We sat down with summer 2014 web development alumnus and software engineer Patrick Adduci to get the (impressively methodical) play-by-play on his journey from Lehigh math grad to coding course student, and finally to web developer. Read on to learn how Pat managed to leverage his skill for logic to not only ace the technical interview, but design his coding career:
Stefanie Isabel Kobsa does inbound marketing at Linkbird,a tool for increasing online visibility through SEO, content marketing and online PR. Her personal interests include vegan cooking, feminism and postmodern cinema.
Congratulations, you work for a startup! Startups make for great business places, as they usually have more fluid hierarchies, open communication channels and often focus on interesting and fun products that are designed to make your customer’s lives better.
However, there is one thing that startups do not have that other, more established companies with several years of experience and presence under their belt generally do: a high online visibility. Today, online visibility is a key factor for every business, no matter what industry you find yourself in. If your potential customer cannot find you on the net because you rank on page five for relevant keywords, then how are you going to turn her into a client? In return, how is your target audience ever to learn about your great product or service? Ramping up an early-stage company’s online visibility (and, in turn, leads) is one of the greatest challenges involved in marketing for startups.
If you want to increase the number of your leads, sales, and eventually your revenue, you need to be visible on the Internet. In other words: you need to rank among the top three positions in the search engine results pages (SERPs), or at least be presented on page one.
The necessity of (and existing potential in) increasing your company’s online visibility should be a no-brainer. Yet, sometimes it is hard for a startup CEO to realize and accept this fact since content marketing and search engine optimization (SEO) are fields that require both expertise and patience before you’ll see any results. They’re far from immediate.
To make your life easier and to boost the online visibility of your company, I’ve compiled a list of 10 easily applicable tips that every startup marketer can use to improve the rankings of their company’s website (and impress the CEO):
We are thrilled to announce the launch of our alumni portal: The Tent.
At Startup Institute, we have a talented, ambitious, and passionate alumni community. Our nearly 1000 full-time graduates have gone on to build products, grow companies, found new ventures, and make a real impact on the world. These people also pay-it-forward—a pillar of our SI community. They serve as mentors to new students, hire many of them, and leverage their connections to support the growth of the innovation economy. And, they never stop learning.
When Diane Hessan came on board as CEO last year, she fervently championed her vision for an online alumni experience—something that would truly embodied our mantra: “Startup Institute is for life.”
What is crowdsourcing?
Crowdsourcing is the process of collecting ideas, services, or content from a large group of people, usually online. The word is a portmanteau, blending the words “crowd” and “outsourcing,” and crowdsourcing means exactly that. When a company crowdsources, they are in effect outsourcing a need to a larger, external community. Still, crowdsourcing differs from outsourcing in that the contributions are not sourced from a specific, precontracted person or group, but from an undefined public.
Technological advances in everything from product design software to digital video cameras are breaking down the cost barriers that once separated amateurs from professionals. Hobbyists, part-timers, and dabblers suddenly have a market for their efforts, as smart companies in industries as disparate as pharmaceuticals and television discover ways to tap the latent talent of the crowd. The labor isn’t always free, but it costs a lot less than paying traditional employees. It’s not outsourcing; it’s crowdsourcing.
Collaboration on the web is growing exponentially, and variations on the word such as crowdfunding, crowdsearching, and crowdtesting break this giant umbrella of “crowdsourcing” into more specific (though hardly bite-sized) chunks.
Startups are exciting places to work. They’re fast-paced,they offer unprecedented opportunities for personal and professional growth, and are often trying to change the world (or, at least, make some part of it better). They’re unique environments. But they aren’t for everyone.
How can you tell if they’re right for you? Here are a few pointers, gleaned from my own experience in the trenches as well as those of some heavy hitters in the New York startup scene. Remember: you might not be happy working at a startup if…
With hundreds of programming languages out there, it can be hard to know where to begin and what to prioritize in learning computer programming. At Startup Institute, we’re big fans of Ruby on Rails (and teach it in both our part-time and full-time coding courses) because it allows web developers to build quickly, putting it in high demand in the can’t-stop-won’t-stop startup world. Of course, Python is easy to learn and has a strong community with ample resources. Meanwhile, college students get their toes wet in C++ and Java, which develop valuable theoretical understandings of the logic of code but use less intuitive syntax which makes them harder for aspiring web developers to learn.
Thinking about your career is always an evolving conversation rife with introspective conflicts: Should I chase the money? Will that make me happy? Why can’t I just get paid to do *insert hobby* all day? I can’t decide—why isn’t there a career where I get to do all (or none) of these things at once? How do I find a career that’s right for me?
No matter where you currently stand in your own career planning, there are mental models that can help bring clarity and an underlying sense of design to your career. At Startup Institute, we ascribe to The Hedgehog Concept, made famous by business consultant and leadership writer Jim Collins. At a high level, The Hedgehog Concept is a simple model that can be understood as three circles that overlap to create a venn diagram. What’s contained in the intersects is where the magic happens.
What is an MVP?
In tech, MVP stands for “minimum viable product.” In other words, it is the version of a new product which allows a team to validate learning and assumptions about customers with the least effort and spending. The MVP is a strategy that allows for fast, data-driven testing.
If you’re a college senior cramming for your final final exams, stealing longing glances at your cap and gown hung teasingly on a hook in the corner of your dorm room—daring you to daydream of the light at the end of tunnel—there’s a good chance you’re wondering what’s next?
You may have had enough of academia and are ready to dive into the workforce. If this is true for you, you’ll need to do some soul searching to decide what type of work will best enable you to achieve your goals and accelerate your career. Too often, new grads rush blindly into roles, accepting the first job offers they receive to begin paying off student loans. The important thing to remember is– when it comes to your career—there are no right answers. As you consider the options, the best you can do is to experiment, push your boundaries, and then reflect purposefully to inform your next moves.
Many recent grads looking for jobs after graduation decide to get their starts in corporate work but, for some, smaller companies offer more opportunities for growth. Ask yourself these questions to determine if a corporate job or work for startups will offer you the experiences you need to thrive:
Failure is trending right now. In the innovation economy, where 70-80% of venture-backed startups never deliver on their projected return on investment (and over a third burn right through their investors’ money), “fail fast” is a popular slogan. While failure at large corporations– due to speedy, under-informed decisions, “just-good-enough” deliverables, or missed quotas– could lead to a sacking, failure at a startup is, in fact, embraced. At the very least, it is expected. A startup, by nature of being innovative, is venturing into uncharted territory. It’s a life-sized experiment with endless uncertainties. If you wait to act until you have all the answers, you risk a competitor beating you to the punch.
Learning can be painful, especially when failure is involved. It’s hard not to take it personally and berate yourself for falling short of the mark. But, what if we view failure as an opportunity? Failure informs us, giving us the intel to optimize—to reenter the game with a better product, a stronger strategy, and a clearer sense of where we need to go and what we need to get there. Failure cultivates humility, builds resiliency, and breeds fearlessness. These moments that challenge us yield the greatest opportunities for growth—as individuals and as companies.
Still, failure is only valuable when coupled with honest reflection and leveraged to steer toward success. These 17 inspirational quotes about failure will help you do just that. Marinate on these words of wisdom to build comfort with failure and learn to use it in your favor: