After warm welcoming by Jana (member of the operation team) we started with a quick tour of the company building. Then we had great opportunity to listen to Jia Chen, the product manager, who pitched about what it is to be an entrepreneur and about his personal experience. Finally, one of the three Mobify’s co-founders, Peter McLachlan, talked to us about the origin of the company, its development and strategy.
Mobify was created in 2007 by 3 friends interested in business. Two of them are graduates of SFU and one of them of UBC. They first identified a need in their everyday life, and wanted to solve the following problem “How not to waste time waiting for the bus?” so they built the Translink service 333.
They quickly understood they could make money by solving other problems, using the same kind of technology ie. using mobile phones. Today, Mobify aims at helping companies to increase their mobile purchase performances by providing intuitive solutions for mobile website, app, or tablet, and at collecting data.
Even if they did not spend a lot of time to think about brand culture, it was easy to tell that it has become a key point. There were open spaces, dashboards with funny drawing, plants on the tables, nice decoration, many goodies, open kitchen with free drinks, footstools, computer games, and even a hammock.
The working environment was very pleasant and we can say, adapted to Mobify’s workforce. Indeed, the average employee is between 20 and 30 years old. Today, there are about 100 employees spread into 4 teams: Product, Customers success, Revenue and Operation.
Thanks to its dynamism, the company has known a double X growth over the past 3 years. Their recommendation to us is summed up in the following phrase:
Be a light, be flame, and be a headlight
Jia Chen elaborated on that and defined 8 advices and steps to care about.
Chase a job or chase a calling
Forget about the job ladder: Do not necessarily think about the money when starting a new business; try to link your business to one interest of yours. The experience you get from a first project can be more valuable than the money.
You’re already an entrepreneur: Entrepreneurship is all about finding solution to a problem that you face, using your sales competences and founding solutions against uncertainty.
Importance of a team: You can’t operate alone for a simple reason, you are not the smartest guy in the world. It’s very important to build a team that you can rely on and that you know and you really want to understand each other.
Be honest with yourself: Do not take credit of someone else work. It is understandable to be proud of yourself if you’re doing something good, but there’s nothing worth than lying to itself.
Learning by doing: As we are still young, our cost of opportunity is still very low. We have few things to lose, and you won’t learn by reading books. Failure only makes you stronger.
Problem solving: If something bother you, stop complaining. Start wondering if there is something you can find to solve this issue. Positive mental attitude is essential to be an entrepreneur.
Build and maintain a network: Networking is an asset, and we need to maintain connexions with people that can guide us, share their experiences. To keep up with what other people are doing is very useful.
Written by Léo HAUCHECORNE, Dimitri MINATCHY, Tino COURDIER, Pierre GREGOIRE