|41 weeks ago I read a theory that going for 50 coffees with people you’ve never met is the entrepreneur’s equivalent to the theory that doing anything for 10,000 hours will make you an expert on it. While I get the idea, 50 coffees is far easier than practicing something for ten years, and while I’m far from lazy I decided to set out on a fairly simple mission: over 50 weeks I’m inviting 50 interesting Vancouverites, most of whom I have never met before, to go for coffee. I’m using this as an exercise in networking for myself and for V.I.A. while also using it as a platform to introduce you to some people who are doing really cool stuff in the city you live in.
Meet Ryan Holmes. Founder of Invoke Media, the Vancouver company that launched the totally awesome social media dashboard, Hootsuite, which spun off into a company of its own, and which Ryan is now the CEO of.
Hootsuite is, in my opinion, the most exciting new company in Vancouver right now. Period. Aside from having an incredible product that I’ve been using all day every day for years, which now gets an average of 9,000 new users signing up every single day, the culture that they’ve built within the company is second to none. Of the (many) people I know who have taken jobs with them, not a single one doesn’t tell me they don’t totally love it. They’re always hiring, so before we go any further perhaps you should click over HERE and check to see if your future isn’t there waiting for you.
We met at the Hootsuite office in Railtown then headed over to JJ Bean on Railway. The conversation started with the subject of our mutual hometown of Vernon BC and quickly moved on to where Hootsuite is going; aside from Ryan’s much-publicized goal of turning it into a billion dollar company I’ve been wondering about the little things, like when they’re going to be integrating Instagram into the dashboard. He hinted that it would be “soon” and quickly the subject changed [the following day I got a press release saying that it had just been launched! Awesome!], we then talked a bit about politics in the city (sorry, that portion is in the vault!) and ended with me asking Ryan for some business advice. You didn’t really think that I’d pass up the opportunity to ask advice from someone who has turned a simple idea into a company that now employs more than 200 incredibly happy employees did you? This series is partly about introducing you to interesting people doing awesome stuff in your city but it’s 100% about me personally sitting down with these people, networking, and gleaning bits of inspiration from them wherever I can. Ryan offered some sage-like advice, so in the future if you ever hear me talking about The Universe Is Awesome Incorporated and the plan to make it into a billion dollar company, you can trace the inspiration for that directly back to Mr Holmes.
Stay tuned for more 50 Coffees!