The importance of giving back: Launchcloud
Matt Doyle is a Virgin StartUp ambassador and the founder of Launchcloud, a startup helping businesses capture smarter data both on and offline thanks to the creation of innovative forms. Recently Matt has been talking at many industry events, sharing his advice for starting up and his insights into the tech space. In his latest blog, he talks about why helping others helps you too.
I mentioned in a previous blog how Marian Gazdik, the mentor that Virgin StartUp paired me with, was a perfect fit for us at Launchcloud. Despite being a busy man he has certainly influenced the way I operate when meeting new customers. One particular pearl of wisdom stands out - his recommendation to simply ask someone directly what we could do for them. This really got me thinking about what I do to help other Startups, and asking “What can we do better at Launchcloud to help the Startup community?”
Last week I was reading a Tyra Banks quote. She said, “I've helped some of my classmates on how to strategise to get to the next level of their businesses. And it's interesting, because here I am from the entertainment industry and the fashion industry, and I'm with a billionaire that has a business that's been in his family for 300 years - I'm giving him advice about strategy!”
It got me thinking about how important it is to share your experience and knowledge with others. I’ve encountered a few people along the way who haven’t necessarily agreed with me. Sometimes people are wary that helping others can damage their own prospects. I’ve actually always found the opposite to be true.
Let’s start with the basics. I’ve always got a real buzz out of being able to give advice and support to other startups. I’m not going to lie - some of that is probably an ego thing. Who doesn’t feel good when someone trusts them enough to accept advice from them? Aside from that though, it's just incredibly satisfying to be able to put your knowledge to good use outside of your own business. I wouldn’t be writing this if Richard Branson wasn’t doing exactly that, through the Virgin start-up initiative.
You should never be afraid to give a hand to others. It earns you respect and helps to build a great reputation. I’m always really happy to be asked to give talks and presentations because it gives me the chance to get out there and be noticed. If people need someone to help with their data collation and distribution in the future, they’re going to think, “I’ll give Matt from Launchcloud a call - that talk he gave was pretty impressive.” It’s all part of the “get what you give” ethos.
I think running a startup puts me in a great position to know how important giving is; I know how much I’ve benefited from receiving advice and support. That’s the reason we are offering the basic Launchcloud system free of charge. It means new startups can have access without having to make inroads into their budgets. As they grow, and their requirements change, so they invest in our multi-feature packages.
That’s the thing about giving; everyone benefits in the long run. Remember that next time you’re at a meeting or conference, and don’t be afraid to ask others what you can do to be of help to them.