Living Entrepreneurship Blog / Babson Entrepreneurs

Summer Catalyst Program WEEK4: Ian Thiel M’12, Alto Pharmacy + Ryan Hoover, Founder of Product Hunt

Another productive week @Babson San Francisco! We had 2 amazing guest speakers who shared wisdom about the value of customers and retaining them.

Our first speaker was Ian Thiel M‘12, the current Head of Growth for Alto Pharmacy and the former Head of New Products at Optimizely. Ian explained the importance of understanding your customer segment, recommended several books, and shared strategies for selling. Some highlights from his presentation included:

LISTENING: We often feel compelled to talk more as a way to express our brilliant ideas and opinions. However, Ian reminded participants that “listening breeds silence, while silence breeds insight.” By taking time to listen to those around us, we can make better informed decisions.

NETWORKING: A creative way to get a hold of a company executive is to simply keep them in the loop (i.e. including them within email conversations). Also, a good rule of thumb is In-Person>Phone>Email. In other words, if you have an opportunity to meet in person-DO IT!

PRESENTING: A good presentation should include the following structure: 1. Tell me what you’re gonna tell me 2. Tell me 3. Tell me what you told me. By providing a structure, you are presenting digestible information for the audience.

Later that week, we joined Contrary Capital to listen to a talk from Ryan Hoover, the founder of Product Hunt. Ryan discussed his journey in making a weekend hobby into a career.

Product Hunt’s main focus is showcasing new, innovative products, which naturally raised the question: How do you identify a “good” product? Ryan responded that it comes down to the founder’s understanding of the product and their insights when it comes to their target customer segment. If a lot of thought and research was put into designing a product that solves a problem, you’ll end up with a good product.

Throughout the talk, Ryan emphasized the importance of building a community. One of the growth hacks Ryan used is intentionally limiting access. The sense of exclusivity created a bond with a small group of people with a common interest. In order to continue cultivating a strong community, Ryan observed how people are interacting with one another and used the insights to make improvements. In the future, Ryan hopes that online communities are constantly making effort to become more inclusive and diverse.

Stay tuned via instagram @babsonsf to see the latest events at our San Francisco campus and save the date for our Summer Catalyst Showcase on August 2, 2018.