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Zeus River

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Some lessons learned while looking for local superheroes to start a technology agency...
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Zeus River

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Awesome advice from my big brother John K @TransitHubTO(http://www.twitter.com/transithubTO):

"Glad to see you're pushing forward no matter what. I'll never forget that piece of advice you gave to me back in December - "Startups aren't a sprint, they're a marathon." With persistence and the drive to keep learning, there's no such thing as failure.

Keep up the good work, looking forward to watching your co. grow."

Thanks John, love this and wanted to capture it here.

-Milan
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Updated slide deck. Still a work in progress, and hoping to include more research on mobile payments soon.
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Here's the first edition of the Zeus River newsletter.

One of the things I didn't mention in the newsletter was a meta-discussion about the fact that the newsletter itself is an experiment in email marketing. I'm following responses closely to see how often I should send these out. Don't tell anyone on the list. :)

-Milan
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You have no idea how much this feedback means to me, Zander - thank you!

I too am a huge fan of email marketing. When we started, I was trying to get everyone to sign up to the mailing list, and then not even bother with social media or blogs. But I realized quickly that people consume content differently - some people prefer specific pieces of information (and don't care about the company) and other people don't like being spammed through email.

I'm going to give it another day before I release the results of the email marketing experiment, but I will say that I'm disappointed with the current numbers. :(

-Milan
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Zeus River

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Our latest experiment: learning iOS in public.
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The red couches are the new centerpieces at TWR!
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Puleen Patel's profile photoRaymond Kao's profile photoZeus River's profile photo
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Don't forget playing guitar... we need to get an open mic going too!

-Milan
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In their circles
14 people
Have them in circles
50 people
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Zeus River

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It's been a long time since I posted on G+. I've been busy, chasing after projects and trying to build a roadmap for Zeus River. I've also been trying to get more involved with activities in the city - community events are the lifeblood of the company, after all.

Tomorrow, I'll post some more details on a panel that we're hosting as part of PodCampToronto.

How are you doing?


-Milan
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Zeus River

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A summary of learnings and key take-aways from six months of talking to mobile app startups in Toronto.
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Some early research on where Canadian media companies could go with their mobile strategies. Feel free to download and share as you please.
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Early stats for the first email newsletter campaign, sent out on Tuesday:

* Open rate: 48.6% (rate of people opening up the newsletter)
* Click rate: 11.4% (rate of people clicking links in the newsletter)

I guess I shouldn't be particularly surprised, since I myself got the newsletter in my junk mail and didn't open it. :) I'll need to repeat this experiment a few times, but it seems fairly consistent with the numbers we are getting for live events (where attendance rates = open rates, and engaged rates = click rates).
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A preview of our newsletter that goes out on Tuesday morning reviewing the first 90 days at Zeus River.
Milan Gokhale originally shared:
 
A Reflection on Three Months at Zeus River

I’m three months into my startup journey, and I am beginning to see why they say startups are a roller coaster. Emotionally, I am constantly oscillating between euphoria and depression.

The Good

* Personal networks: Friends and family have been the only thing that have kept me going.

* Networking events: Meeting new people through the #MobileStartupsTO path has been wonderful. We’ve also started #CoffeeAndCritiques which has been positive.

* Building the team: Two of my closest friends have stepped up and offered to help us build the initial product roadmap together. I’ve been working out of The Work Republic in Scarborough, which has produced some entertaining and memorable ideas.

The Bad

*Cold calls / cold introductory emails: My response rate on these types of communications is atrocious. Of the 100 cold communications I’ve done, I’ve gotten a less than 5% return rate.

The Ugly

* 14-hour workdays: This is completely unsustainable. In the long-term, this is killing my health.

* Eating one meal a day: See the last point.

The full list of good, bad and ugly experiences - as well as other nuggets of wisdom and a logo contest - are available in next week's first Zeus River newsletter. If you haven't already signed up, you can sign up on our homepage.
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Go Zeus River go!
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The Difference Between Volume and Quality Zeus River Visitors

I'm learning all kinds of lessons about driving web traffic to the blog. One of the biggest lessons is that qualified traffic is very different than quantified traffic. Our metrics show that 80% of our web traffic comes from Reddit, Digg, Hacker News and other curated, targeted forums. However, conversion rates are incredibly low from this source of traffic - hovering around 3%. In contrast, Twitter (15%) and email (90%) work much better for converting on action items, like our latest blog post on signing up for iOS learning classes.

Both kinds of traffic are important - quantity traffic helps with SEO rankings, but quality traffic helps with sign-ups and business objectives. Is this consistent with your ideas around blog traffic?

-Milan
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People
In their circles
14 people
Have them in circles
50 people
Pahavan Sakthikumar's profile photo
Karl Danninger's profile photo
Contact Information
Contact info
Phone
+1(416) 479-0975
Email
Address
1041 McNicoll Ave. Suite #1 Toronto, ON M1W 2G1
Story
Tagline
A Toronto-based technology agency that helps Canada's best marketers build mobile and web apps.
Introduction
Zeus River is a lean, personable, Toronto-based mobile experience agency that aims to change the way that we live and interact with emerging technologies. We currently focus on building innovative, compelling and usable apps for smartphones and tablets.