September 26, 2017

Five Takeaways From Drift's HYPERGROWTH Conference

On September 25, Drift held their first HYPERGROWTH Conference in Downtown Boston. All kinds of inspirational figures had something to say to the 1,400 attendees, with a number of panels and talks devoted to topics like success, happiness, and good old-fashioned branding. 

VentureFizz had the opportunity to attend HYPERGROWTH, and we came away from the event with a number of key insights from the diverse set of speakers. We have a bunch of pictures in a slideshow at the bottom of this story, but first, here are a few of our takeaways:

1. David Cancel Offers Wise Discoveries

David Cancel
Drift CEO David Cancel discusses his lessons learned.

Opening and closing the day, Drift Co-Founder & CEO David Cancel offered three discoveries he’s learned over the last 20 years of his career. 

Discovery #1 was simple: “I don’t know.” He made the entire audience shout “I don’t know!” in an effort to convey that no one has all the answers, and that intellectual humility is a necessary virtue. 

Discovery #2 was to “surround yourself with the right people.” He told us that it’s crucial to meet new people because it’s the only way to find peer mentors, role models, and groups to improve both your career and person.

As for Discovery #3, he made us wait until the very end of the event. So of course, you do too (or just jump to #5)!

2. Brands, Brands, Brands
G20 Ventures Partner Mike Troiano took the stage for one of the most engaging presentations of the day, discussing the underrated importance of brand. In building a brand, he says, you must make an emotional value proposition, reflect on who your customer is, and deliver a simple promise, consistently, at every point of contact with the marketplace. The brand exists in the hearts and minds of the audience, and if you don’t establish a clear brand for the market, the market will create a brand for you.

He says that a good brand will ask themselves: Who is our person? What does she really want? Why does she want that? “The starting point on starting a brand is backing off to see how what we solve feels for the people we’re solving it for,” Troiano stated.

3. The Story is the Strategy

Andy Raskin
Andy Raskin
, who works with Venture-backed technology companies on their strategic messaging and positioning, discussed the value of storytelling during his presentation. After a fateful encounter at Barnes and Noble, Raskin read a screenwriting book, and discovered that many of the lessons in screenwriting can apply directly to business. 

He claims that your company’s story strategy can impact every aspect of sales velocity, and that every aspect of the company should serve a story purpose. To do this, Raskin says that you need to start by naming an undeniable change in the world, show who the winners and losers are, and use your pitch to “tease the Promised Land.” After you can establish this, and after you can get your customer to say, “that’s right,” you’re ready to show how your solution is the solution.

4. Words of Advice from a Gold Medalist
Nastia Liukin, a five-time gold medalist in gymnastics and a first-time entrepreneur, took the stage in the afternoon. Liukin told her personal history with the sport of gymnastics and how much practice it took for her. She recalled how she struggled to win her first medal at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. Liukin then compared her practices to how people struggle everyday with everyday life.

Although, she did have some sound advice for those who need it. 

"We all have those days where we just don't want to get out of bed," Liukin addressed the crowd. "However, when you set goals for yourself, no matter how small, it helps to get up that much easier."

She also added, "Finish what you started, even if you want to quit."

Liukin finished her presentation by discussing her company, Grander. Grander is a non-profit organization empowering female athletes across the world. 

5. David Cancel’s Third Discovery
At the end of the event, it was finally time to hear David Cancel’s third discovery. Discovery #3 was this: ”The way we’ve been taught to work is suited for a world that no longer exists. The way we sell and build products are suited for a world that has vanished.” Cancel was referring to email; marketing and sales people love it, but everyone else hates it because it’s not real-time, it gets abused by marketers, and it’s not smart.

And in true “one last thing” fashion, Cancel revealed a new, smart email marketing solution for Drift’s platform that claims to be a rethought of what it means to communicate and market over email. Stay tuned to Drift’s official channels to learn more.

Alexander Culafi is a Staff Writer for VentureFizz. You can follow him on Twitter @culafia.

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