Teaching a Geek To Sell

Written By January 10th, 2013 | Category: Marketing | 7 Comments

Aydin Mirzaee (@Aydin) is the co-founder of FluidSurveys and a graduate of the Electrical Engineering & Management program at the University of Ottawa. FluidSurveys is an online survey software currently used in over 40 countries across the globe. Their customers include government institutions, universities & colleges and Fortune 500 companies.

Most people that meet me today think I’m the team ‘sales guy’. The truth? I’m just a geek (and very proud of it!).

I started off my career as a web developer, building enterprise software and jokingly referring to myself an extroverted geek. When I started in business, I had no clue how to sell and I didn’t think I needed to pay much attention to it.

All that changed in November of 2000 when I started a web hosting company with my brother and lost a lot of money in only a few months…because I didn’t know how to sell. Someone else was supposed to be that sales guy.

Instead, I had to put my engineering hat aside and grab a new one – the infamous, contentious, intimidating sales hat.

One I never thought I’d have to wear.

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I just realized that I’ve answered over 1200+ questions on Sprouter. Crazy! Why do I do it? Because I know how important quality advice can be. It’s also a great way to get inspiration for blogging. Recently I noticed a most popular section and was laughing at some of my answers. For the most part they were written at 2AM while I was working – however, I thought you might find them useful.

Warning: Typos, run-on sentences, and crappy formatting.

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It’s better to have focus, and be wrong, than to be wrong without focus. At least then you’ll know what’s not working.

~ Bill Gross (Founder & CEO of Idealab)

Source: BILL GROSS: Here Are The 12 Lessons I’ve Learned In My 30 Years Of Being An Entrepreneur

Have questions you wish you could ask the pro’s? Well, today is your day. I reached out to some of my favorite entrepreneurs and startup advisors to see if they had time to take some calls. Feel free to reach out to them directly. The only thing I ask:

  1. Have a focused and specific question
  2. Keep your calls under 10 minutes

Be sure to share this post with your startup friends … I’m not sure how long they’ll be available.

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Startups Should Start From The Heart

Written By September 23rd, 2011 | Category: Marketing | 23 Comments

Peanut Butter Cup Heart

Editors note: Anthony Lee is a General Partner at Altos Ventures based in Silicon Valley. Prior to joining Altos, Anthony led marketing for 3 startups and co-founded a few others. He’s also one of the co-founders behind the C100, a network of top Canadian technology leaders dedicated to supporting Canadian entrepreneurs.

Every year as a venture capitalist I see thousands of investment proposals and meet hundreds of entrepreneurs. I basically boil them down to two types: companies that start from the head and companies that start from the heart.

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