By @SimonCocking. Great interview with Ari Hoffman, Success Fanatic at MindTouch. Ari will be appearing at LavaCon in Dublin  to interview Ex Libris on stage to help educate those in attendance on what they learned managing 30,000 articles under a brand new software. The LavaCon Conference on Content Strategy and UX is coming to Dublin on May 22nd, see more here.

LavaCon takes place 22-24 May, Croke Park Conference Center

1 min pitch for what you are doing now?

We are trying to pioneer a new position within an ever expanding/changing tech industry. Combining the customer’s voice, SaaS modeling behind the subscription economy, customer success, self-service as the digital transformation for the entire customer journey, and community engagement, to take a reverse approach to evangelism.

I feel that evangelism had its place in technology while the tech industry was trying to stake out its space with the ‘good ol’ boys’ that ran big business. Tech was young and green and needed to justify its worth in the world, but now, tech is as big as it gets and the need for evangelism has faded.  Instead of pointing out trends or taking a thought leadership role, it is much more effective to share the voice of others, to harness the bigger ideas and redistribute them within different verticals, tying the bigger picture back together.

So I spend my days interviewing thought leaders, getting our best customers to tell their stories, and helping organize events that bring all of these people together. Plus, I get to learn a ton along the way.

What are your plans for 2017?

For the remainder of this year and into the next, I plan to see how I can bring different thought leader’s messages together into single, bite sized nuggets of information that individual readers or community gatherings can easily digest to help progress their own efforts. An example would be the Top Two Secrets to Customer Success in SaaS.  Understanding how information, especially micro-content, can be distributed across the customer journey through research, buy, and succeed will be the next big swing in digital transformation, and that is the next topic for my inquiries.

What will you be talking about at this event?

Using a customer as a live-case-study, I am interviewing Ex Libris on stage to help educate those in attendance on what they learned managing 30,000 articles under a brand new software. The high points of where they succeeded, the low points of where they failed, and how they developed key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure success and build for the future.

What inspired you to attend it?

LavaCon is the conference I look forward to every year! It’s not just what you learn, who you can connect with, what software you can vet out, or the best food that you will get at any conference (ever), it’s about the total whole that it curates, the community of collaboration that it fosters within its event walls. It’s normally 3 days, but I often wish I could make it last the entire year. I love the people and the thought that goes into LavaCon.

How was the last 12 months, what worked well, what didn’t move as quickly as you would have liked?

For me, since the last 12 months have been about creating something from scratch, there have been many lessons learned through some rather large bumps on my head, One, having a larger picture helps, but you can’t always envision the image until you start to connect some of the smaller dots along the way. You don’t need to boil the ocean, start with an MVP, be willing to scrap it, adjust it, evolve it, or keep it exactly like it is. Nothing’s carved in stone, even some of the things that work now, might not work as well in the future. Stay flexible to increase your odds of success, or as a really cool person I know said, “stay future-flexible.” – Paul Greenberg.

Which influencers and websites do you follow to keep up to date with the latest developments?

More so than individual websites, I tend to be really focused on the individuals that make those sites interesting, that lead to trends, or innovate within an industry. People like Tiffani Bova, Catherine Blackmore, Mark Roberge, Emilia D’Anzica, Joe Payne, Paul Greenberg, Den Howlett, David Myron, Tien Tzuo, Nick Mehta, Chris Ross, Todd Eby, Anthony Kennada, and especially Aaron Fulkerson (my CEO) who blows my mind daily.

How can people find out more about what you are working on?

Check out my blog on MindTouch (I promise it’s fun) and follow me on Twitter or LinkedIN.

Anything else you’d like to add / we should have asked?

I believe that this world is about breaking silos down, not just in the content strategy or tech communities, but amongst each other. Learning, listening, and building upon the collective whole is how we achieve not individual success, but happiness. I hope that keeping a smile on my face and a microphone in my hand will allow me to help others find happiness in this dog-eat-dog world. =)


If you would like to have your company featured in the Irish Tech News Business Showcase, get in contact with us at [email protected] or on Twitter: @SimonCocking