Fitbit, Apple Watch, Oculus Rift) …

“Wearables are not just a trend – they’re where tech is going. Wearables will experience massive growth, as the adoption rate is expected to grow from 7% in 2015 to 28% in 2016. Don’t fall in love with technology; fall in love with what technology can do for you. Smart tech is about you, including how to understand and improve yourself. Make your technology human-centred.”

~ Ariel Garten, Founder, Muse

Mike McDerment - FreshBooks - TechTO
Celebrate Toronto’s emergence as a tech powerhouse

“It’s an exciting time tor Toronto’s tech scene. I can see a day when our tech community will have 60,000 people. Be proud to be part of the Toronto tech community. We’ve come a long way. To companies, I say, invest in your people and this city – stay here. Also, the most in-demand skills in this sector are leadership and people-building, marketing, sales and big data. Why choose a smaller company? You will experiment and fail – and learn – so much more.”

~ Michael McDerment, Co-Founder and CEO, FreshBooks

These success strategies and trends from proven tech entrepreneurs can help your company understand where business is going. Their insights can also help you understand the implications for business leaders, consumers, employees and investors.

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Special thanks to Jason Goldlist (above, left) and Alexander Norman (above, right) for organizing another energizing event that brought Toronto’s hot tech community out on a cold night.

What other business tips would you add?
Which tech trends are making the biggest impact on your company right now?

lisa-gollerLisa Goller is a marketing and communications professional with over 15 years of experience serving B2B, technology, retail and consumer goods companies. She helps businesses tell their story through irresistible content marketing and strategic communications. Learn more at lisagoller.com


Related articles:

Toronto Needs Tech Disruptors, Say Public & Private Sectors
Leadership Lessons from Toronto’s Tech Titans
6 Tech Trends That Will Impact Your Marketing Success in 2016

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