November 17th, 2014 Shane Snow: From Journalist to Entrepreneur to Author

Shane Snow took time from his busy work as founder of Contently to talk about his journey --- as a journalist, then an entrepreneur to author-at the NYC Lean Lessons Learned meetup last Nov. 17 at the Meetup offices in Soho.

Snow is behind Contently, the SaaS platform that matches writers and brands together through its four-year-old startup. “We help brands become publishers. We help companies find talent.”

How does it work for someone looking to send a reporter in Alaska? “You don't need to send someone to Alaska we have someone in Alaska,” he said.

With 70 employees, the startup has raised 3 rounds of investments. He is one to admit that it wasn’t a smooth ride getting to where they are now. But it seemed bound for success. On its first day, 600 people signed up on Contently, which has become a strong platform for content marketing.

Snow is now also an author of the highly praised book called “Smartcuts: How Hackers, Innovators, and Icons Accelerate Success” released last September. It’s a fascinating look at lateral thing and the kinds of smart hacks innovators use to become successful.

Based on his experiences in building Contently, he shares the following lessons:

·         Think lateral. Approach a problems sideways

·         Ask yourself a series of questions

·         3 things to keep in mind: fluency, identity and novelty  

·         Take cue from other industries, i.e., how would a ballet dance company solve a problem?

·         Ask yourself if you can make things 100 times cheaper

·         To beat your competitor, think how you can make your startup 10 times better 

·         As a writer, building a personal brand is important

·         Email blasts are still the best way (to reach your audience) as “Google still changes algorithm” whereas emails remain the same.