My new job at Daisy Intelligence is great but the commute is awful. Who knew that traffic in suburban Toronto was as bad as downtown! The upside – as you can probably tell – is I have discovered podcasts. (Note: Stitcher is a great listening tool).

One of my favorites is Pivot featuring Kara Swisher and Scott Galloway. It stands out by taking a critical look at tech and tech companies. Galloway, for example, is not a Facebook fan and views WeWork as the emperor with no clothes. This kind of commentary is crucial is a world in which entrepreneurs are seen as rock stars and companies that post huge losses are celebrated as magical unicorns.

By the way, if you’re not a subscriber or know someone who should subscribe, here’s where they can sign up.

MARKETING

The Importance of Measuring Product Engagement

These days, everything digital is tracked and measured. But Sherlock’s Derek Skaletsky says the most important SaaS metric to measure is product engagement (people using and getting value from your product).

The Importance of Selling Features

As marketers, we’re told on a regular basis that we need to put the spotlight on benefits, not features. But Roxanne Abercrombie argues that not promoting features is a fallacy because people need information about what your product actually does.

The Many Ways that Demos Deliver

Many software companies are obsessed with doing demos. The premise: if people could see our product in action, they would enthusiastically become customers. Heather Parker says there many reasons that demos are valuable, beyond sales.

Survival Tools for Startups

Running a startup isn’t easy. In fact, a lot of the time, it’s tough slogging. Kyle Poyar provides some advice on how startups can establish a strong business foundation.

How Brands to Can Capitalize on Reddit

Reddit is a huge community but many brands are leery about getting involved because the backlash can be nasty. There are, however, ways that companies can leverage Reddit by doing things such as engaging with the community and posting great content.

Larry Kim’s 15 Everyday Marketing Tools

Larry Kim, who runs a business, speaks on a regular basis and writes oodles of content, pulled back the covers on 15 marketing tools that he depends on daily. The list includes Vidyard, Venngage, and MobileMonkey.

One of the keys to attracting and hiring great startup employees is offering amazing benefits. [link] (sponsor) 

Is Your Website Really Performing?

What are the different ways to tell if your Website is doing its job other unique visitors and page views? Kiera Abbamonte puts the spotlight on 17 Website KPIs, including metrics such as “dwell time” and “scroll depth”.

It’s Too Late to Start a Podcast

After nearly going extinct (a slight exaggeration!), podcasts are red hot. Rober Katai wonders whether those us on the sidelines have missed the boat, and then offers up some tips on how to launch a podcast.

And if You Want to Invest in Podcasting…

Andreessen Horowitz published an in-depth guide on how to invest in the podcast ecosystem. There’s enough data to answer all your questions about the history of podcasts and their potential.

50 Ways to Jump-Start Your Content Strategy

Katy French created an interesting list of more than 50 tools and services to propel your content strategy – everything from content creation to distribution.

INTERESTING

How to Start Google From Tracking You

Like it or not, Google is tracking a lot of your online activity. And you thought Gmail, Google Drive and Chrome were free? Wired’s Daniel Nield provides tips on how to stop Google from keeping digital tabs on you.

Three Cheers for the USB

The USB port doesn’t get much credit as innovative or sexy but it’s around for two decades, providing connectivity and utility with little fanfare.

The New, Upscale Movie Experience

As Netflix (and soon Disney) take over the world, movie theatres are fighting back by offering a VIP experience. We’re talking at steak tartare, expensive booze, and gourmet popcorn.

CANADA

Canada’s VC Ecosystem Rumbling Along

In Q1, Canadian VC investments were $1 billion, the fifth billion-dollar quarter since 2013.  The capital was invested in 142 deals, up 48% from the same quarter in 2018.

Collision Conference Rocks Toronto

After moving from New Orleans to Toronto, the Collision conference attracted 25,000 attendees and hundreds of companies. It was clear evidence that conferences and the Canadian tech scene are very much alive and well.

Two Small Fish Ventures Getting Bigger

Two Small Fish Ventures, headed by Eva and Allen Lau, has closed $9-million second round. The fund will invest $50,000 to $500,000 in early-stage startups looking to achieve “network effects”.

Lightspeed POS’s Unicorn Journey

For Canadian tech companies looking to scale and become global players, look no further than Montreal-based Lightspeed POS, which went public earlier this year and now has a market cap of nearly $2-billion.

Jump-start your marketing! 

My new book, Marketing Spark, delivers strategic and tactical guidance on how to embrace the power of story-driven marketing. Learn how to:
1. Create messaging that makes an impact
2. Develop a strategic roadmap for success.
3. Tactically leverage marketing channels.

Marketing Spark is an everyday resource featuring  fworksheets, templates, tools and case studies.
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