TWiST #33 Review with Shawn Gold - An Influential Episode

Addiction to TWiST

I have a confession to make, I’m addicted to This Week in Startups (TWiST).  TWiST is a weekly podcast of interviews with New Age Entrepreneurs in a format that only its founder, Jason Calacanis, can pull off and still keep you pumped. Jason is the CEO of Mahalo a human powered search engine and recently a proud father. Most of the time the show runs for more than 2 hours and apart from a few times when the subject either doesn’t resonate or due to technical difficulties, does’nt run well, the show is packed with much thought provocation and insight into the minds and times of a successful startup.

I picked up the show by accident about 8 months ago and started listening from Episode 2, I haven’t looked back. Jason and his team (especially Tyler and Lon) do such a great job of keeping it real and raw that I recommended it to my partners and close friends as a resource to open the mind on business possibilities and execution. They too have now seen the light and we’re about to commence a TWiST meetup locally where we can riff off the topics presented from each show and build relationships with local budding entrepreneurs.

As I’m based in Sydney, I see much relevance for this type of podcast. Australia has the potential for the right ethos but for some reason I don’t feel that there is enough hustle here. Convening a local meetup could be the start of something big here.  If you’re in Sydney let us know if your keen to take part @Congo_ or @TiStartups or via this blog.

I prefer to consume the show during my commute to work (an hour each way) as TWiST is available in Audio and Video format via my iPhone. I have to admit that the show has certainly and continues to influence our own startup, Velteo.  I sometimes notice our team using Jason’s lingo like “No Doubt” and Gary V’s mantra of “Crush It”, we even started our own NOT NOW list recently as well. So for mine its a must for any person interested in business, not just startups, as the insights and challenges presented can help everyone, especially for those people looking to understand how others have monetized their ideas.

Ep 33 Review

Apart from the usual schedule of Ask Jason (Caller questions) and Jason’s Shark Tank (Pitch review), this episode featured Shawn Gold,  CEO of Cocodot (Funky greeting cards online) and founder of Social Approach, a social marketing advisory based on influence mapping technologies. Cool stuff by my books and the way marketing is heading moving forward i.e. identify the influencer’s and market to them.

Here’s the episode and my key takeaways below:

My key takeaways from the show:

  • If your Startup’s numbers aren’t right, delay your board meeting - a Jason insight.
  • Internet has changed the game but relationships (salespeople) still play a big part in business
  • Performance Marketing identifies the right person to market to. i.e.: Women 25-45 are the sweet spot for weight loss, vitamins, makeup, etc. They also hold the household purse strings in most cases.
  • Find the right people, motivate them and but most of all empower them to execute
  • Be passionate about what you sell
  • You need to have empathy and ego to win in sales according to Harvard
  • Remove the Gatekeeper by calling companies early in the morning (6:45AM) or late in the evening (8:45PM)
  • Avoided jargon at all costs, even a 12-year-old should be able to understand  your pitch
  • Social Media is a double edged sword when something goes wrong in your business
  • You’re going to get knocked down, accept it, but the champ never stops getting back up
  • Monitor your company and personal brand by setting up a Google Alert at the very least

Of course Lon’s coverage of the News was great too, the standouts for me were:

  • Facebook may be losing the plot with its privacy policies or lack thereof
  • Google’s efforts to buy Yelp could change the game as they attempt to enter the content game
  • Google and Facebook to release their own URL shorteners

The show ended with Jason announcing a competition for best review of the show wins a $500 Microsoft pack.

This was just what I needed to get me over the line and finally write this post on TWiST, I love the show so expect to see more reviews as time and content permits.

    Now of course TWiST would’nt be what it is today without alot of help from its sponsors.

    So a big THANK YOU to :

    webspy

    PS: I Lurrrve Ustream!

    Cheers and keep fighting the good fight Jason,

    Congo

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