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Fireside Chat with Noah Kagan

Yesterday I had the absolute pleasure of hosting my friend, Noah Kagan, for a fireside chat at the Virool HQ. By way of introduction, Noah is a growth marketing leader and currently leads the way as CEO and co-founder of SumoMe, a long-time partner of Virool’s marketing team. His credentials also include time at the advent of Facebook, leadership at Mint, and founder of KickFlip.

Our discussion found its way through many topics, including his love for Instagram, his beef with a ping-pong competitor named Len, and why he compares San Francisco to an ex-girlfriend. Noah is direct, irreverent, and entirely engaging, and he left the Virool family with some great tips on running a successful business. Here are the three biggest takeaways I took from his talk yesterday:

1. Give the people what they want

“I think of what people want in the world, and I make it,” said Noah not once, but twice yesterday. It’s a simple concept but it packs a lot of meaning. Whether you’re just starting out, or you’re in full production, it goes without saying that the customer is always right. The important thing is that you ask them questions and listen to their answers. It is what differentiates a good company from a great one, and it is how Noah has succeeded in his career as one of the very best in marketing and growth.

2. Edit the $#!& out of it

Writing, like most things, requires practice. Even the very best writers require a good editor and a round of revisions. According to Noah, his team can often go through four or five revisions, spending up to four days, on a simple sales email! Drop the ego and embrace feedback from your colleagues; more brains are always better than one. If you can, try to write something every single day. It will keep your mind sharp and your vocabulary ever-growing. Not to mention, like Noah said, “being a better writer is better for everyone.”

3. Find what inspires you

Even if you have a winning product and you know how to write, you have to be inspired by it. Noah looks for inspiration from the world around him; from the books that he reads, to the city that he chooses to reside in. It is what keeps him motivated to innovate and lead a growing team at SumoMe. For the past three years, Noah and his friend have religiously emailed each other every Sunday with three things they did that week that they are most proud of: related to work, working out, and personal life. According to Noah, his friend’s three things remain consistent week after week, but he has found that no two weeks are exactly the same for him. It’s a testament to his success and how he goes through life, unafraid of a challenge.

Many thanks to Noah Kagan for joining me and the Virool family yesterday! Keep listening, keep innovating and keep writing. You know we’ll keep following!

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The “Virool Fireside Chat” series is one way for us to gather insights from a variety of thought leaders both inside and outside of the video advertising industry. At Virool, we’ve been honored to learn from some of the best in the industry including; Reddit CEO, Steve Huffman, former Yahoo! CTO, Zod Nazem, who discussed the lessons to be learned from the rise, fall, and rise of the tech industry and Lisa Shalett, Head of Brand Marketing and Digital Strategy at Goldman Sachs. These discussions give us a chance to learn important lessons in growing both as a business and a team. Hearing the narratives of other companies allows us to better understand our own.

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