Yasmin Ranade is an online publisher, marketer, editor and the founder of WhatsYourTech.ca. This technology blog is made by and for Canadians and has a unique grassroots collection of tech news and product opinions about PC, Mac, consumer gadgets, mobile sets, and web technology.
“I’m a tech enthusiast, which means that for me everything is tech, from work, to home, to life.”
Prior to founding her business, Yasmin successfully created online presences for Metro Daily Newspaper, PCWorld.ca and Macworldcanada.ca. In 2009, after the passing of her direct manager and mentor, she realized it was time to create something new and in his honour.
Yasmin has always been an intrapreneur, launching online editorial content with little time and resources. “From these invaluable founding experiences, I learned the mindset of asking two things: first, how can we make money to deal with the startup operational expenses, and second, how can we construct enthusiastic content for online readers?” Adeptly, she points out the two key aspects of online startup businesses: build your revenue model and appeal to customers via content marketing from the very start.
“Today’s vision is tomorrow’s reality. Your brand and its brand awareness are tied to the vision. What’s more, an entrepreneur has to remain focused, whatever your business is. If you are going to grow your business, your vision, you also have to know, how you can grow it.”
Yasmin has built WhatsYourTech.ca with the clear vision to bridge people and technology. “Its uniqueness lies in the value of [spreading] ideas,” she explains. The team of experienced tech writers considers what readers find useful and introduces the most recent tech development in quick reads. By encouraging the readers to interact with the writers by comments and polls, WhatsYourTech.ca evolved to a community for like-minded tech enthusiasts. Yasmin beams, “We survive, because we talk and connect with users.”
Yasmin’s experience demonstrates how a strong career track record and personal brand, along with a pervasive network, empowers you. She has been able to recruit enthusiastic tech writers she has known for years for WhatsYourTech.ca. Just before the tech blog kicked off, Yasmin received a call from Palm Canada’s agency. They offer to give her a contest with a Palm Pre smartphone for the launch. The Palm line of products was the first personal digital assistant device that became a hit worldwide and pioneered the smartphone development.
Adding to a strong personal brand, the ability to detect the industry trend for the future is crucial in terms of vision. From her multiple years of experience in the tech industry, Yasmin notes the trend “Internet of Things”: the smartphone and cloud technology are leading the market and connect everything. “What it means is that small businesses do not need to invest greatly in hardware or software, they can leverage cloud computing.” Yasmin has learned the art form of keeping the operational cost and investment low and manageable.
Empowering women in technology
Apart from the tech blog, Yasmin is on the board of the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) Canada. She has also held previous board positions for Wired Women Society and Canadian Women in Communications, now known as WCT. “Mentorship and supporting women in tech is a huge passion for me,” Yasmin shares.
“There is a need to explore how women work with technology at home and at work because [men and women] work differently. It is [also] about mentoring. We must look to our distinguished female role models and the challenges they overcame and that’s how we are inspired.” Yasmin adds, “Mentorship also offers a safe opportunity to sound your idea to an objective mind. A mentor also gives you his or her time and potential access to their network. Be appreciative and humble,” remarks Yasmin, “A ‘Thank You’ goes a long way.”
The entrepreneurial learning curve
In Yasmin’s view, an entrepreneur is someone who has a clear vision and stays focused about it. “An entrepreneur takes a concept and makes it reality through a winning combination of listening and making smart – often quick – business decisions. At the end of the day, it is your value and your guts that take you further in business.”