As part of Vancouver Startup Week, Chris Hobbs shared his journey from President of UBC Ski Club to President of Vancouver-based software development company, Two Tall Totems, and a number of important business lessons he learned along the way.
While at university, Hobbs actually launched his own venture, LiftPasses.com – a kiosk system that allows customers purchase tickets, and tells them which friends were already on the slopes. The number one lesson he learned from this early venture was to make as many friends as possible at school. Networking now is an investment in the future.
Make as many friends as possible at school. Networking now is an investment in the future.
Hobbs also shared a later experience he had working with a client who ran a business mailing out Real Estate Educational Videos to realtors seeking certification. Together with his brother and Two Tall Totems co-founder, Hobbs found a far more efficient way for the client to run his business by providing video content online that could be accessed by users purchasing a membership.
Here’s 12 career-making tips Hobbs shared with u
1. Don’t continuously chase investments – build your minimal viable product.
2. Some things will always be out of your control, know when to walk away
3. And choose your business partners wisely – trust will treat you well when things go well or go wrong.
4. Always look for ways to be more efficient. The advantage of being faster at providing a product will serve you well.
5. Virtual products usually scale well.
6. Always be hungry for the next project.
7. Surround yourself with smarter people.
8. The culture within a new company will cement the direction of the company.
9. A financial cushion when starting new projects and companies is invaluable. Start prepared!
10. As a founder, be prepared to pay your staff before being paid yourself.
11. Your products need to solve a problem, but be wary that hardware projects can end up extremely expensive.
12. Joint ventures are lower risk, and allows both parties to focus on what they do best.
Read more about Hobbs and Two Tall Totems here.