Continuing on with the News Round-up catch up … in late April, Invoke Media / HootSuite were listed at #5 in BC Business Magazine’s 2010 Guide to Innovation which included B.C.’s 20 best companies at executing world-changing technology. The Invoke team covered the event in the post: Breaking The Top 5: Invoke & HootSuite recognized as innovators.
Certainly we’re pleased to share the list from our home province with companies in diverse industries from urban development, space exploration, pollsters, computer chip makers, citizen news aggregation, e-commerce, alternative fuels, and global auctioneers.
Danielle Egan wrote an in-depth piece after an interview with CEO Ryan Holmes and members of the HootSuite Board of Directors. She chronicles our relationship with founding agency Invoke and the big picture of the changing paradigms of media creation. Here are a few snippets:
Within six months of launching, HootSuite was the app of choice for 100,000 tweeters, and a year later it had received numerous awards. The company has adapted it for LinkedIn, WordPress and Facebook’s estimated 350 million users, as well as a mobile app for iPhone. HootSuite now has 400,000 users including Disney, Fox, the U.S. Army and Dell, along with thousands of individuals from power-bloggers to amateurs.
“Today everyone is a media channel,” says Holmes, who starts each day groping for his iPhone and uses words like “truthiness” and “stickiness” when describing effective social media brands and technologies. “Corporations need tools to deal with that constant stream of information quickly.”
Of course, like Twitter and Facebook, HootSuite is feeling the pressure to monetize. Until recently it was bankrolled by Invoke Media, which Holmes co-founded in 2000, but this past January HootSuite became an independent company. That’s when HootSuite received $1.9 million in financing from venture-capital firms including Hearst Interactive and Blumberg Capital (Holmes became the new company’s CEO, while maintaining his stake and position with Invoke). HootSuite aims to turn a profit by mid-2010, with new apps and mobile partnerships in the pipeline and plans to charge corporate users a nominal fee.
Members of HootSuite Media Inc.’s Board of Directors add their comments saying:
“Hootsuite will still be the fastest, cheapest and easiest way to get a grip on disruptive mass communication platforms like Twitter and Facebook,” says investor David Blumberg, the 50-year-old managing partner of Blumberg Capital and a specialist in social media technologies, who compares his pre-HootSuite Twitter experiences to “drinking from a fire hose.” By contrast, “Hootsuite filters that torrent of information and makes it useful whether you’re an individual or a corporation.”
Tools like Twitter have levelled the playing field, says Blumberg, who notes that as the debate on social media’s stickiness percolates, the pace and clout of online communities accelerates. “Younger generations live and swim in this soup. It has smashed traditional hierarchies. Corporations can’t hide out like dictators. They have to dive in.” Whether brands sink or swim, HootSuite is clearly riding the wave.