Why Snapchat Is the New LinkedIn for Tech Startups

Posted by Roman Bodnarchuk on May 24, 2016 10:15:48 AM



These Young Entrepreneurs Are Shaping the Future

ALEX MOAZED, Founder and CEO, Applico explains that Snapchat's core interaction is simple; users take a picture or video and send that content to select individuals or broadcast that content to all their followers through the platform's Story feature.

While Snapchat is by design a communication mobile app platform, it has also evolved into a social content platform. The key indicator that Snapchat has changed is the ability for users to gain fame through Snapchat. DJ Khaled's recent Snapchat mastery is a testament to Snapchat's potential as a content platform.

So what do Snapchat and Linkedin have to do with each other? In the world of startups, there is a lot of overlap. Let me explain. Put yourself in the shoes of a startup founder or employee, investor or tech analyst. These individuals are usually early adopters and tech experimenters. Do you think they would you rather type out a post on Linkedin or fire up their Snapchat camera and go on a Snapstorm (i.e., the Snapchat equivalent of a Tweetstorm)? Writing requires planning and revision, while talking on camera requires maybe some light planning. A string of Snapchat videos is quicker and easier to produce while delivering the same value as a blog post.

Snapchat will become the defacto way for the startup community to share its opinions, network with each other, and conduct business. Yes, Snapchat will be the startup community's preferred business networking tool over Linkedin. Here are five reasons why:

1. Simple way to broadcasting your thoughts

The startup community is a content creation machine. They were early adopters on Twitter and Medium and responsible for those platforms' early growth. For startups, content is a networking and awareness tool. Content helps startups get noticed and grow. The tech community is also an early adopter of Snapchat, not by being there first (college students were there first), but by introducing a new type of behavior on Snapchat. The smart snappers from the tech community approach Snapchat like writing a book. Every snap is an individual thought or chapter in their argument. These snappers are creating a new type of content on Snapchat and sharing their knowledge with their followers.

Compared to other social platforms, Snapchat provides several advantages for the startup community. One, Snapchat's video functionality allows users to click and speak their mind. Twitter requires multiple clicks (not to mention typing) to communicate a thought. Snapchat's advantage over Meerkat and Periscope is that Snapchat content lives for 24 hours. In contrast, live streaming platforms' are built around the idea of content that is now or never. Once a broadcast is over, the fun is really over. Yet Snapchat's 24 hour thought-cycle delivers the spontaneity of live while still allowing content to have a longer shelf life.

2. Compelling users to be genuine and succinct

Some people are naturally good at Snapchat, others are not. However, with a little preparation (pencil planning) and a strong point-of-view anyone, can become a better Snapper. This platform dynamic incentives people to become better Snappers or people will stop watching.

In the world of startups, being genuine and opinionated is key. Let's take the example of a startup founder trying to network with an investor on Snapchat. Simply sending a snap asking for a meeting won't result in anything. However, engaging with the investor's posts and offering valuable commentary will get you noticed. Compare the Snapchat approach to sending a cold 'connect' request on Linkedin. Linkedin notifications get ignored all the time. However, a Snapchat video response will most likely be seen because a user receives far fewer notifications on Snapchat compared to Linkedin. This won't be true forever, so now is a great time to get started on Snapchat. Maximize your advantage on the platform while you still can.

3. Networking with 'takeovers'

An easy way to deepen business relationships is by partnering up with a contact for content development, i.e. offering to interview a contact and create a blog post about their business. The same is true on Snapchat. You can reach out to an important contact and offer them a takeover of your Snapchat account so they can deliver their thoughts on a particular topic. At the end of their Snap takeover, you snap a picture of their Snapcode so your followers can follow them. It's a win-win strategy.

4. New creation tools, new content types

Snapchat is king when it comes to product features. Some key product milestones include Snapchat stories, geofilters, and 3d stickers. While the tools may seem limited, their potential is nearly limitless. Snapchat's approach to content creation is more versatile and allows for more creativity than Linkedin's primary creation tools. On Linkedin, users post blog articles. Boring. On Snapchat, the camera offers unlimited possibilities.Text overlays, audio commentary and even emojis let snappers provide provide additional perspective to what is in the camera's view. While the pixel quality on Snapchat isn't the greatest, the versatility makes the content creation, distribution, and consumption experience more enjoyable and effective compared to Linkedin.

On Snapchat, the content disappears in 24 hours so you can spend less time worrying about making your post perfect. This allows you to spend more time posting content that hopefully ties into your story and brings your viewers along for the ride.

5. A hotbed of early adopters

Lastly, Snapchat is where all the early adoption action in social is happening right now.

Snapchat is still in its infancy. The users you acquire now are going to "cost" you a lot less now than they will in the future. Whether you want to use Snapchat for personal or business reasons, that's up to you. Finding your happy medium will be a work-in-progress, but there's no better time to start than RIGHT NOW!

Quick tips on building a Snapchat following.

  • Add friends through the phonebook option on Snapchat
  • Update FB, IG, and Twitter profile pictures to your Snapchat code picture .
  • Promote people to follow you on Snapchat through status updates on other social media platforms
  • Don't underestimate the power of adding people in-person. Instead of getting someone's phone number or email...become Snapchat friends.

If you want a more in-depth list of pointers, check out Gary Vaynerchuck's post on Snapchat.

And of course, don't forget to add me on Snapchat.

Toronto Named the Most Multicultural City in the World

Posted by Roman Bodnarchuk on May 19, 2016 1:30:00 PM


BBC Names Toronto the Most Multicultural City in the World

For years, Torontonians have proudly reminded everyone else that we’re (unofficially) known as the most ethnically diverse city in the world. Even Cosmopolis had a pretty good idea of what was coming.

Well, we’re not the only ones who think so.

A recent podcast of BBC Radio’s “More or Less” discussed the world’s most diverse cities weeks after London’s new mayor, Sadiq Khan, called the U.K. city the most diverse in the world.

But is it? As the podcast highlights, 37 per cent of all Londoners were born outside of the U.K. This figure, however, doesn’t mean it’s necessarily the world’s most multicultural city.

Measuring diversity isn’t easy; the percentage of people born outside a foreign country (a measure traditionally used) isn’t necessarily reflective of the ethnic diversity reflected on its streets. Such a technique comes with flaws because it doesn’t capture second or third generation immigrants, nor does it account for the variety of ethnicities found.

Dubai, for example, may be home to 83 per cent of people who were born outside of the country, but it doesn’t make it the most multicultural – depending on your criteria. Most of these foreign-born residents are from Asia, rather than from a variety of regions around the world.

Statistics like the total number of languages spoken produces problems too. In cities like New York, London, or Sydney, you could find people who speak any and all languages of the world, but that doesn’t mean it’s reflective of the true picture of those living in each city; the number of languages spoken doesn’t make a city more diverse.

After outlining the statistical flaws, BBC Radio announced the top cities that are truly reflective of diversity: Toronto took first place, followed by Brussels. Third place is a tie between Auckland, London, and Los Angeles, according to the BBC analysis.

Toronto is currently home to 232 nationalities, with more than twice the proportion of recent immigrants (8.4%) as the rest of Canada (3.5%).

Between the Raptors’ series win last night and the fact that our “Hollywood North” designation couldn’t be truer right now, we have a lot to celebrate on this fine Monday.

What is Really Going On in Toronto's Real Estate

Posted by Roman Bodnarchuk on May 18, 2016 1:30:00 PM


Brad Lamb informs the residents of Toronto, We are not going to do a very good job creating semi or detached homes anywhere close to the city. In the 416 we will not be able to add to the existing stock of houses ever again as all the land is developed. The supply is fixed in the 416 and very limited in the 905. The demand for homes is going up every year. Population growth guarantees higher prices forever, with occasional moments of recession and panic. During a recession, prices will fall but only momentarily, creating an amazing buying opportunity. The condominium market is a bit of a different story. Some think that it is due for a fall. I believe that prices are set to soar. Land in central Toronto has become scarce and very expensive. Condominiums have remained very affordable. Most development land that remains consists of sites with under utilized buildings or assemblies of multiple properties. Both options are typically seen in fully developed expensive cities (like London, Hong Kong, New York, Paris etc). This is what Toronto is becoming; an expensive international city. Local, federal, and provincial levies and taxes continue to drive development costs higher. This combination of fees and taxes currently eats up approximately 25% of the cost of new high-rise new housing in Toronto. It is only going to rise. Green technologies and other new building code initiatives like fully sprinklered buildings and ground water taxes are adding additional costs to high rise housing. Currently, the cost of delivering a high rise in Toronto before profit is edging close to $600 per square foot. In some areas, it is closer to $800 per square foot. Keep in mind that this is the cost of creating high rise homes. New sales prices must now commonly be $700-900 per square foot (PSF) to allow for a reasonable development profit. The MLS condo resale market will see a 10-15% increase in sales volume this year. It will be a record year for sales. I believe prices will rise 5-10% this year in the resale condominium market. Over the last 5 years, we have seen a more stable 2-3% increase in prices, I believe that scenario is now over. Detached and semi-detached homes will appreciate 10-15% this year and sales will be up 10-15% in volume largely because so little will come up for sale. An interesting statistic that I follow is the number of condos for sale in C01, C02, C03, C08, C09, C10, C11 (an area bounded by DVP-Eglinton-Dufferin-Lakeshore). The volume of condos for sale in the region is down 14.5% this year and the volume for rent is down by 32.3%. This all points to significant increases for both sale prices and rental rates. Condo rental rates will rise 5-10% this year alone. There are not enough condos for sale or rent in central Toronto. It is currently particularly difficult to find a condo rental in any part of the GTA.
Now, some of you may believe that interest rates are going to rise and rain on the parade. That is not going to happen any time soon. Low rates are here for a long time. I believe at least 5 more years, perhaps 15 years. Even when rates start to rise we will stay in a low interest-low inflation environment for a long period of time. When interest rates rise it will be gradually. Governments are huge borrowers. All the municipal, state, provincial, and federal governments around the world are essentially bankrupt. Higher interest rates makes the situation worse. I cannot see any country intentionally bankrupting itself through a high interest rate policy.
2016 is going to be a very big year for Toronto real estate. Prices will be significantly higher in all areas and categories. Volumes for resale homes will smash last year’s record by 10%. Average prices will soar by 10%. New condo sales will stay robust with demand outstripping supply. Toronto will continue to be a hot spot for international money as it will continue to be considered a safe haven for money and investments.