Ken Krogue, founder and president of InsideSale.com, is an industry leader and a self-proclaimed family history and genealogy nut. He was also the keynote speaker at the RootsTech 2016 Innovator Summit. “When you talk about your passion, good things happen,” says Krogue.
Krogue was asked to speak to the topic From Startup to Unicorn. He admitted that he “didn’t know what a unicorn was until a little while ago” and neither did I, so for the benefit of others reading this article, “[i]n the world of business, a unicorn is a company, usually a start-up that does not have an established performance record, with a stock market valuation or estimated valuation of more than $1billion.” (Investopedia)
Krogue then presented about a dozen and a half principles that will grow business:
- Innovation — applying what works in other worlds to one’s own
- Go Sell Something — according to one study four experiences increase one’s ability to sell: 1) a background in competitive sports, 2) being an LDS (Mormon) returned missionary, 3) being an Eagle Scout, and 4) a background in Microsoft Office, particularly Word and Excel
- Keep a Fresh Perspective — new people bring vision
- Find What Works Then Focus, Focus, Focus
- Provide Crazy Value — Price, Quality, Speed (e.g. Costco)
- “Divert a river … don’t dig a well.”
- Swim with the Sharks
- Does one person really matter?
- Research Marketing — speed at which to respond to web-based queries = 5 minutes or less
- Only Raise Money When You Don’t Need It
- Find Investors Who Invest In You
- Manage By the Numbers — use science and statistics to make decisions
- Digital Media Rules — take the lead
- Content + Distribution = Results
- Give Back Along the Way
- Tell Your Own Story
- Mobilize Your People
With each point Krogue told a story or two. I would highly recommend that you make time to watch his presentation. When asked the question, “does one person really matter?” he shared an experience he had with Senator Orrin Hatch who suggested that every letter received equals about 2500 constituents. Krogue likened it to the comments one receives on a blog or through other social media channels. He discussed an article he wrote for Forbes titled The Death Of SEO: The Rise Of Social, PR, And Real Content. In this particular case, he was receiving “terrible comments.” His IT staff conducted reverse IP lookups and found that those making the comments were of a common theme and had fake identities; they were “trolls.” He suggested that once you know that the comment is from a real person, respond because it matters. A single comment is “worth 470 views on an article … A social share is worth 33 comment views.” His article titled The Currency of Digital Media: Views, Shares, and Comments reached number 1 on Forbes!
Later in the presentation Krogue revealed why [he] love[s] family history and social media: “because it’s a family reunion every day.” He shared an amazing story about an exchange student who came to stay 2 blocks away from his home. He was up against a proverbial brick wall in pursuit of his Krogue lineage but one night Ken awoke with the realization that an exchange student staying in his neighborhood, Tanita Sode, could be related to the Sode married to Krogue’s ancestor. He discussed the possibility with her. Tanita asked her grandmother who revealed that she had 210 pages directly relating to this lineage! Krogue asks, “how does that happen? Well those are the kinds of adventures that begin when you get involved with family history.”
Krogue also provided a list of things to watch in family history and genealogy:
- Apps converging to platforms — little apps are fragmenting everything so converging back to platforms
- From growth to profitability — bubble just burst in high tech so it’s back to profitability
- Results focus — find apps and solutions that bring results
- Wearable tech (e.g. life management)
- Predictive analytics — “make sure you have a way to use science in your products”
- DNA discoveries — the holy grail
In addition, Krogue recommends that everyone start a blog and tell one’s own story. Krogue is the head of Digital Marketing for the Boy Scouts of America. He showed examples of the Utah National Parks Council blog that now has 130,000 subscribers and the Voice of Scouting blog that has 270,000 subscribers. “That’s bigger than the Salt Lake Tribune and the Deseret News.” Think of a blog as a digital newspaper; it has some “horsepower.”
Lynn Broderick (https://thesingleleaf.wordpress.com/) is a professional genealogist that is passionate about researching individuals of the past in the context of family, community, and social history. She combined her childhood memories of football & genealogy to create genealogy football and works with her team to win their family history bowl each year. She loves to coach people on how to enjoy pursuing their family history and has done so for over 25 years.