Don't scare your customers: lessons from the Tech Leadership Conference

Last week, MBET and E-Co-op students from Conrad attended the 2015 Tech Leadership Conference, hosted by Communitech. E Co-op student Canmanie Ponnambalam reports on the take-aways she’ll apply as she builds her venture, Moddec.


Susan CainThe Tech Leadership Conference was a flashy affair which gave an impressive snapshot of the future of tech in the Waterloo Region. To me as a fresh-faced entrepreneur, the confidence in the room was intimidating, but inspiring.

I was pleasantly surprised that two of the three keynote speakers were women and found it interesting that the focus of presentations was non-technical (e.g. management skills and idea fostering) but still told through the lens of innovation.

Susan Cain’s talk about the power of introverts made me question the extrovert title I was clinging to all these years and relieved a lot of pressure I hadn’t realized I had put on myself to do so.

Eddie Obeng described our human instinct to shut off when something scares or “disrupts” us, and I learned a valuable lesson: I was likely scaring my customers. We were a small subset of people at the conference, getting excited about disruption and NEW EXCITING THINGS, but when it comes to selling a customer a NEW EXCITING THING, it’s better to make it sound like what they already know … only a bit different.

The conference promised valuable networking opportunities, and for many I could see that it delivered. What I brought back, though, were new ways of seeing the world, my business, myself and my customers that gave me an exciting glimpse into my future and how to sustain it. It’s not just our tech that could use updating, and this conference was about bringing a more critical eye to the way we manage ourselves, our teams and only then, our technology. 

About  Moddec

Moddec logoModdec provides sophisticated optimization and modelling techniques to make meaningful use of data and improve operations in industry. Moddec consultants are researchers at the top of their fields, combining decades of experience with the most advanced existing data analysis techniques.

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