Clara Shih

Clara Shih

CEO at Hearsay Social & Author of Social Business Imperative

THIS CHAT HAPPENED ON April 28, 2016

Discussion

Clara Shih
Clara Shih@clarashih · Author, SOCIAL BUSINESS IMPERATIVE
Hi - I'm Clara Shih, founder and CEO of Hearsay Social, and author of The Social Business Imperative and The Facebook Era. I’ve been named one of Fortune’s “Most Powerful Women Entrepreneurs” and Fast Company's "Most Influential People in Technology." I’m also on the board of directors for Starbucks. I love to talk about social media, technology, the effect of automation on jobs, and bridging the gender gap in Silicon Valley.
Mike Coutermarsh
Mike Coutermarsh@mscccc · Code @ GitHub
Hi Clara. I LOVE the Starbucks app. I'd love if you could share any insight into its creation. I feel like it's made the starbucks ordering experience so superior to any other coffee shops, that I often go to starbucks just because it's easy. It's obvious to me a lot of thought was put into making it easy to use. Anything you could share about how it was built/the goals would be amazing :)
Clara Shih
Clara Shih@clarashih · Author, SOCIAL BUSINESS IMPERATIVE
@mscccc Thanks for that feedback. The Starbucks team deserves all the credit. and exemplifies the key takeaway from SOCIAL BUSINESS IMPERATIVE—that digital is not just the digital team's job. It's everyone's job and goes far beyond setting up a Twitter handle for the company. The true opportunity it wholesale transformation, everything from redefining customer engagement models to rearchitecting your business model.
COSTAS ANDRIOPOULOS
COSTAS ANDRIOPOULOS@candriopoulos · https://medium.com/strictly-curious
Hi Clara, it's great having you here. Where do you get inspiration from (e.g. websites, newsletters, etc.)?
Clara Shih
Clara Shih@clarashih · Author, SOCIAL BUSINESS IMPERATIVE
@candriopoulos I try to get inspiration from many different sources—Twitter/FB feeds obviously, The Atlantic, Reddit, talking to high school and college kids and understanding how they use tech, visiting my friends' companies and startups to see how they work.
COSTAS ANDRIOPOULOS
COSTAS ANDRIOPOULOS@candriopoulos · https://medium.com/strictly-curious
@clarashih Dear Clara, thank you so much for your answer.
Niv Dror
Niv Dror@nivo0o0 · VC at Shrug Capital
Hello Clara, thanks for joining us! How does predictive analytics work at Hearsay?
Clara Shih
Clara Shih@clarashih · Author, SOCIAL BUSINESS IMPERATIVE
@nivo0o0 Sure. We manage every digital communication channel that salespeople such as financial advisors and insurance agents use to communicate with clients—social, websites, email, SMS/mobile messaging—and through a combo of NLP and machine learning, we predict the "next best action"... who they should reach out, when they should reach out, and what they should say, so they can be much more targeted and personalized in their outreach. Traditionally, only ultra-affluent clients had access to this level of bespoke service, but through predictive tech we have been able to scale this personalization to all segments of clients and advisors. A big part of our mission is helping democratize access to personalized financial coaching and advice, not unlike how Uber has democratized who can access private car service.
Mike Coutermarsh
Mike Coutermarsh@mscccc · Code @ GitHub
Hi Clara, would love to know. So far in your career, what's been the one challenge you took on that scared you the most?
Clara Shih
Clara Shih@clarashih · Author, SOCIAL BUSINESS IMPERATIVE
@mscccc There have been so many scary challenges. The thing is, once you take on a scary challenge, you realize it's not so scary after all, and that emboldens you to take an even scarier challenge, and so on. So if I were to retrace my steps, it was scary to come out to the west coast where I knew no one. Then, it was scary to stick to computer science at Stanford despite it being really hard and my feeling the impostor syndrome constantly. Then, it was scary to do something totally different and off the beaten track and get a humanities graduate degree at Oxford. Most recently, quitting my secure job at Salesforce.com in the midst of the Great Recession to found a company was pretty scary, too.
Ben Tossell@bentossell · newCo
Can you tell us the story of how Hearsay Social came about? What are some of the biggest challenges you are tackling right now?
Clara Shih
Clara Shih@clarashih · Author, SOCIAL BUSINESS IMPERATIVE
@bentossell While I was working at Salesforce.com, I noticed two things. First, that the best, most successful salespeople develop true personal relationships with their clients and were increasingly using social media to deepen these relationships. Second, that salespeople hate manually entering data into CRM systems, but people freely share a lot of interesting "buying signals" with their friends and networks on social media. Our vision for Hearsay has always been to help reps "hear" what's being shared by their connections, use NLP and machine learning to pick out the most important siganls, and then help reps "say" the right thing to the right person at the right time. And here we are seven years, 150,000 customers, and 22 countries later...
Andrew Ettinger
Andrew Ettinger@andrewett · 👟 @wearAtoms // ex @Twitter @ProductHunt
How conscious of an effort should founders make to bridge the gender gap in Silicon Valley? Does it start with founders/companies or is there a bigger systematic problem that needs solving first?
Clara Shih
Clara Shih@clarashih · Author, SOCIAL BUSINESS IMPERATIVE
@andrewett We need to focus on every step of the pipeline, starting with how we socialize young girls (eg, GOLDIEBLOX and CODE.ORG), to helping them build confidence in STEM through the high school and college years (eg, GIRLS WHO CODE and SHE++) and beyond. Founders have lots of things to worry about, so it's easy to see why most don't think about diversity until it's too late and the culture has already been set. Like most hairy problems, it's not just one thing that will be the silver bullet; it's a series of things, experiments, and iteration. We all have to own it not just because it's the right thing to do but because it's good business.
Max Brundige
Max Brundige@maxwellbrundige
Who were/are the people that inspired you to get into social media and technology?
Clara Shih
Clara Shih@clarashih · Author, SOCIAL BUSINESS IMPERATIVE
@maxwellbrundige My friends inspired me to get into social media! But seriously though, that's been precisely the appeal of social apps—they are all about connecting to friends, family, and people we care about. As for tech, my dad was an engineer and got me interested in tinkering and hacking from a young age.
Snah Desai
Snah Desai@s_haverford · Operations Analyst, ServiceTitan
what advice would you give to a first time founder?
Clara Shih
Clara Shih@clarashih · Author, SOCIAL BUSINESS IMPERATIVE
@s_haverford The most important things are market need and size, what you can uniquely bring, and the team. Without any of these, you will not be successful. Beyond this is a balancing act across a lot of seemingly conflicting truisms—you have to be dogmatically convicted and not listen to naysayers, yet be willing to experiment and pivot. First impressions count a lot, but done is better than perfect. It's all about listening to the customer, yet listening without leading would have led Henry Ford to try to build a faster horse. I think navigating these conflicting heuristics was the hardest part about being a founder.
Theoharis Dimarhos
Theoharis Dimarhos@theo_dimarhos · Marketing+Biz Dev at AngelouEconomics
Hi Clara! What are 3 things you have learned from Howard Schutlz as a leader that are not obvious to someone outside the company?
Filip Johansen
Filip Johansen@filip_johansen · I make SoMe 🎥 series for the next 🦄.
Hey Clara! How can I as a young entrepreneur use social media to grow my network?
Ben Tossell@bentossell · newCo
What advice would you give your 20 year old self?
Clara Shih
Clara Shih@clarashih · Author, SOCIAL BUSINESS IMPERATIVE
@bentossell Optimize for learning and exposure over pay and prestige. Further thoughts in my blog post from a couple years ago— https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/2...
Jordan Gonen
Jordan Gonen@jrdngonen · trying my best.
Hi Clara! Thank you so much for joining :) What is something that you believe in now that your 20 year old self would not understand.
Clara Shih
Clara Shih@clarashih · Author, SOCIAL BUSINESS IMPERATIVE
@jordan_gonen Answered above
Jeff Umbro
Jeff Umbro@jeffumbro · CEO of The podglomerate
How would you explain Hearsay to a 12 year old?
Clara Shih
Clara Shih@clarashih · Author, SOCIAL BUSINESS IMPERATIVE
@jeffumbro Haha 12-year olds are pretty savvy these days, but back to your question... Hearsay takes archaic sales organizations that are still cold calling and faxing orders, and modernizes them with an easy digital toolkit and predictive analytics so they can work smarter, not just harder.
Connie
Connie@sungmoyle
What's the biggest missed social media opportunity for companies?
Clara Shih
Clara Shih@clarashih · Author, SOCIAL BUSINESS IMPERATIVE
@sungmoyle Most organizations hire a social team, get on Facebook and Twitter, and that's it. It's used for marketing and maybe sometimes customer service, and that's it. They think they can check the box and go back to business as usual. But these use cases only scratch the surface of the much larger transformative change happening with customer expectations, and what these organizations' management teams and boards actually need to be doing is thinking about how these changes affect their products and business models.
Jay Chen
Jay Chen@jaychen_sf
@clarashih @sungmoyle Hope there is a Part II in this conversation. We run a community for Hi-Tech minded new parents and we wanted to make sure we are deeply embedded into social from day one...we want to learn more!
Joanna Chen
Joanna Chen@chenjoanna · CEO & Co-founder of CatchThat
Hi Clara! In terms of social media, how do high-level executives like yourself learn about teen demographics and how much emphasis is placed on meeting their needs?
Clara Shih
Clara Shih@clarashih · Author, SOCIAL BUSINESS IMPERATIVE
@chenjoanna I always like to combine top-down data (through research reports, etc.) with anecdotal stories to help the numbers come to life. The latter I get from talking to my younger cousins, and mentoring college students and learning from them as much as they hopefully learn from me.
Ben Tossell@bentossell · newCo
What jobs are at most risk of being replaced by automation? And what can workers in those fields do to prevent that from happening?
Clara Shih
Clara Shih@clarashih · Author, SOCIAL BUSINESS IMPERATIVE
@bentossell This is a good summary: http://www.theatlantic.com/busin.... Essentially, jobs and aspects of jobs that literally or figuratively depend on a human touch are safe—athletic trainers and coaches, psychotherapists, dentists, clergy, financial advisors who advise vs spend all their time cold calling and manually stock-picking.
Emily Hodgins@ems_hodge · Operations @ Product Hunt
What are some of the biggest differences you've seen in the time between when you wrote the Facebook Era and your new book?
Clara Shih
Clara Shih@clarashih · Author, SOCIAL BUSINESS IMPERATIVE
@ems_hodge No one today disputes that we live in the Facebook era, but I still remember how controversial that was as a book title when I started writing in 2007. Finally, everyone gets that they need to "do social" but aren't exactly sure what that means and why they aren't seeing any dramatic results or ROI. That's why I decided to write this sequel, summed up here: http://bit.ly/1WV0N3a
Bruce Winson
Bruce Winson@gwabi · Co-founder, Anson Group
Hi Clara. Do Hearsay products work for hedge funds too?
Clara Shih
Clara Shih@clarashih · Author, SOCIAL BUSINESS IMPERATIVE
@gwabi Yes, we work well with any highly regulated sales or business development organization.
Clara Shih
Clara Shih@clarashih · Author, SOCIAL BUSINESS IMPERATIVE
Thanks guys—great questions! This has been really fun. Please stay in touch (I'm @clarashih) and hope you will check out SOCIAL BUSINESS IMPERATIVE which launches this week, www.socialbizimperative.com!
Emily Hodgins@ems_hodge · Operations @ Product Hunt
@clarashih Thanks Clara! It's been so great chatting with you today. Thank you for spending the time with us. 🙏