Biz growth, branding and leadership: Lessons from #Intro19 - Philly


May 14, 2019 3:02 pm

Biz growth, branding and leadership: Lessons from #Intro19

Also, Gritty.

Gritty signs the illustrated recap of his marketing team's panel at #Intro19.

(Photo by Vincent Better)

TBQH, we’re still recovering from Philly Tech Week 2019 presented by Comcast.

It ended a full three days ago, true. But its previous eight days of learning, celebrating and collaborating — check out digital agency Grue and Bleen’s Why I Love Philly” website compiled by PTW Kickoff Festival attendees — were a lot. In a good way.

The biggest day of them all, though, was Introduced,’s one-day conference encapsulating six of our reporting tracks (Access, Business, Civic, Creative, Media and Sciences; Dev was taken care of by the previous day’s Dev Conference).

Read on for some of the biggest lessons from the day. But first:


Just Gritty.

One surprising tidbit we learned from his marketing team’s panel: Gritty originated as a … pigeon?

It’s important for brands to craft a “community” of its consumers.

How? By being receptive to their feedback, meeting them IRL at meetups and the like, building a social media brand (say, via LinkedIn videos, like entrepreneur Liz Brown) and being “fearless” when asking for critique.

Leadership often happens before preparation.

Per a stat shared by corporate finance exec Dave Bookbinder, senior director of CFGI, people are put into management roles an average of 11 years before they get any training on how to manage well.

Startup founder life is all about being OK with being uncomfortable.

ClearMask’s Allysa Dittmar shared the story of her transition from a secure, full-time job to cofounding the Baltimore realLIST company that created a full-face transparent surgical mask that’s designed to improve visual communication. Entrepreneurship is naturally unsettling, given the risks involved, she said — and too much comfort might mean something isn’t right.

Overconfidence is overrated. Courage is not.

Brilliant advice brought to you by the young people of Hopeworks Camden’s panel, “Entering the Tech Field: Diversity in the Workplace After the First Year.”

“Diversity in the Workplace: After the First Year.” (Photo by Holly Quinn)

Reminder: esports are very, very here.

N3rd Street Gamers CEO John Fazio talked about the growing industry’s accessibility on his panel with Philadelphia Fusion heads Tucker Roberts and Joe Marsh.

Reconsider your company’s perks if you can’t up salaries.

How flexible is your work-from-home policy? Are there professional development opportunities? How transparent is the pay scale? Can you extend your parental leave policy for both parents? (Here are some other approaches to consider.)

Diversity. Makes. Us. Better.

If all teammates think alike, where does innovation come from?

Phew. Time for a mental nap. See you next year during PTW’s 10th anniversary, friends.

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