Disruptive Breakthroughs in 3D Printing

2019 is looking to be a big year for new, disruptive technology. The business sectors that will be most dramatically affected will be healthcare, manufacturing, construction, transportation, aerospace, and life sciences. One industry that is always growing and shows no signs of slowing is 3D printing. It is going to continue to be hugely disruptive to every industry — including yours.

The newest 3D printing technology enables the use of dozens of different materials simultaneously in one print run. Materials range from biological filament and living tissue to chocolate, rubber, metals, plastics, clay, and wood fiber.

We have reached the point where 3D-printed electronics can be successfully integrated with multiple materials and complex shapes. In short, we have entered a world in which many things can be 3D printed — right in front of you. And now the speed at which printing can occur is where we are headed next.

The newest types of 3D printers are up to 40 times faster than original additive manufacturing machines released in the past five years. These astounding devices can reduce production timelines of very functional pieces of equipment from days to mere hours. The possibilities are endless.

A known 3D printing example in the medical field is dental implants or 3D models of teeth orthodontists use to determine the care needed for braces. Likewise, the mechanical design process of 3D printing will become more autonomous in the coming years, taking elements from pre-existing designs to create new ones.

Using 3D printing, sophisticated engineering projects like printing a car can be designed, built, and brought to market faster than ever, rather than the typical year or multiyear-long development cycle. This concept is being referred to as 4D printing, where time is a factor in the process. But with all this shortening of what used to be long-term projects, many fear that this means sacrificing quality to the machines. This is not true.

When breakthrough technologies arrive, they do notsimply replace older ones. We integrate the old and the cutting edge to create new value, and that in turn alters how we relate to the older technology without erasing that older technology completely. Transformation is seldom a simple case of new tech replacing old tech.

3D printing has not and will not fully replace traditional manufacturing; it will instead be integrated with it to provide even more value. Jobs of years past will be repositioned in new ways to work alongside 3D printing in manufacturing, especially given the speed at which 3D printing increased coupled with the importance of the parts 3D printers are creating. This increases the need for employees to review and ensure quality of the items created.

Technology-Driven Change Coming to a Market Near You

We’re about to witness an explosion of new applications. Rapid prototyping, as well as personalized manufacturing, has allowed manufacturers to innovate with new materials and new designs. The spectrum of products from 3D printers has reached household goods, jewelry, clothing, human implants, jet engine parts, and much more to come. Mainly, healthcare has become one of the bigger ones in the past five years.

I’ve spoken a lot about the Hard Trend — a future fact that is inevitable — of the aging baby boomer population. Personalized medical devices will fit better, perform better, and perhaps reduce medical costs, enabling us to replace everything from pacemakers and pins to old organs with new organs created out of organic tissue. Even replacement bones have been 3D printed recently. These are good examples of a technology that will help us meet the needs of a generation getting older.

But the technology and processes have been refined in the past few years — in 2019, they will become even more disruptive in multiple industries. 3D printing truly excels in its ability to enable personalization. This ability to economically create a very limited run of widgets or entire devices — down to a single part run — is what makes 3D a truly disruptive technology. Add in the sheer speed of the process and you have a technology that will drive change.

It’s your turn — how do you envision using 3D multi-material printing? Don’t fall into the trap of seeing this as overhyped, a fad, or something that’s just going to go away. Instead, ask yourself: How do the potentials of this technology excite and inspire you? What will you make of it? And how will it disrupt your industry so you can learn to be more anticipatory?

If nothing else, 3D printing has closed the gap between imagining something and building it.

Which technology innovations could be a game-changer for your industry? Learn how to tell with my latest book The Anticipatory Organization.

Using Conflict to Increase Innovation

The more you motivate your team to challenge ideas the greater the likelihood that you will acquire innovative and creative ideas from your team.

Conflict is an important part of fostering innovation, yet many teams are unable to take advantage of this creative endeavor because they lack the skills to disagree respectfully while engaging in a spirited discussion.

Using conflict and difference to foster innovation
is an important skill that every leader, manager,
and director should know how to facilitate
.

As we’ve discussed in the last two posts, when left unmanaged, conflict is a deterrent to creativity. People shouldn’t be allowed to be disrespectful or mean to one another. Yet, often due to their own anxiety, leaders don’t interrupt negative conflict. When that happens it’s not safe to have constructive conflict.

With constructive conflict you can:
  • Explore interests and perspectives
  • Consider outcomes that are great for the organization
  • Develop options to consider, create criteria for deciding, or decide to decide later
  • Use objective criteria and a strategic vision to go beyond limitations set by “group think”

We worked with a director once who had heard that conflict was good for innovation. So, not being fully aware of the concept, he decided to incite arguments between his marketing team and sales team.

He thought if they really hated one another they would be creative. Unfortunately, this was disastrous for him and for the teams he was supposed to be leading. He needed to create opportunities for constructive conflict, not just create negative conflict.

So, let’s talk about how to create opportunities for constructive conflict:
  • Ask that people take the opposite view of what’s been shared. Say something like, “Now let’s play the devil’s advocate” or “Let’s find the weak seams in what’s just been said.”
  • Encourage questions that “poke holes” in ideas.
  • Insist that every good idea also has a reason why it’s a bad idea. An easy way to do this is to explore the benefits of an idea and then explore the concerns that people have about the idea. You can see the full framework here: Benefits, Concerns, Suggestions.
Remember, when someone says something that others react to negatively, don’t shut the conversation down. Instead, coach them through the moment by saying something like, “Interesting idea, it’s unconventional and that’s what I’m looking for. What other ideas do you have?”
  • Always interrupt negative conflict. Don’t tolerate snide comments or outbursts.
  • Always remind people to attack the problem, not the person speaking.

This takes practice, but the more you motivate your team to challenge ideas the greater the likelihood that you will acquire innovative and creative ideas from your team.

This week, look for opportunities to increase creativity and innovation through constructive conflict.

If you’d like to create more opportunities
for creative conflict and would like some
support in getting started, contact us today
about our Executive Coaching.

Solve Problems and Innovate as an Anticipatory Leader™

Anticipatory Leaders™ understand that we are at a unique point in human history, filled with waves of disruption and opportunity. We are doing things today that were impossible just a few years ago. If you look at the Hard Trends that are shaping the future, you can easily see that we will be doing things two years from now that are impossible today. That means the old rule, The Big Eat the Small, is being replaced by a new rule, The Fast Eat the Slow.

Anticipatory Leaders™ understand that we are at a unique point in human history, filled with waves of disruption and opportunity. We are doing things today that were impossible just a few years ago. If you look at the Hard Trends that are shaping the future, you can easily see that we will be doing things two years from now that are impossible today. That means the old rule, The Big Eat the Small, is being replaced by a new rule, The Fast Eat the Slow. They know this new reality is driven by the exponentially increasing rate of technology-driven change. Many wonder why so many established organizations of all sizes are moving so slow. The answer is simple: they think they are moving fast. But in this new era, they’re actually moving slower than they realize.

Young professionals are aware their organization’s pace is too slow as their mindset is less historical. They have looked around and seen others outside of their industry moving much faster. The best and the brightest of the younger employees often see the older leaders in their organization as almost fearful of making a bold move.

Anticipatory Leaders leverage the complementary strengths and weaknesses of all generations to enable the organization to move forward faster. They combine the wisdom and experience of the older employees with the out-of-the-box thinking and awareness of new technology that the younger employees have to accelerate innovation and growth. They use the confidence that comes from the certainty of Hard Trends to jump ahead quickly with low risk. They know that not moving faster and bolder is the bigger risk, and that if they don’t take advantage of new technological capabilities, someone else will!

Here is a big insight that Anticipatory Leaders know: trying to keep up in today’s world will only keep you behind. The reality is that the company you are trying to keep up with is not standing still. It is most likely ahead because it is anticipatory and moving far faster, keeping a good distance ahead of you. It embraces the fact that in a world of exponential change, advantage comes from jumping ahead of the change curve with the confidence that comes from high levels of certainty, and not relying on reacting quickly after the disruption or problem happens.

When we think of innovation today, we tend to think of the big innovations that disrupt industries or create a new product or service line. This type of innovation doesn’t happen very often in traditional organizations, and often has long time frames from ideation to implementation. In addition, only a small percentage of all employees will be involved in the process. Anticipatory Leaders go beyond reactive innovation, even fast, reactive, agile innovation, and empower employees with two new types of anticipatory innovation: Everyday Innovation and Transformational Innovation.

Everyday Innovation empowers all employees to implement inventive solutions to everyday problems by providing easy-to-use methods for rapid problem-solving. This includes applying Problem Skipping and the Law of Opposites, as well as keeping their opportunity antenna up to look for potential problems to pre-solve before they happen. It’s amazing how innovative people can be when they know a few basic principles and are empowered to take positive action immediately.

Transformational Innovation involves identifying the Hard Trends that are shaping the future and using them to become a positive disruptor, jumping ahead with the low risk that comes from certainty and the knowledge that if you don’t do it, someone else will.

If you would like to go beyond agility and become an Anticipatory Leader, pick up a copy of my latest bestseller, The Anticipatory Organization: Turn Disruption and Change Into Opportunity and Advantage, and consider our online Anticipatory Leader System.

Pop Quiz, Monday with Matt Cooper at Skillshare

The Pop Quiz, Monday is a fun little exam that we love to give to savvy business owners. The examination is not a surprise after all since the interviewee already knew about the questions in advance. However, we can always pretend and have fun with the scenario of a young entrepreneur sitting in class nervously biting on their pencil. They are ready to take a pop quiz on a chapter that they were supposed to read the night before. Instead, they played Metroid all night on their SNES (Oops, this was me in high school). The real purpose of the pop quiz is that this is a fun way to introduce business tips from real-world experiences that you can not learn in a classroom. We want to thank our entrepreneur for being a good sport and volunteering their time to answer a few questions to help our community grow from their knowledge.

I want to introduce you to our guest today who will be taking our Pop Quiz Monday.

Can you please tell everyone your name?
Matt Cooper

Matt Cooper
Photo credit: Matt Cooper

What is your job role?
CEO of Skillshare

Tell us about your company?
Skillshare is an online learning community for creators. With 5 million members and 20,000+ classes, we’re on a mission to connect curious, lifelong learners everywhere — and build a more creative, generous, and prosperous world.

What do you love most about your job?
Building and working with a great team. When you have a great group of people, who are aligned toward the same goals which then go out and get it done day in and day out.

What motivates you to get up every day and go to work?
Skillshare is making a very clear difference in people’s lives, and it also happens to be an amazing business. It’s really hard to find a company that can offer both a clear impact on the world and some really fun business challenges.

How do your co-workers inspire you?
We have a lot of very smart, very motivated employees that will do whatever it takes to move the company forward. I’m always inspired by the really clever approaches our team finds to solve difficult problems.

How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?
We have quarterly business reviews that we always pair with a team activity to get everyone out of the office together — like a mullet, business up front and party in the back. Our best activity so far, in my opinion, was our company talent show. We have some very talented people at Skillshare and a few that aren’t talented at all but make up for it with stage presence. 😉

Day to day, I’d say Slack is our primary source of entertainment. There’s nothing I love more than an employee with great Giphy game.

What are some of the challenges of your job?
The hardest issues are always the people issues, and when there are a lot of pressing business demands, it’s easy to not stay on top of some of them. We all have a lot going on personally and professionally and as the company expands the challenges of keeping the employees happy, motivated and challenged day to day to expand as well.

What are some lessons learned from a past project that you can share with us?
If I had one piece of advice for any founder or CEO, it would be to focus on the team around you. When you have a great executive team (like I do), you and the company have a lot more capacity to focus on the most impactful opportunities.

What advice would you give to someone who is starting in your industry?
You should join (or start) a startup because you love the grind, not because you want to get rich. Startups are a little like being an actor — you may end up as Tom Cruise, but statistically, you are more likely to be “Guy at Bar #3”. You should do it because you love building things and fixing problems and you love the journey more than the destination.

Thank you for taking our pop quiz today. You get an A+ for effort. You can learn more about our interviewee and their business by visiting them on the web:
www.skillshare.com
@skillshare (on Twitter and Instagram)

Pop Quiz, Monday with Vladislav Podolyako

The Pop Quiz, Monday is a fun little exam that we love to give to savvy business owners. The examination is not a surprise after all since the interviewee already knew about the questions in advance. However, we can always pretend and have fun with the scenario of a young entrepreneur sitting in class nervously biting on their pencil. They are ready to take a pop quiz on a chapter that they were supposed to read the night before. Instead, they played Metroid all night on their SNES (Oops, this was me in high school). The real purpose of the pop quiz is that this is a fun way to introduce business tips from real-world experiences that you can not learn in a classroom. We want to thank our entrepreneur for being a good sport and volunteering their time to answer a few questions to help our community grow from their knowledge.

I want to introduce you to our guest today who will be taking our Pop Quiz Monday.

Can you please tell everyone your name?
Vladislav Podolyako

Vladislav Podolyako
Photo credit: Vladislav Podolyako

What is your job role?
CEO

Tell us about your company?
Belkins is the most in-depth way to accelerate Outbound Sales. We provide a dedicated sales team, whose primal goal is to target your prospects, design account-based sales campaigns and convert pre-qualified prospects into qualified Sales Appointments. We deliver a Predictable Sales Funnel Solution and support it with a detailed campaign statistic.

Our outsourced KPI-driven Sales Ninjas are supervised by experienced sales experts, quickly adopt any company culture, efficiently utilize the latest sales tools and maximize the effectiveness of any sales strategy. Belkins Sale Team allows companies to reach sales goals quicker and reduce Customer Acquisition Costs at the same time.

At the heart of our work, we are a sales partner who is deeply embedded in the sales culture, connecting businesses with excellent products, with those companies who need them.

What do you love most about your job?
Challenges and experience

What motivates you to get up every day and go to work?
Drive the process and results for our customers.

How do your co-workers inspire you?
Every team member in my team inspires me because those people are changing the world 🙂

How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?
Weekly meetings with the team for inspiration.
We play board games like Scythe, Mafia, etc.

What are some of the challenges of your job?
Responsibilities

What are some lessons learned from a past project that you can share with us?
Do or die 🙂

What advice would you give to someone who is starting in your industry?
I wish a bit luck for everyone who will start to work in the marketing and sales industry. Most competitive niche ever 🙂

Thank you for taking our pop quiz today. You get an A+ for effort. You can learn more about our interviewee and their business by visiting them on the web:

https://www.belkins.io/
https://www.linkedin.com/company/belkins/
https://twitter.com/Belkinsio
https://www.crunchbase.com/organization/belkins-io
https://www.facebook.com/belkins.io/

Pop Quiz, Monday with Brian Matthews

The Pop Quiz, Monday is a fun little exam that we love to give to savvy business owners. The examination is not a surprise after all since the interviewee already knew about the questions in advance. However, we can always pretend and have fun with the scenario of a young entrepreneur sitting in class nervously biting on their pencil. They are ready to take a pop quiz on a chapter that they were supposed to read the night before. Instead, they played Metroid all night on their SNES (Oops, this was me in high school). The real purpose of the pop quiz is that this is a fun way to introduce business tips from real-world experiences that you can not learn in a classroom. We want to thank our entrepreneur for being a good sport and volunteering their time to answer a few questions to help our community grow from their knowledge.

I want to introduce you to our guest today who will be taking our Pop Quiz Monday.

Can you please tell everyone your name?
Brian Matthews

Brian Matthews
Photo credit: Brian Matthews

What is your job role?
I’m the Founder and CEO of BizText

Tell us about your company?
We help businesses increase their customer relationships and boost their bottom line with a unique SMS-based service. Consumers would prefer to send a text when they need to talk to someone in business — for example, if they need customer service or want to schedule an appointment. However, most companies (particularly SMBs) lack the ability to accept texts.

As a result, consumers are forced to leave messages and play phone tag, which is inconvenient for both the consumer and the company.

BizText provides a business number which companies can use to send and receive texts from their phone, or from any device via an online portal. Customers can also receive voicemails and calls, and set automated text replies, such as “Out of Office” notifications. This helps businesses be more responsive, which leads to better customer relationships and more revenue.

What do you love most about your job?
I love being my own boss and setting my own hours. We are a remote team, so it’s great to work from home and wear what I want while I’m on my PC. I’ll admit, I’m in my pajamas a lot!

What motivates you to get up every day and go to work?
We are building something of great value, leaving something important behind and doing things in new and ingenious ways.

How do your co-workers inspire you?
With their creativity in solving problems and the ability to see things in unique and different ways. No matter how smart you are, cumulatively, the people around you will be more intelligent and know more. You need them to be genuinely successful.

How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?
Fun? What’s that? We try and go out for dinner and drinks now and then, where we mostly talk about work.

What are some of the challenges of your job?
Every great effort requires a lot of work and commitment. Startup life is like moving a mountain. You better be motivated for a long fight, because you’re not going to get this done in a day or even a few months of hard work. It’s one shovel at a time, and you need to be ready for doing that over and over again for a long time.

What are some lessons learned from a past project that you can share with us?
Release things in stages, don’t wait for big releases and shoot for perfection. Getting your product out there is what gives you an opportunity to learn what’s important.

Most of the time, you’re not going to nail it regarding market fit the first time. It’s important to treat your releases a chance to learn and get feedback from customers or users, even if you don’t get it exactly right.

What advice would you give to someone who is starting in your industry?
No matter how good your idea, selling it is going to be the hardest part. Startups often fall in love with their features and how their product or service is going to improve the world and focus exclusively on building something great. When their friends, family and initial users praise their product, they feel their priorities are validated.

But even if your idea is every bit as good as you think it is, you still need to put your greatest effort into getting people to sign up or buy it. The central question for any startup should be: how are we going to get users? Don’t let yourself fall so deeply in love with your idea that you assume it will sell itself!

Thank you for taking our pop quiz today. You get an A+ for effort. You can learn more about our interviewee and their business by visiting them on the web:
Biztextsolutions.com

Pop Quiz, Monday with Kobhi Nanthakumaran

The Pop Quiz, Monday is a fun little exam that we love to give to savvy business owners. The examination is not a surprise after all since the interviewee already knew about the questions in advance. However, we can always pretend and have fun with the scenario of a young entrepreneur sitting in class nervously biting on their pencil. They are ready to take a pop quiz on a chapter that they were supposed to read the night before. Instead, they played Metroid all night on their SNES (Oops, this was me in high school). The real purpose of the pop quiz is that this is a fun way to introduce business tips from real-world experiences that you can not learn in a classroom. We want to thank our entrepreneur for being a good sport and volunteering their time to answer a few questions to help our community grow from their knowledge.

I want to introduce you to our guest today who will be taking our Pop Quiz Monday.

Can you please tell everyone your name?
Kobhi Nanthakumaran

Kobhi Nanthakumaran
Photo credit: Kobhi Nanthakumaran

What is your job role?
Founder/CTO

Tell us about your company?
Founder and CTO of both Blockchain Fortress and R3TRUST

Blockchain Fortress (BCF) is a professional services company focusing on Security Tokens Offerings (STOs), DApps and Smart Contracts. We have a team of experienced individuals who specialize in the application of blockchain technology. Blockchain Fortress is the successor behind $100million + projects such as BRED (blockchain real estate development), and Peblik.

R3trust is a product-focused company that has several products on its roadmap. Currently, R3trust has a crypto purchase platform (buyplatform.com), a software wallet (Sphinx) for iOS and Android, as well as a prototype hardware wallet concept that behaves as your go-to crypto safe cold storage.

What do you love most about your job?
I am a firm believer in doing what is right for the world and our future generations. There are several socioeconomic issues in the world that Blockchain technology and bring drastic improvements to. First on that list is banking for everyone everywhere.

As an early adopter of cryptocurrencies; I have been able to watch the developments and progression in the blockchain space. Using my core background in cybersecurity, I can provide companies and startups with a unique perspective on their application of blockchain technology.

What motivates you to get up every day and go to work?
I work with industry leaders in several verticals to take advantage of blockchain technology. From Stock exchanges, money remittance, banking, real estate, and compliance; there is never a dull moment!

How do your co-workers inspire you?
I chose very carefully who I spend my time with outside of work – same rule applies for who I work with!

My co-workers are key individuals I can rely on to fill roles I cannot take on. We all share the same visions and ideologies making for a well informed and uniform decision for all projects I work on.

How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?
Pranks! Game & Beer nights (lan games), Off-site team building workshops. I work with a fun bunch!

Most of us are also 420 friendly 😉

What are some of the challenges of your job?
Blockchain and cryptocurrencies are still at an infant stage in its life. Therefore, regulations and compliance rules are not clearly defined. There are several definitions in the space that are up for dispute.

All of this ends up becoming a challenge when it comes time to execute specific tasks. It is definitely not for the faint hearted – we face several roadblocks and work closely with rules makers and lawyers to always find a way to make things work.

What are some lessons learned from a past project that you can share with us?
Always play in a new space with due diligence and be ready to take corrective actions. When spearheading a new space with multiple parties involved; there are going to be boundaries you will hit and need to adjust your course. Be ready and willing to adjust your sails! You’ll need a good crew with you.

What advice would you give to someone who is starting in your industry?
There is a lot to learn, paths to pave and a ton of amazing people to meet. Be ready to hit the ground running.

On a more specific note:
-Learn all the basics of how blockchain works
-Look at your current industry or industry of interest and see if there is an application
-Bounce your ideas off people in the industry
-Take part in community events
-Be ready to learn on the go.

Thank you for taking our pop quiz today. You get an A+ for effort. You can learn more about our interviewee and their business by visiting them on the web:
https://www.vnkconsultinggroup.com/about-us/
www.blockchainfortress.com
www.r3trust.com
https://www.instagram.com/kobhi09

Pop Quiz, Monday with Craig Wolfe

The Pop Quiz, Monday is a fun little exam that we love to give to savvy business owners. The examination is not a surprise after all since the interviewee already knew about the questions in advance. However, we can always pretend and have fun with the scenario of a young entrepreneur sitting in class nervously biting on their pencil. They are ready to take a pop quiz on a chapter that they were supposed to read the night before. Instead, they played Metroid all night on their SNES (Oops, this was me in high school). The real purpose of the pop quiz is that this is a fun way to introduce business tips from real-world experiences that you can not learn in a classroom. We want to thank our entrepreneur for being a good sport and volunteering their time to answer a few questions to help our community grow from their knowledge.

I want to introduce you to our guest today who will be taking our Pop Quiz Monday.

Can you please tell everyone your name?
Craig Wolfe

Craig Wolfe
Photo credit: Craig Wolfe

What is your job role?
100% owner of the company

Tell us about your company?
We had this unusual idea to a whole line of celebrity rubber ducks……I know, sounds crazy….but wait….it worked. They were voted one of the top 100 Gifts by Entertainment Weekly, featured on The Tonight Show, Conan, and hundreds and hundreds of media outlet. With their detail and intricacy, they are now considered the finest rubber ducks on the market. Oh and now we are also the top custom duck manufacturer in the world creating ducks for everyone from The New York Yankees to SeaWorld, and Harley-Davidson.

What do you love most about your job?
Spending all day coming up with fun parodies of celebrities and creating some of the coolest rubber ducks on the market is a complete hoot! We really enjoy our time here. Plus owning the company means I can pretty much do whatever inspires me.

What motivates you to get up every day and go to work?
I think it’s the endless creativity that we enjoy every day with each other. People love rubber ducks. And with our innovative and whimsical content of doing celebrity rubber ducks, playtime never ends here.

How do your co-workers inspire you?
My co-workers are the heart and soul of the company. I feel so fortunate to work with some of the funniest and most creative people imaginable. The company would never be where it is today without them…..so smart, so funny and just as important, so enjoyable to be around.

How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?
Well, you know either we are sitting around in the same room or on speaker phone with our remote folks and just throwing one crazy idea out after another. Some “float” so to speak and some don’t, but at the heart of it all is knowing that everything is allowable and there are no wrong answers so spontaneity and having fun is at the heart of all our communications with one another. We are not just co-workers….it feels like one big family where anything goes.

What are some of the challenges of your job?
You would never believe how hard it is to make one duck. I had no idea…much more intricate that one could ever imagine with the sculpting, molds, floating concerns, painting, spray masking, and hand-painting…I could go on and on. We never tried to compete with overseas by making a cheaper product. That was one of our biggest initial concerns. However, we knew the way to succeed would be to make our products intricate and spend so much money on each character that no-one would even attempt to duplicate what we were doing….and it worked! It’s not easy working with your partner’s thousands of miles away, but after over twenty years, it is like one big family.

What are some lessons learned from a past project that you can share with us?
Let me give you a project that was the most challenging thing we ever attempted. First, know that the rubber duck was an American icon that was invented here. Then the whole industry went overseas until not one duck is produced here anymore. I had this idea to return the industry back to the USA and be the only one making at least part of our line here once again. It was the most stressful thing I ever went through in my life. I had no idea of the skill sets that were lost here, and no-one had any idea how to make them here anymore.

The level of detail in our ducks was especially demanding. But we did make it work and now are the only ones making any ducks in the USA. But then we went one step further and thought it would be great to make the world’s safest rubber ducks for babies to teethe on out of food and medical grade materials which had never really been done before. Wow, was that hard? The molds alone cost a fortune, and the materials were so hard to work with. But in the end, we are now making them 100% in the USA, and they are PVC Free, Phthalate free, BPA free.

It has been amazing, and babies love them. But it was so much work trying to figure out how to make them correctly and then finding people who could work with us on this project. I am happy that in the end, it was successful, but like with anything, there is always a learning curve…just never realized how hard it would be!

What advice would you give to someone who is starting in your industry?
I would give this advice to anyone in any business as so often people have a great idea, but in the end, that is never enough. It’s all about execution and surrounding yourself with the right people. Also, it’s so easy to lose your shirt before your idea takes off….which is why I say that it’s not how much money you make, it’s how much you keep. Excessive overhead can bring down any business no matter how much you make. Lean and mean is the key to survival especially in the beginning before business gains traction.

Also, it’s really important to refine your concept and not to try and be all things to all people, or you become nothing to anyone……focus like a laser on your niche and be really clear on what you stand for. There are always endless variations you can come up with that are extensions to your core products. But just really focus on your core product first….and spend years doing it if need be….for us it was always about the ducks!

You also have to be sure to reflect your core brand ethics and quality in every marketing communication to the public. Don’t ever forget your uniqueness and what makes you different or you’ll get lost in the crowd. So it’s very important to define what actually makes you unique and make sure that stands out in everything you put out to the public.

Finally, I can tell you this: compete on the cheap end, and someone can always make it for less…..Quality like the tortoise will ultimately win out or as I like to say, “live by the penny, die by the penny. Don’t compete on price alone! Quality is the hardest thing to knock off….and that has led to all our success.

Thank you for taking our pop quiz today. You get an A+ for effort. You can learn more about our interviewee and their business by visiting them on the web:

www.CelebriDucks.com
www.facebook.com/celebriducks

Pop Quiz, Monday with Gaby Roman

The best advice I can give is to learn as much as you possibly can about the industry, and then make your primary goal to help people.

The Pop Quiz, Monday is a fun little exam that we love to give to savvy business owners. The examination is not a surprise after all since the interviewee already knew about the questions in advance. However, we can always pretend and have fun with the scenario of a young entrepreneur sitting in class nervously biting on their pencil. They are ready to take a pop quiz on a chapter that they were supposed to read the night before. Instead, they played Metroid all night on their SNES (Oops, this was me in high school). The real purpose of the pop quiz is that this is a fun way to introduce business tips from real-world experiences that you can not learn in a classroom. We want to thank our entrepreneur for being a good sport and volunteering their time to answer a few questions to help our community grow from their knowledge.

I want to introduce you to our guest today who will be taking our Pop Quiz Monday.

Can you please tell everyone your name?
Gaby Roman

Gaby Roman
Photo credit: Gaby Roman

What is your job role?
I’m the Co-Founder of Coaching No Code Apps. I co-manage the company, create course and membership content, and perform high-level application development and consulting.

Tell us about your company?
Coaching No Code Apps is a place for founders, startups, and business owners to learn and build fully functioning apps and software with no coding required. Courses, consulting, and in-depth lessons teach students how to effectively use no-code tools to build, grow, or start their business.

Regarding services, the company offers high-level consulting and development help to startups and founders building web and mobile applications — most of whom are creating industry-wide solutions, like software for hospitals or dentists, for example. They’re working on pitching to investors and scaling their applications, and Coaching No Code Apps plays an integral role in that.

From a products standpoint, the company offers courses, ebooks, video lessons, and even a membership to founders who want to learn how to build their app on their own, at their own pace, and without having to rely on a development team for the life of the project.

What do you love most about your job?
I constantly find myself getting sucked into the most difficult questions or issues during the development of an application. Much of the process is like solving a puzzle, and while it can get frustrating at times when you feel like you’ve gone around and around in circles, I absolutely love the feeling of finally getting to a solution. It’s incredibly gratifying to know a vital element of a client or customer’s app will be able to function without fault.

What motivates you to get up every day and go to work?
More and more people are becoming entrepreneurs these days. They’re building their own businesses and creating revolutionary solutions to massive industry-wide problems. Knowing I’m fortunate enough to play a crucial role in thousands of people being helped is hugely motivating for me. So many people have software or tech-related ideas but don’t have the background to create those ideas. Helping them bring their visions to life is more than enough to get me out of bed every morning.

How do your co-workers inspire you?
Seeing their drive to keep pushing the company outside its comfort zone motivates me to do the same. It’s easy to get comfortable in your day-to-day routine, but when things get comfortable, it usually means you’ve stopped progressing. I love seeing co-workers push the limits and try new things because it keeps the business fresh and forward-thinking.

How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?
Coaching No Code Apps is run remotely, which means we get to be flexible with our locations and working hours. We keep things fun by playing the work-day by ear. Sometimes, we’ll start work and not come up for breath for 10 hours when we’re feeling especially productive. Other times, we’ll take the day on with a slower pace, grab a coffee, and go out for lunch. The flexibility is what keeps things fun at work.

What are some of the challenges of your job?
Each client and customer we work with has their own specific project with their own unique needs, wants, and criteria. Because of the constant progression of technology and software, the process of running this business also requires continuous learning and keeping our ears to the ground on new trends and practices. A challenge is keeping up with everything to provide the high-level help startups, and founders are looking for. That being said, it’s also one of the most fun parts of the job.

What are some lessons learned from a past project that you can share with us?
One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned has been to say no when my company isn’t the absolute right fit for a particular client or customer. In the past, I’ve tried to help anyone and everyone, even if I might not have been the best resource for them. I’ve learned that sometimes, saying no (even though it feels like I’m turning someone away who needs my help) is more valuable in the long run than trying to mold my business to fit their needs.

What advice would you give to someone who is starting in your industry?
The best advice I can give is to learn as much as you possibly can about the industry, and then make your primary goal to help people. My main focus has been to provide the most valuable help possible, and I can tell you first hand, customers appreciate knowing you care about them. So, to put it simply, know the trade, and then focus purely on helping people.

Thank you for taking our pop quiz today. You get an A+ for effort. You can learn more about our interviewee and their business by visiting them on the web:

https://www.coachingnocodeapps.com
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCTL_mXO3qsgFc_3s2T5wlWg

Pop Quiz, Monday with Seth Wiener

I love many things about my job, however, helping underserved markets obtain technologies to transform their enterprise stokes my fire.

The Pop Quiz, Monday is a fun little exam that we love to give to savvy business owners. The examination is not a surprise after all since the interviewee already knew about the questions in advance. However, we can always pretend and have fun with the scenario of a young entrepreneur sitting in class nervously biting on their pencil. They are ready to take a pop quiz on a chapter that they were supposed to read the night before. Instead, they played Metroid all night on their SNES (Oops, this was me in high school). The real purpose of the pop quiz is that this is a fun way to introduce business tips from real-world experiences that you can not learn in a classroom. We want to thank our entrepreneur for being a good sport and volunteering their time to answer a few questions to help our community grow from their knowledge.

I want to introduce you to our guest today who will be taking our Pop Quiz Monday.

Can you please tell everyone your name?
Seth Wiener

Seth Wiener
Photo credit: Seth Wiener

What is your job role?
CEO and Founder

Tell us about your company?
AmigoDATA solves business continuity issues for markets frequently targeted by criminals looking for personal information. The platform works with any enterprise facing these challenges. However, we launched focusing on two underserved markets, Universities and Healthcare Providers. Our first product LITE is an on-premises backup data platform.LITE consists of biometrics for securing network access points, software for data management, and an ECO. Flash Array for data storage. The solution is unmatched when it comes to offering seamless data continuity in the event of a hack or breach.

What do you love most about your job?
I love many things about my job, however, helping underserved markets obtain technologies to transform their enterprise stokes my fire. The reason we built a data continuity solution for Universities and Health Providers was they are two of the most frequently hacked markets who face similar challenges and constraints. By helping them regain control of their data, we provide them with an opportunity to save money spent on technology while they improving storage and security capabilities. It does not get much better for a company to earn money while helping others.

What motivates you to get up every day and go to work?
Plain and simple for me it’s technology innovation. The rate with which new technology gets created and existing applications are improved is exciting.

How do your co-workers inspire you?
Each person is multi-talented and experts in areas I am not. They are selfless with their time and always willing to share their insights and perspective. The information that’s shared helps me become more skilled and proficient in every aspect of the business. I am grateful for each team member and think they are all amazing people.

How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?
Our team has a policy we never work with a client or person the team does not respect. In business respecting whom you work is important So the theme of respect is further solidified outside of work. As a close-knit group, with shared passions such as surfing, mountain biking, and sailing, our free time outside the office is spent bonding over activities we are passionate about Our shared interests or hobbies have helped further strengthen the team.

What are some of the challenges of your job?
The challenges I encounter seem to change often. As a Founder of AmigoDATA, I have had to learn to let go and allow my co-founders and team a chance to provide feedback and input. This adjustment to the way I was running the company was crucial to success. A significant challenge I deal with is learning is to use my two eyes, two ears, and one mouth accordingly.

What are some lessons learned from a past project that you can share with us?
1) Never stop fundraising activities.

2) Become immune to naysayers.

3) On average you need to speak with 130+ potential investors before you find your first.

4) The most crucial concept I can share is become impervious to criticism.

5) Make sure you continuously maintain your SWOT and PEST reports.

What advice would you give to someone who is starting in your industry?
1) Get Comfortable With the Unknown

2) It’s not just about you

3) Know When to Let Go

4) Find the Balance

Thank you for taking our pop quiz today. You get an A+ for effort. You can learn more about our interviewee and their business by visiting them on the web:

http://amigodata.com

Pop Quiz, Monday with Biren Gandhi

Speak to IoT provides a simple, secure platform to connect smart Internet of Things (IoT) devices to all intelligent voice assistants like Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. Our vision is to connect everything through voice by leveraging the combination of Voice, IoT, and AI.

The Pop Quiz, Monday is a fun little exam that we love to give to savvy business owners. The examination is not a surprise after all since the interviewee already knew about the questions in advance. However, we can always pretend and have fun with the scenario of a young entrepreneur sitting in class nervously biting on their pencil. They are ready to take a pop quiz on a chapter that they were supposed to read the night before. Instead, they played Metroid all night on their SNES (Oops, this was me in high school). The real purpose of the pop quiz is that this is a fun way to introduce business tips from real-world experiences that you can not learn in a classroom. We want to thank our entrepreneur for being a good sport and volunteering their time to answer a few questions to help our community grow from their knowledge.

I want to introduce you to our guest today who will be taking our Pop Quiz Monday.

Can you please tell everyone your name?
Biren Gandhi

Biren Gandhi
Photo credit: Biren Gandhi

What is your job role?
Founder & CEO, Speak to IoT

Tell us about your company?
Speak to IoT provides a simple, secure platform to connect smart Internet of Things (IoT) devices to all intelligent voice assistants like Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. Our vision is to connect everything through voice by leveraging the combination of Voice, IoT, and AI.

What do you love most about your job?
We are solving customers’ problems in optimal ways by using cutting edge technologies. Seeing the smile on the faces of users of the technology we help build.

What motivates you to get up every day and go to work?
I am using all of my intellectual abilities, the network of super-talented individuals, and purpose-driven passion for making the world a better place. The universe is a giant amplifier – what we wish for others, comes back to us manifold.

How do your co-workers inspire you?
The diversity of thought process, their individual personalities, and problem-solving approaches radiate super-creative energy everyday inspiring me to learn and grow while staying humble constantly.

How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?
No superficial activities can beat the deep inner satisfaction we gain while focusing and solving some of the toughest problems we encounter. For a geographically distributed team working across different time zones, beating the challenges thrown at us is the common feeling we all share and cherish every day.

What are some of the challenges of your job?
On the customer/partner front, convincing them of the multiplier value they can claim in the market by using advanced disruptive technologies like Voice, IoT, and AI despite the short-term expenses attached with deploying them. On the personal front, the biggest challenge is to stay focused amid the constant chaos outside.

What are some lessons learned from a past project that you can share with us?
Understand the difference between a hobby and a business. We might be passionate about many things, but it’s always a good idea to put those items into perspective. For a viable business, it must do one or more of these three things for your customers: (1) Improve their top-line revenues, (2) Reduce their bottom-line cost, (3) Radically improve their stakeholder experience.

What advice would you give to someone who is starting in your industry?
Stay hungry, stay foolish. Life is a marathon, not a sprint. Focus on the big picture. Find your niche and create value for others.

Thank you for taking our pop quiz today. You get an A+ for effort. You can learn more about our interviewee and their business by visiting them on the web:

https://speaktoiot.com/

https://www.facebook.com/SpeakToIoT
https://twitter.com/speaktoiot
https://www.linkedin.com/company/speak-to-iot
https://www.instagram.com/speaktoiot

Pop Quiz, Monday with Paul Sullivan

The Pop Quiz, Monday is a fun little exam that we love to give to savvy business owners. The examination is not a surprise after all since the interviewee already knew about the questions in advance. However, we can always pretend and have fun with the scenario of a young entrepreneur sitting in class nervously biting on their pencil. They are ready to take a pop quiz on a chapter that they were supposed to read the night before. Instead, they played Metroid all night on their SNES (Oops, this was me in high school). The real purpose of the pop quiz is that this is a fun way to introduce business tips from real-world experiences that you can not learn in a classroom. We want to thank our entrepreneur for being a good sport and volunteering their time to answer a few questions to help our community grow from their knowledge.

I want to introduce you to our guest today who will be taking our Pop Quiz Monday.

Can you please tell everyone your name?
Paul Sullivan

Paul Sullivan
Photo credit: Paul Sullivan

What is your job role?
CEO and Founder, but I win the business for the business

Tell us about your company?
Bias Digital effectively represents everything that I believe. I am biased, I 100% think your business does not succeed without a comprehensive, multilevel online strategy.

Not merely an inbound marketing strategy, but a combined Research, Inbound Marketing, Inbound/Outbound Sales Strategy and a Business Development plan.

We use this approach with all our clients to continued success.

What do you love most about your job?
I love working with different companies, putting the strategy together, bringing new processes and methodology to workplaces and seeing businesses flourish.

It sounds cliche, but I am selective about with whom I work as I need to feel inspired continuously and there is no better feeling than seeing a fellow entrepreneur see success in their business.

I’m a constant learner, so I develop new skills and understanding of new technologies on an ongoing basis, so I broaden my mind. That stimulates me intensely.

Recently, I put together two of my clients and pitched them on how if they joined forces and created a new business, they each would increase market share and profitability. That’s the kind of reward I get, by seeing things grow and develop and helping business owners see things they hadn’t considered previously.

What motivates you to get up every day and go to work?
Work!

If I weren’t in a relationship, I would literally be married to my work, if it were possible. My girlfriend travels a lot for work, and she often asks, “What are you doing this weekend (whilst I’m away)?” and before I respond she’ll roll her eyes and say “Work right?”

So I’m a workaholic, but I have three awards for my work in the past two years, so maybe that’s my passion and I am good at it, who knows???!!

How do your co-workers inspire you?
I work with smarter people with different skill sets, that inspires and develops my broader understanding. The adage of no I in team is absolutely correct.

I allow my team to develop and encourage them to take responsibility and apply their influence as much as possible.

I also hire entrepreneurs, I want them to continually challenge me and the status quo, giving us an edge over our competitors with our “Big Picture Approach.”

How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?
I think the most memorable thing I did was tell the team to meet me for a pitch in London and I had actually purchased tickets for the new James Bond Movie which went down a storm.

We also do other things like crazy golf, bowling and we are currently considering an escape room, that would be really cool.

What are some of the challenges of your job?
Some of the significant challenges of my job are getting CMO’s, CEO’s or business owners (tech startups) to see a different perspective.

Allowing what was originally a marketing agency (us) to become a consulting and delivery partner who can deliver innovation and education programs as well as marketing and sales strategies.

Also, I appeared on the UK version of The Apprentice, and I probably came across less well in the edit, although it has hugely opened doors too.

What are some lessons learned from a past project that you can share with us?
Projects give you continual lessons, and we try to be transparent with our case studies on our website. But a recent engagement with an Insurance Tech startup really hasn’t gone too well from our perspective.

We were hired in as consultants to fill a head of marketing and sales role temporarily. The challenge to set a go to inbound market strategy, client acquisition strategy, build commercial partnerships and generally help build a team and culture.

We ran buyer persona workshops, did the keyword research, created the content strategy and hired a marketing assistant for the company and some interns.

Through my own network, I got them a deal to be the official recommended provider of insurance for small businesses and freelancers for a large chamber of commerce.

The company failed to follow through on the strategy we set, pitched as an AI company when they weren’t using AI, which we said was a false representation and the relationship soon became untenable.

As an individual my work is personal, if you criticise it, its personal, if you cheerlead it, it’s personal. I am wholly invested in my client’s success. So to part company without a project seen through to success is always disheartening although we did win another award this year for our Inbound Marketing Services, as best in the UK 2019.

Another recent deal we tried to facilitate also didn’t work out. This one really frustrated us at Bias Digital.

We are working in an Accelerator program, and one of the startups is using AI to tell large chain supermarkets how much in perishable goods to stock based on historical sales and a number of other social data points.

I got it straight away and asked the startup if they would like introductions to two of the largest supermarket chains in the UK, Tesco, and Sainsbury.

We could make the intro and help secure the deal, but our fee would be 5%, and we always have a clause that if an intro invests, we get a percentage of the investment funds. Obviously, we take no upfront fees, so this is a success based business deal.

The startup was interested, and we set the two meetings up, but then they didn’t want to agree on terms. We tried to explain the enormous impact this could have for the success of their business, but they completely disagreed.

Accepting their response is natural, comprehending that response was not so easy. As such, when I get asked to speak at events, I often tell this story, and it always gets us interest from other more commercially minded businesses.

So the lessons learned are simple, there are always lessons to be learned, and you must always look to stay ambiguous to situations to find the lesson and then move on.

What advice would you give to someone who is starting out in your industry?
My advice would be NOT to be a “full service” agency. More and more we are collaborating with niche service partners who are winning business on their core strengths.

When you niche and become an expert on a particular subject matter, you can have unlimited earning potential.

Why are we so diverse? Because we bring 20 years plus marketing, sales and business consulting experience to bear.

Thank you for taking our pop quiz today. You get an A+ for effort. You can learn more about our interviewee and their business by visiting them on the web:

https://www.biasdigital.com
https://twitter.com/whatsyourbias
https://www.linkedin.com/in/paulsullivan6/
https://www.instagram.com/whatsyourbias/

Pop Quiz, Monday with Jon Trask

Blockchain Guru is a Consulting & Training firm that focuses on applying Blockchain, Robotic Process Automation and IoT Devices to solving business challenges.

The Pop Quiz, Monday is a fun little exam that we love to give to savvy business owners. The examination is not a surprise after all since the interviewee already knew about the questions in advance. However, we can always pretend and have fun with the scenario of a young entrepreneur sitting in class nervously biting on their pencil. They are ready to take a pop quiz on a chapter that they were supposed to read the night before. Instead, they played Metroid all night on their SNES (Oops, this was me in high school). The real purpose of the pop quiz is that this is a fun way to introduce business tips from real-world experiences that you can not learn in a classroom. We want to thank our entrepreneur for being a good sport and volunteering their time to answer a few questions to help our community grow from their knowledge.

I want to introduce you to our guest today who will be taking our Pop Quiz Monday.

Can you please tell everyone your name?
Jon Trask

Jon Trask
Photo credit: Jon Trask

What is your job role?
I am Chief Guru and CEO of a Blockchain Training and Consulting company.

Tell us about your company?
Blockchain Guru is a Consulting & Training firm that focuses on applying Blockchain, Robotic Process Automation and IoT Devices to solving business challenges.

We are located in Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto, Hamilton, Ottawa, Montreal and Halifax and will be expanding into the US and Latin American markets in 2019.

We have strategic partnerships with:

  • Blockchain Training Alliance to deliver the leading certifications and training in the industry.
  • UiPath Robotic Process Automation to deliver game-changing automation to corporations nationwide.

Our geographic footprint allows us to effectively market some of the top products and services to the entire Canadian market.

What do you love most about your job?
I genuinely love applying new technology to solve the challenges that companies face.

The advances in technology that have come about in the past few years allow us to add value in ways that we couldn’t in the past.

What motivates you to get up every day and go to work?
Everything about my job is motivating. I am part of the best team in the industry. They are out talking to company’s who want to make an impact, who want to apply these new technologies to save themselves money, to gain visibility or to disrupt their industry.

How do your co-workers inspire you?
The group of people that I work with are all excited to be working in a fast-paced, ever-changing industry. Their passion for what they do is contagious.

How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?
The work itself is fun. We work remotely and are located across the country, we can joke with each other on the phone or online, but the excitement of a new project keeps us motivated.

What are some of the challenges of your job?
The blockchain industry changes rapidly, it takes an effort to remain current, market intelligence is vital. To overcome this challenge we have established Vertical Leaders who research particular Blockchain Verticals and keep the rest of us abreast of the trends that are affecting the industry. For example, we have a vertical Lead named Adev Ahluwalia who is our Real Estate lead. He knows more about Blockchain for the Real Estate industry than anyone. Adev was a real estate broker, who is better suited to apply blockchain to real estate than a real estate professional.

What are some lessons learned from a past project that you can share with us?
People and planning are the keys to successful projects. Our project methodology at Blockchain Guru is proven over time. Robust methods, however, has to be supported by Great People! Hire great people and business life is fun and much easier.

What advice would you give to someone who is starting in your industry?
Take a blockchain course. Get involved in your local Blockchain community. Volunteer for a company to gain some experience. Challenge the status quo.

The Blockchain is a great community, join us.

Thank you for taking our pop quiz today. You get an A+ for effort. You can learn more about our interviewee and their business by visiting them on the web:

https://www.blockchainguru.ca

https://www.linkedin.com/company/blockchain-guru/

https://twitter.com/@blockchainguru_

Pop Quiz, Monday with Simon Hall

I love the power of networking. I believe the connections we make both personally and professionally can impact our careers for years on end. You never know who you’ll meet and the impact they could have on your life.

The Pop Quiz, Monday is a fun little exam that we love to give to savvy business owners. The examination is not a surprise after all since the interviewee already knew about the questions in advance. However, we can always pretend and have fun with the scenario of a young entrepreneur sitting in class nervously biting on their pencil. They are ready to take a pop quiz on a chapter that they were supposed to read the night before. Instead, they played Metroid all night on their SNES (Oops, this was me in high school). The real purpose of the pop quiz is that this is a fun way to introduce business tips from real-world experiences that you can not learn in a classroom. We want to thank our entrepreneur for being a good sport and volunteering their time to answer a few questions to help our community grow from their knowledge.

I want to introduce you to our guest today who will be taking our Pop Quiz Monday.

Can you please tell everyone your name?
Simon Hall

Simon Hall
Photo credit: Simon Hall

What is your job role?
General Manager, Kafnu Alexandria

Tell us about your company?
Kafnu is a lifestyle space for innovators and creators to meet, connect and collaborate. We provide the infrastructure, facilities, and community so that our members have all they need to succeed in their careers and passion projects.

What do you love most about your job?
I love the power of networking. I believe the connections we make both personally and professionally can impact our careers for years on end. You never know who you’ll meet and the impact they could have on your life. That’s what I love about the concept of Kafnu. The model of the business revolves around the community that space creates and its members. That’s what makes us different from other companies.

What motivates you to get up every day and go to work?
My team and our business culture, definitely motivates me to get up and go every morning, Everyday is different and my role as it allows me to interact with all areas of the business. I believe, if you can really relate to what your business is trying to achieve, it makes coming to work every day exciting.

How do your co-workers inspire you?
I think it’s important to learn and take in information from everyone around you no matter, their level. I feel like I learn something new every day from the most unexpected areas of our business, and that’s what I love. We have a group of very talented people working to run Kafnu on a day to day basis, so it’s easy to be inspired.

How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?
Play is very important at work. In my past roles, we have adopted the FISH philosophy which I’m looking to bring to Kafnu in the future. The steps for FISH are all about being present, creative and making sure that your team takes time to have a little fun in the office. Whether it’s stopping work for brainstorms or catching up for a laugh on a Friday afternoon, it’s important to make sure that your team enjoys coming to work every day.

What are some of the challenges of your job?
I was self-employed for almost ten years previously, so moving back to a corporate structure has been an adjustment. The hotel sector is also a new sector for me, but I’ve enjoyed learning and getting to know something new.

What are some lessons learned from a past project that you can share with us?
Network network network, search out the leaders, mentors and the connected leaders in the industry and learn from them.

Grow your network, so you have someone to turn to for referrals, recommendation, and support.

What advice would you give to someone who is starting in your industry?
Approach the right people. An email or phone call to the right person could mean a big step in your career or creating a connection that could be very useful in the future.

Thank you for taking our pop quiz today. You get an A+ for effort. You can learn more about our interviewee and their business by visiting them on the web:

www.kafnu.com/alexandria
https://www.instagram.com/kafnualexandria/ https://www.facebook.com/kafnualexandria/

Pop Quiz, Monday with Jon Vlachogiannis

We help people manage their money more efficiently and have access to sophisticated financial products by using Machine Learning.

The Pop Quiz, Monday is a fun little exam that we love to give to savvy business owners. The examination is not a surprise after all since the interviewee already knew about the questions in advance. However, we can always pretend and have fun with the scenario of a young entrepreneur sitting in class nervously biting on their pencil. They are ready to take a pop quiz on a chapter that they were supposed to read the night before. Instead, they played Metroid all night on their SNES (Oops, this was me in high school). The real purpose of the pop quiz is that this is a fun way to introduce business tips from real-world experiences that you can not learn in a classroom. We want to thank our entrepreneur for being a good sport and volunteering their time to answer a few questions to help our community grow from their knowledge.

I want to introduce you to our guest today who will be taking our Pop Quiz Monday.

Can you please tell everyone your name?
Jon Vlachogiannis but it is way easier just to call me Jon V,

What is your job role?
CEO and Founder at AgentRisk

Jon Vlachogiannis
Photo credit: Jon Vlachogiannis

Tell us about your company?
We help people manage their money more efficiently and have access to sophisticated financial products by using Machine Learning.

What do you love most about your job?
How a smart “Machine” makes people’s (financial) life soooo much better. We are living in the future!

What motivates you to get up every day and go to work?
Knowing that we help people achieve their goals and focus on their passion.

How do your co-workers inspire you?
By being dedicated to our cause and putting our customers above their sleep 😀

How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?
Let’s say that you should never leave your laptop unlocked 😉

What are some of the challenges of your job?
Understanding that not every product is for every customer (and visa versa). It is impossible to create something that everyone loves but super easy to create something that everyone hates. You need to know to settle with “most customers love it, some just like it”

What are some lessons learned from a past project that you can share with us?
At my previous Startup that got acquired, I learnt that the most important thing is not funding but having a team with 100% aligned goals. It is best for everyone to know that the road is always going to be rocky and no amount of funding can change that.

What advice would you give to someone who is starting in your industry?
Don’t do it 🙂 Just kidding! Make sure that you have compliance nailed down and a solid customer acquisition plan.

Thank you for taking our pop quiz today. You get an A+ for effort. You can learn more about our interviewee and their business by visiting them on the web:

Our website: www.agentrisk.com

Pop Quiz, Monday with Abhishek Talwar

Focus on the first ten customers. You probably don’t need an app right now. Just start providing services without any technical interface.

The Pop Quiz, Monday is a fun little exam that we love to give to savvy business owners. The examination is not a surprise after all since the interviewee already knew about the questions in advance. However, we can always pretend and have fun with the scenario of a young entrepreneur sitting in class nervously biting on their pencil. They are ready to take a pop quiz on a chapter that they were supposed to read the night before. Instead, they played Metroid all night on their SNES (Oops, this was me in high school). The real purpose of the pop quiz is that this is a fun way to introduce business tips from real-world experiences that you can not learn in a classroom. We want to thank our entrepreneur for being a good sport and volunteering their time to answer a few questions to help our community grow from their knowledge.

I want to introduce you to our guest today who will be taking our Pop Quiz Monday.

Can you please tell everyone your name?
Abhishek Talwar

Abhishek Talwar
Photo credit: Abhishek Talwar

What is your job role?
Founder

Tell us about your company?
We connect commuters travelling in a similar direction to share a ride, reduce pollution and metal on the road while building a real-world network

What do you love most about your job?
Connecting people, building the world’s most authentic real-world network

What motivates you to get up every day and go to work?
I am a problem solver, so if there is a challenge be it technical or non-technical, I would want to solve it.

This and the mere fact that two strangers get to know each other over an hour-long drive to their office, connecting people while reducing carbon footprint does the job for me

How do your co-workers inspire you?
Inspiration can come from any walk of life.

We like to play some house music in the background. If someone comes up with a piece of good music, then it could also be a piece of inspiration

Besides the work we talk about life, friends, sports, love, drugs. This comes with a bundle of inspirational and motivational topics.

Lastly, anyone who comes up with a better coding design pattern in any of the projects does spark a neural connection and does inspire us to move ahead in the right direction

How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?
We go trekking

What are some of the challenges of your job?
I have a small team, so I am involved in all domains

  1. Technical
    Code review is a must for me, as we can not afford good quality coders. So we have to train coders and then make sure they are adhering to the standards
  2. Business
    Proper analytical analysis to figure out the way to provide the best service worth user’s time and money. This is a complex process and a journey which gets beautiful while acknowledging failure

Team Building
For any side to win, you need loyal and intelligent soldiers. Team building is by far the most crucial and challenging door.

What are some lessons learned from a past project that you can share with us?
Always go lean.

For Poolmyride we bought two hatchback commercial vehicles to provide shared office commute to employees. Within a month we started to feel that this work is not for us for various reasons.

We should have rented out a car and seen if it works.

Last but not least, Make sure your team consists of highly motivated and self-starter individuals. Hiring is a crucial role which should be done right

What advice would you give to someone who is starting in your industry?
Focus on the first ten customers. You probably don’t need an app right now. Just start providing services without any technical interface.

Otherwise, app maintenance would be extra overhead.

Also, discuss your ideas with all the friends and family to check their opinion. You might have so much energy and must be an optimist that you may ignore all ground realities and that’s where you want someone else to break the truth to you

Don’t forget to have fun during all this.

Thank you for taking our pop quiz today. You get an A+ for effort. You can learn more about our interviewee and their business by visiting them on the web:

www.poolmyride.com
www.yantha.com

https://www.facebook.com/PoolMyRide/
https://twitter.com/poolmyride

Pop Quiz, Monday with Rassul Fazelat

I love that we can help to help fellow peers in the industry better access their next career move and also help companies understand this niche talent marketplace.

The Pop Quiz, Monday is a fun little exam that we love to give to savvy business owners. The examination is not a surprise after all since the interviewee already knew about the questions in advance. However, we can always pretend and have fun with the scenario of a young entrepreneur sitting in class nervously biting on their pencil. They are ready to take a pop quiz on a chapter that they were supposed to read the night before. Instead, they played Metroid all night on their SNES (Oops, this was me in high school). The real purpose of the pop quiz is that this is a fun way to introduce business tips from real-world experiences that you can not learn in a classroom. We want to thank our entrepreneur for being a good sport and volunteering their time to answer a few questions to help our community grow from their knowledge.

I want to introduce you to our guest today who will be taking our Pop Quiz Monday.

Can you please tell everyone your name?
Rassul Fazelat

Rassul Fazelat
Photo credit: Rassul Fazelat

What is your job role?
I am President & CEO of Data Talent Advisors, a boutique data & analytics talent advisory

Tell us about your company?
We are specialized data, analytics, & AI talent advisory, helping companies understand the marketplace, help with job description analysis/creation and overall talent acquisition.

What do you love most about your job?
I love that we can help to help fellow peers in the industry better access their next career move and also help companies understand this niche talent marketplace.

What motivates you to get up every day and go to work?
I love being part of the hottest industry in the tech sector. Something that everyone is talking about and something that is continuing to change the way we exist every day.

How do your co-workers inspire you?
We are only a team of three, but I really like the different perspectives our team members bring to the table.

How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?
We will be planning our 1st team Ski trip this year in Sochi Russia.

What are some of the challenges of your job?
The biggest challenge of my job is managing expectations and helping guide both candidates and companies for career and talent acquisition success, respectively.

What are some lessons learned from a past project that you can share with us?
We as a company are moving into a monthly billing model for our clients. It is a model that we have clients on, and it is a truly a business partnership helping our clients on many of facets or their journey into the data, analytics & AI space.

What advice would you give to someone who is starting in your industry?
For candidates, I can not stress the opportunity to get exposure to as many tools as possible. The number of tools being used is abundant but some industry staples have emerged, so it is paramount to have this experience for long-term career growth.

For companies, I would 1st ask what they are trying to achieve? Many times companies either want to bundle three different jobs into one or don’t have a good handle of their current job market for these niche jobs. It’s a completely new dynamic when companies are having to lure candidates (who have many options) versus candidates being selected by companies.

Thank you for taking our pop quiz today. You get an A+ for effort. You can learn more about our interviewee and their business by visiting them on the web:

www.datatalentadvisor.com – Web
@BigDataVision – Twitter

https://www.facebook.com/Data-Talent-Advisors-1769919759784522

Pop Quiz, Monday with Rodger Roeser

I learn a lot from folks I work with, and clients as well. In this industry, there is often no such thing as right or wrong as much of creativity is subjective in nature — so I truly enjoy seeing how different folks can see the same things and interpret them differently.

The Pop Quiz, Monday is a fun little exam that we love to give to savvy business owners. The examination is not a surprise after all since the interviewee already knew about the questions in advance. However, we can always pretend and have fun with the scenario of a young entrepreneur sitting in class nervously biting on their pencil. They are ready to take a pop quiz on a chapter that they were supposed to read the night before. Instead, they played Metroid all night on their SNES (Oops, this was me in high school). The real purpose of the pop quiz is that this is a fun way to introduce business tips from real-world experiences that you can not learn in a classroom. We want to thank our entrepreneur for being a good sport and volunteering their time to answer a few questions to help our community grow from their knowledge.

I want to introduce you to our guest today who will be taking our Pop Quiz Monday.

Can you please tell everyone your name?
Rodger Roeser

Rodger Roeser
Photo credit: Rodger Roeser

What is your job role?
President/Owner

Tell us about your company?
The Eisen Agency is a full-service marketing, sales, and branding firm with two offices — Cincinnati and Cleveland, Ohio. We provide professional services, manufacturing/construction, and technology businesses expertise in marketing their business, their solutions and their people.

What do you love most about your job?
There is a tremendous amount of creativity that goes into what we do, and I enjoy not only that creative process but the culmination and success that comes from that creativity.

What motivates you to get up every day and go to work?
I enjoy eating and having a roof over my head and earning a living as working, contributing member of society. More folks should try it.

How do your co-workers inspire you?
I learn a lot from folks I work with, and clients as well. In this industry, there is often no such thing as right or wrong as much of creativity is subjective in nature — so I truly enjoy seeing how different folks can see the same things and interpret them differently. It’s a business that has constant and perpetual learning and growing, and someone always has something new to share.

How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?
Our job is generally fun, so I don’t think anyone goes out of their way to “make it” fun. If you can’t have fun doing this job, you need to change careers. Forced fun isn’t fun, and it’s very organic with us.

What are some of the challenges of your job?
We have very demanding clients and demanding schedules and deadlines — so you sort of have a combination of manic ADD at a million miles an hour. It can be exhausting because once one thing is completed, it’s on the to the next.

What are some lessons learned from a past project that you can share with us?
There have been so many projects and so many lessons over the years. Pay attention to the little details as that is what makes something good, great. That said, never let perfection get in the way of good. Ideas without executions are just dreams, and too often, particularly in marketing, folks are too afraid to fail, so instead, they do nothing at all.

What advice would you give to someone who is starting in your industry?
Become a bartender! This is a tough, tough business. You need thick skin, you need to be, and you need to be fast paced. There are so many traits that go into being a good marketing executive, particularly on the agency side, that it really comes down more to personality than skill.

Thank you for taking our pop quiz today. You get an A+ for effort. You can learn more about our interviewee and their business by visiting them on the web:

www.TheEisenAgency.com

Pop Quiz, Monday with Hemendra Mathur

I work with multiple teams. To me fun part is more about sharing and working upon new ideas, trying and failing together and enjoying the stroke of luck in between.

The Pop Quiz, Monday is a fun little exam that we love to give to savvy business owners. The examination is not a surprise after all since the interviewee already knew about the questions in advance. However, we can always pretend and have fun with the scenario of a young entrepreneur sitting in class nervously biting on their pencil. They are ready to take a pop quiz on a chapter that they were supposed to read the night before. Instead, they played Metroid all night on their SNES (Oops, this was me in high school). The real purpose of the pop quiz is that this is a fun way to introduce business tips from real-world experiences that you can not learn in a classroom. We want to thank our entrepreneur for being a good sport and volunteering their time to answer a few questions to help our community grow from their knowledge.

I want to introduce you to our guest today who will be taking our Pop Quiz Monday.

Can you please tell everyone your name?
Hemendra Mathur

Hemendra Mathur
Photo credit: Hemendra Mathur

What is your job role?
I wear many hats which include – investing and mentoring agritech / food tech / deep tech startups and advising investors, corporates, government and foundations with interest in these areas.

Tell us about your company?
I work as Venture Partner with Bharat Innovation Fund (http://bharat.fund/) – an IP-driven early stage fund housed at Centre for Innovation Incubation and Entrepreneurship at Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad.

I have also co-founded a platform in 2018 called ThinkAg (https://www.thinkag.in/) – to connect agritech startups in India with corporates, mentors and investors.

What do you love most about your job?
Almost everything from – scanning, evaluating, negotiating, closing deals to working with like-minded partners to build a start-up ecosystem in India.

But if you ask me what gives me a kick – it is working directly with entrepreneurs as – mentor, guide and co-founder – to scale up businesses. Working through ambiguity, making mistakes, course corrections, multiple pivots, sales pitches, investor search, head-hunting and constantly re-scripting your plans are all part and parcel of motions that you go through while working with founding teams in scaling ideas from scratch.

What motivates you to get up every day and go to work?
Learning about a new idea, meeting high-quality entrepreneurs, working with young, motivated teams and cracking deals. There is so much happening in the start-up world, that a 15-hour workday feels like 15 minutes.

I also believe that we are at the cusp of some transformational changes in India. For example, the tech-driven innovations that I see in the agritech space in linking farmers to market can fix the age-old broken food supply chains in India as well as other parts of the world.

I am confident that in the next decade or so these innovations can change the way food is grown, stored, processed, transported, distributed and consumed in India. Two critical beneficiaries in this process will be farmers and consumers. Each part of the food value chain in India offers billions of dollar worth of market opportunity for such innovations.

How do your co-workers inspire you?
I mostly work with guys who are younger than me. Their energy, diversity, creativity and tech orientation is quite infectious and inspiring.

How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?
I work with multiple teams. To me fun part is more about sharing and working upon new ideas, trying and failing together and enjoying the stroke of luck in between.

People with integrity, intellect, crazy ideas and sense of humor is all you need to have fun at the workplace. Fortunately, there are plenty of them.

What are some of the challenges of your job?
As I mentioned that I work many startups in the food and agritech space. The number of such startups is 500+ in India and is growing enormously.

I find it challenging to keep myself updated on their progress. They also keep coming with tough questions, and I do not have answer all the time. They also seek help in chasing customers, investors and talent. Sometimes I deliver but I sometimes I don’t. I sincerely hope to improve upon my success rate.

What are some lessons learned from a past project that you can share with us?
Each investment teaches you something whether it is a success or not. Some of the lessons from my last ten years of investing experience are:

  • Early stage investing is all about one’s ability to identify trends and look for teams who can deliver on it. Spotting trends and top-quartile teams require building right networks with people coming from diverse backgrounds, not necessarily from the investor community.
  • Value creation after investment – irrespective of the stage of investing – is about rolling up your sleeves and working with entrepreneurs day in and day out, more like a co-founder. Capital is vital but so is your sweat in building teams and businesses together.
  • Building a culture of merit, performance, and governance in portfolio companies from day one is critical. An investor job is to keep pushing for it.

What advice would you give to someone who is starting in your industry?
My advice is for the investors who are looking at an early stage investing in food and agri space in India. I will say it is a perfect time to enter the sector but have patience and capital (at least for a couple of rounds) to reap the returns.

Thank you for taking our pop quiz today. You get an A+ for effort. You can learn more about our interviewee and their business by visiting them on the web:

Twitter: @hemendramathur

Pop Quiz, Monday with Amedeo Lattari

What I love most about my job is the fact that I spend my time trying to help local professionals find new customers. It is a rewarding feeling knowing that we are adding value to the community.

The Pop Quiz, Monday is a fun little exam that we love to give to savvy business owners. The examination is not a surprise after all since the interviewee already knew about the questions in advance. However, we can always pretend and have fun with the scenario of a young entrepreneur sitting in class nervously biting on their pencil. They are ready to take a pop quiz on a chapter that they were supposed to read the night before. Instead, they played Metroid all night on their SNES (Oops, this was me in high school). The real purpose of the pop quiz is that this is a fun way to introduce business tips from real-world experiences that you can not learn in a classroom. We want to thank our entrepreneur for being a good sport and volunteering their time to answer a few questions to help our community grow from their knowledge.

I want to introduce you to our guest today who will be taking our Pop Quiz Monday.

Can you please tell everyone your name?
Amedeo Lattari

Amedeo Lattari

What is your job role?
I am the COO and Co-Founder of Troolr. I am currently focusing on business development and scaling our company.

Tell us about your company?
Troolr is a platform which helps connect consumers with local professionals in an easy, quick and transparent manner.

What do you love most about your job?
What I love most about my job is the fact that I spend my time trying to help local professionals find new customers. It is a rewarding feeling knowing that we are adding value to the community.

What motivates you to get up every day and go to work?
What motivates me is the fact that we are building a company from the ground up. We get to decide the vision, and trajectory of the company.

How do your co-workers inspire you?
My co-workers inspire me by seeing the passion and dedication they bring to the company – which is obviously necessary when building a new company. Every person on the team brings their own unique set of skills and creativity.

How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?
We generally have board games and a ping pong table but, interestingly enough chess has become the go-to game in the office. On Friday’s we try to get the whole team to play a card game after lunch.

What are some of the challenges of your job?
Some of the challenges I face as a co-founder of a tech company are scaling quickly enough to meet our monthly goals and finding the right team members to join the team. At our stage, it is crucial to find like-minded people to join, that believe in the vision and are in it for the long haul. As an early stage company, this is one of the biggest challenges. We have been fortunate enough, after meeting many candidates, to have a solid team working with us.

What are some lessons learned from a past project that you can share with us?
Perseverance is key. It might take you five follow up calls and seven emails to close a deal, but you have to be relentless. People are often busy and might oversee your email. I generally follow up until I get a hard “NO.” This doesn’t mean you should email them every day, but having a consistent process is key – be it for a sale or getting a meeting with an investor.

What advice would you give to someone who is starting in your industry?
To stay focused. There are going to be a lot of distractions and ups and down. It is important to know that it is part of the process. Networking is very important as you never know how someone may be able to add value to you or the business in the long run. It is always easier to grow when you have quality people in your network.

Thank you for taking our pop quiz today. You get an A+ for effort. You can learn more about our interviewee and their business by visiting them on the web:

https://troolr.com/
www.facebook.com/troolr/
www.instagram.com/troolr/
https://twitter.com/troolr_app

Pop Quiz, Monday with Herby Marchetti

We empower founders to move markets. My vision is to enable entrepreneurship by serving up connections. I love to inspire and grow startup founders to boost their dreams.

The Pop Quiz, Monday is a fun little exam that we love to give to savvy business owners. The examination is not a surprise after all since the interviewee already knew about the questions in advance. However, we can always pretend and have fun with the scenario of a young entrepreneur sitting in class nervously biting on their pencil. They are ready to take a pop quiz on a chapter that they were supposed to read the night before. Instead, they played Metroid all night on their SNES (Oops, this was me in high school). The real purpose of the pop quiz is that this is a fun way to introduce business tips from real-world experiences that you can not learn in a classroom. We want to thank our entrepreneur for being a good sport and volunteering their time to answer a few questions to help our community grow from their knowledge.

I want to introduce you to our guest today who will be taking our Pop Quiz Monday.

Can you please tell everyone your name?
Herby Marchetti

Herby Marchetti
Photo credit: Herby Marchetti

What is your job role?
Early-stage VC Investor at seed + speed Ventures (seedandspeed.com), Advisory Board Member of RightNow Group (right-now-group.de) and university lecturer at Steinbeis University for EMBA students.

Tell us about your company?
seed + speed Ventures is a Venture Capital firm within the family office Maschmeyer Group of self-made UHNI Carsten Maschmeyer who invests into Pre-Seed and Seed startup companies and is also known from the TV show “Die Höhle der Löwen” (German version of `Shark Tank´). Located in Hanover, Munich, Berlin and San Francisco, the Maschmeyer Group provides innovative startups with sales support and smart capital.

What do you love most about your job?
We empower founders to move markets. My vision is to enable entrepreneurship by serving up connections. I love to inspire and grow startup founders to boost their dreams.

What motivates you to get up every day and go to work?
Working together with the brightest people to change our future, spreading the spirit of founders and fostering entrepreneurship is highly rewarding.

Mentoring motivated founders lets me stay curious, open, young and inspired. Combining the capabilities of other VCs, industry partners, accelerators, company builders, startups, academia, and government not only brings a basis for new inspiration and innovation but mostly lets you gain new access points, speed and flexibility. Innovation means making fascinating ideas happen. This is a free flow of creativity.

How do your co-workers inspire you?
My co-workers are highly ambitious, communicate clearly and are open to change. When actively listening to everyone’s opinions in my team, I often hear out the „what, if?“. This curiosity and a strong sense of urgency to change the future lie in our VC nature. We take deep dives in many sectors and companies (e.g., in AI, IoT, Health, TravelTech. LegalTech, E-Sports, InsurTech, Media, etc.). We need to ask and learn “beyond” and love to explore and push for new investments, innovation, and growth. We connect with many new inspiring personalities a day with a global mindset: startup founders and product heroes with a focus on execution. Overall, it leads to challenging one’s own views regularly.

How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?
We know how to celebrate success. To give you one out of the many examples: every year, we go to the Oktoberfest in Munich/Bavaria all together. All of our colleagues fly in, and I can tell: it is a lot of fun and we laugh a lot.

What are some of the challenges of your job?
Keeping up with the speed of digitization is a challenge itself. We always need to think ahead of our time, evaluate between good and bad investments and keep closeness to founders, customers, partners and respective dynamic markets.

What are some lessons learned from a past project that you can share with us?
Invest in digital culture and innovation also involves an openness for failure and acquiring new know-how.

Strictly (re-)investing into complementary winner teams, doing what they love has turned out to be a great strategy.

Complimentary Team + Good Traction = Easier Capital.

What advice would you give to someone who is starting in your industry?
Connect. Connect. Connect.

Thank you for taking our pop quiz today. You get an A+ for effort. You can learn more about our interviewee and their business by visiting them on the web:

www.seedandspeed.com

Pop Quiz, Monday with Alex Johnson

The truth is I love my work. I pretty much always have. I have built numerous companies from the ground up to large award-winning companies. My motivation is to always focus on the mission of the company – not making money or other tangential benefits. At Swap Motors, our mission is: Buying and Selling Cars Made Simple. I am motivated to come to work each day to advance this mission.

The Pop Quiz, Monday is a fun little exam that we love to give to savvy business owners. The examination is not a surprise after all since the interviewee already knew about the questions in advance. However, we can always pretend and have fun with the scenario of a young entrepreneur sitting in class nervously biting on their pencil. They are ready to take a pop quiz on a chapter that they were supposed to read the night before. Instead, they played Metroid all night on their SNES (Oops, this was me in high school). The real purpose of the pop quiz is that this is a fun way to introduce business tips from real-world experiences that you can not learn in a classroom. We want to thank our entrepreneur for being a good sport and volunteering their time to answer a few questions to help our community grow from their knowledge.

I want to introduce you to our guest today who will be taking our Pop Quiz Monday.

Can you please tell everyone your name?
Alex Johnson

What is your job role?
I am the CEO of Swap Motors

Alex Johnson
Photo credit: Alex Johnson

Tell us about your company?
Swap Motors was created in 2016 when I grew frustrated with the process of trying to sell my car to a dealership. I seized the opportunity to transform a broken industry that has delivered a poor consumer experience. Typical vehicle sales are bogged down with multiple middlemen driving dollars away from buyers and sellers. Swap Motors maximizes value for consumers who can now shop and sell safely on the first of its kind peer-to-peer and consumer auction automotive sales platform. Swap Motors promotes safety, trust, and transparency within the automotive market. In addition, Swap Motors provides the customer service and support to private sellers and buyers as afforded by typical auto dealerships.

What do you love most about your job?
I love working in a fast paced environment, with a talented team – to solve problems in traditional business models.

What motivates you to get up every day and go to work?
The truth is I love my work. I pretty much always have. I have built numerous companies from the ground up to large award-winning companies. My motivation is to always focus on the mission of the company – not making money or other tangential benefits. At Swap Motors, our mission is: Buying and Selling Cars Made Simple. I am motivated to come to work each day to advance this mission.

How do your co-workers inspire you?
My colleagues are subject matter experts in a wide variety of areas. We have amazing technologists, coders, designers & marketers. I am constantly inspired by the breadth of their talent and continued desire to advance our company mission.

How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?
We work long hours. In doing so, we make sacrifices – time away from home/family/etc. For this reason, I make it a point that the team has fun at work too. Our office is designed with a collaborative footprint – and we have ping pong tables and pop-a-shot basketball for relaxation. We also routinely eat meals together. I want the team to feel like they’re a part of the overall Swap Motors family. I hold a weekly innovation meeting for all team members to bring up new ideas for the company – I encourage them to think outside of their expertise area. Some of our best ideas have come through these meetings.

What are some of the challenges of your job?
My job requires me to make important strategic decisions quickly. To do so effectively, I need to absorb material to make informed decisions. Oftentimes, I must become versed in new areas – like full stack coding or digital marketing. While it can be challenging to learn the basics of new areas quickly, it’s also something I find rewarding.

What are some lessons learned from a past project that you can share with us?
We are trying to improve the automotive commerce marketplace. While cars have changed, buying and selling cars – has mostly remained unchanged. When changing an old industry – you will face pushback. One example – we wanted to provide tax, title, registration, and license plate services for our peer-to-peer customers. We received a lot of resistance from industry players in accomplishing this since it was something new, and it had not been done before. But, we continued to work with strategic partners, and together we built out a great solution. Today, Swap Motors is the only peer-to-peer marketplace providing these services. My takeaway from this experience is to remain persistent.

What advice would you give to someone who is starting in your industry?
My advice is to build out a great team with diverse expertise. Having a broad talented team provides the basis to accomplish anything.

Thank you for taking our pop quiz today. You get an A+ for effort. You can learn more about our interviewee and their business by visiting them on the web:

https://www.swapmotors.com/

Pop Quiz, Monday with Christine Stow

Outsource… it has been by far the biggest thing that has helped me go forward.

The Pop Quiz, Monday is a fun little exam that we love to give to savvy business owners. The examination is not a surprise after all since the interviewee already knew about the questions in advance. However, we can always pretend and have fun with the scenario of a young entrepreneur sitting in class nervously biting on their pencil. They are ready to take a pop quiz on a chapter that they were supposed to read the night before. Instead, they played Metroid all night on their SNES (Oops, this was me in high school). The real purpose of the pop quiz is that this is a fun way to introduce business tips from real-world experiences that you can not learn in a classroom. We want to thank our entrepreneur for being a good sport and volunteering their time to answer a few questions to help our community grow from their knowledge.

I want to introduce you to our guest today who will be taking our Pop Quiz Monday.

Can you please tell everyone your name?
Christine Stow

Christine Stow
Photo credit: Christine Stow

What is your job role?
Enterprise Genie.

Tell us about your company?
I help enterprises, and community organistions find the money to get their project off the ground.

What do you love most about your job?
Seeing people light up when they find ways to find the money.

What motivates you to get up every day and go to work?
My clients and helping others.

How do your co-workers inspire you?
Energy and positivity .. although it’s just me. My clients inspire me. They light me up.

How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?
Sailing and paddle boarding – it helps energise me in my down times- its exhilarating.. and walking Ranger and gym every day.

What are some of the challenges of your job?
Being on my own, getting people to see there is another way to look at things.

What are some lessons learned from a past project that you can share with us?
It’s about your passion and commitment to get a job done rather than an existing government grant.

What advice would you give to someone who is starting in your industry?
Outsource… it has been by far the biggest thing that has helped me go forward.

Thank you for taking our pop quiz today. You get an A+ for effort. You can learn more about our interviewee and their business by visiting them on the web:

www.christinestow.com.au

https://www.facebook.com/christine.stow.1

Pop Quiz, Monday with Renata Castro, Esq.

Be willing to take risks and build your path. When I opened my firm right out of law school, many cases I took were shunned by other more seasoned attorneys, and I won them.

The Pop Quiz, Monday is a fun little exam that we love to give to savvy business owners. The examination is not a surprise after all since the interviewee already knew about the questions in advance. However, we can always pretend and have fun with the scenario of a young entrepreneur sitting in class nervously biting on their pencil. They are ready to take a pop quiz on a chapter that they were supposed to read the night before. Instead, they played Metroid all night on their SNES (Oops, this was me in high school). The real purpose of the pop quiz is that this is a fun way to introduce business tips from real-world experiences that you can not learn in a classroom. We want to thank our entrepreneur for being a good sport and volunteering their time to answer a few questions to help our community grow from their knowledge.

I want to introduce you to our guest today who will be taking our Pop Quiz Monday.

Can you please tell everyone your name?
Renata Castro, Esq.

Renata Castro, Esq.
Photo credit: Renata Castro, Esq.

What is your job role?
I am an immigration attorney and founder of the Castro Legal Group in Florida.

Tell us about your company?
We are an international immigration firm which leveraged Social Media interactions to build a six-figure and growing practice globally by connecting the dots between foreigners and the realization of their American dream of coming to the USA legally.

What do you love most about your job?
Being able to apply my knowledge to help people’s dreams come true – be it for athletes, investors, inventors, business people, or the everyday Joe or Jane who has a pathway to a lawful residence or an American visa.

What motivates you to get up every day and go to work?
The transformational power of our work in people’s lives.

How do your co-workers inspire you?
My staff is amazing. They believe in the cause, and that is motivation enough to keep going.

How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?
We are an all women staff, so there’s a lot of chatter about makeup! All jokes aside, we have a great time together, and I usually treat them to lunches, concerts and the like. It’s all about having a good time while delivering outstanding service!

What are some of the challenges of your job?
Dealing with the unrealistic expectations and anxieties of clients can take the best of us. We must always realize that there’s a lot at stake for our clients and that we need NOT to take it personally.

What are some lessons learned from a past project that you can share with us?
Be willing to take risks and build your path. When I opened my firm right out of law school, many cases I took were shunned by other more seasoned attorneys, and I won them. Also, I used social media aggressively by taking stands related to politics (which many attorneys don’t do) and that paid off substantially. I was on the front-line and took a lot of heat for it, but I am glad I took the risks I did.

What advice would you give to someone who is starting in your industry?
Be willing to write your own path. Work harder than your competition, be compassionate and trust your gut (and your legal research). It is crucial to learn marketing, being a good lawyer is not good enough.

Thank you for taking our pop quiz today. You get an A+ for effort. You can learn more about our interviewee and their business by visiting them on the web:
www.castrolegalgroup.com
youtube.com/conexaoimigracaousa
IG: immigratetotheUSA