Reduce Startup Risks (RSR) is a video interview series aimed at helping Canadian tech startups scale quickly & with ease. This is a chance for founders and executives to learn from their peers as they discuss the common pitfalls associated with high-growth and share the tools and tactics they’ve learned on the ground. RSR is presented by Toronto-based StackAdapt and led by company co-founder, Vitaly Pecherskiy.
If you could start your business all over again, what would you do differently? For our third RSR interview I sat down with Hussein Fazal, founder and CEO of SnapTravel, and previously, AdParlor Inc (acquired by AdKnolwedge in 2011). Having founded two companies back to back, Fazal has been able to ask himself that very question and put his answers into practice.
“Staying focused is by far the most important thing. There’s always a million things you could be doing.”
During his tenure at AdParlor, Hussein grew the company to a $100+ million run rate. His latest venture, SnapTravel, is a service allowing users to book hotels at highly discounted rates over SMS and Facebook Messenger. The growing company has recently raised an additional $10 million CAD in Series A funding.
Fazal enlightens us on lessons learned as a first time founder and what he’s done differently the second time around. Fazal’s biggest piece of advice is to stay focused. “Staying focused is by far the most important thing,” he says. “There’s always a million things you could be doing. Staying focused as a company and as a strategy, and even staying focused as a CEO. Knowing what’s the most important thing for me to get done this week, this month.”
In this video, Fazal covers:
- Idea generation (a systematic approach with a dash of passion)
- When to bootstrap and when to raise money
- Growing as a manager
- Growing as a CEO
- Prioritizing focus
- The pros and cons of B2B vs. B2C