Hootsuite Founder Ryan Holmes Gets Personal

Ryan Holmes, founder and CEO of Hootsuite, made a live appearance at Okanagan College in Kelowna.

 

Hootsuite founder Ryan Holmes during question and answer session on stage

I love it when I just go with the flow, and I’m happily surprised at the outcome.

I’ve been using Hootsuite for over a year. It’s an awesome “social media dashboard” where you can control all our social networks from one place, so it’s a must-have tool for making your social media strategy more efficient.

While I did know about Hootsuite, I didn’t know anything about the it’s founder Ryan Holmes. I was surprised to learn that Ryan is from Vernon, right here in the Okanagan, BC! So I decided to check out the free event, hosted by Accelerate Okanagan as part of their ignITE series. They always put on great events.

The auditorium was packed. Ryan took the stage at his former alma mater, and he shared his interesting life-journey.

One of my favourite stories was his whimsical account of his childhood geekiness when he won a computer as a child. Because his family was living “off the grid” his dad had to modify the computer to run while connected to his mom’s car battery.

 

Ryan was a budding entrepreneur from a young age, and got bored with the structure of a college education, so he dropped out to start a more hands-on and immersed career path. Eventually, he started Hootsuite.

Ryan gave some sage business advice:Ryan Holmes Hootsuite CEO in front of a screen with business tips

  • Get your hours in – 10 000 establishes you as an expert
  • Find a need and fill it
  • Nothing is owed – keep motivated and hustle
  • Do what you love

 

One of the things that impressed me was how passionately he spoke about creating a fun and engaged corporate culture (much like the Zappos “Delivering Happiness” attitude).

He said he has now had offers to buy Hootsuite for $500 million, but he didn’t want to sell until he could make a thousand millionaires of his shareholders. What a powerful and generous statement.

There were some serious questions from the tech community who had come out to support the event, and a few hillarious anecdotes too. The researches certainly did their investigative homework!  Like Ryan being called “cougar-bait” during a live newscast, and reference to Ryan achieving the Guinness World Record for holding the plank pose in yoga for 11 minutes.

You can watch the embedded video below, or just click this link: http://vimeo.com/51392696

 

Ryan Holmes ignITEs: My Entrepreneurial Journey from Accelerate Okanagan on Vimeo.

 

I love reading biographies, and it was great to be part of the live event where Ryan shared his entrepreneurial journey.

Oh, I forgot to mention, Ryan had just been to Richard Branson’s private island. It pays to be inspired by people who think big, and are where you want to be.

So glad I had the opportunity to be inspired.

Update: January 29, 2013. Ryan Holmes won Canadian Entrepreneur of the Year 2012. Congrats!

See other winners and runners up here: http://www.techvibes.com/blog/canadian-startup-awards-winners-2013-01-28

 

 

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