Interview with Mike Schmidt, Founder of Dovetale
The founder series explores the minds of business owners and their journey to make a difference in their industry. We interview these business founders to understand the life lessons that mold them into who they are today. We also learn more about their company, their products or services, how they are different from their competitors, and the problems that they are trying to solve for their customers. The information that these business owners provide to us helps inform other entrepreneurs who are looking to make an impact in the business world. We all can take these lessons and apply them to our entrepreneurial journey. We want to thank every business owner who volunteered their time to participate in these interviews and share their knowledge with the community.
Great to meet you. Thank you for doing the interview. We want to know more about your journey, early struggles, success, and some wisdom that we can pass on to others who are interested in walking your footsteps toward becoming an entrepreneur. We know that being an entrepreneur is not all glory and fame, but there are hard times too. We believe that others who are interested in being a business owner can gain insight from other business founders like yourself. Again, we want to thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule. Let’s get this interview started!
Let us start off with some basic questions to learn more about who you are as a person.
Can you tell everyone your name, please?
Tell me about your education?
• Engineering Chemistry, B.Eng., Queen’s University
• Certificate in Entrepreneurship, The Next 36, University of Toronto
• Certificate in Entrepreneurship, Dunin-Deshpande Queen’s Innovation Centre
Can you give an example of an early lesson in life that helped shaped who you are today?
While we were building Listn (my first company) we pitched the project in a business school competition at Queen’s University. Despite our best efforts, we came in dead last. I learned there that I needed to surround myself with cheerleaders, not antagonists.
We all have entrepreneurs whom we look up to in our industry. These business leaders help influence, shape, and drive our ambition to succeed. These entrepreneurs could be someone that we have worked with on a project or could be someone that we look up too from a distance. For example, Bill Gates is a big inspiration to me not only because of his work in Microsoft but his outstanding contributions to society.
Who would you consider to be a significant influence on you professionally and can you explain why?
My parents have been the most significant inspiration. My father is the hardest working man I know, and I’ve learned everything I know about how to treat customers from my mother. Besides my parents, I’ve been extraordinarily fortunate to have learned from some of the best entrepreneurs and business people in the world. Most notably, Reza Satchu, Tim Crowhurst, Garrett Camp, Naveen Selvadurai, Liz Walaszczyk, and Robert Isen.
Specifically, I attribute the mindset of entrepreneurship to my learnings at The Next 36 (University of Toronto). My professor, Reza Satchu was by far my biggest professional inspiration, even to this day. Before his class I wanted to be a medical doctor and after I wanted to start a company. It fundamentally transformed how I think about the world and business. I’m forever indebted to those learnings.
Thank you for providing background on who you are as a person. I always find it fascinating to learn who a person is and their early life lessons. Let us move forward with the interview and discuss what you are doing now and how you are making a difference in your industry.
What is the name of your company?
Where is your company located?
What services or products does your organization provide?
Dovetale is the leading social & media analytics solution for global brands & agencies. Perfect for influencer marketing, content marketing, media & competitor tracking. Dovetale is valued by global brands like Target and leading agencies like Dentsu Aegis.
What problem is your business trying to solve?
We solve several problems for customers such as fraud detection in influencer advertising, advertising performance, prospecting creators and influencers, payments, reporting, and organization.
How is your business unique against your competitors?
Dovetale is the most feature-filled analytics solution for influencer marketing as well as the most affordable solution when companies are deploying an influencer/ social media strategy. Here is a breakdown of a fairly complete spectrum.
How did the idea for your business come to fruition?
While I was building my last company (Listn.co — acquired by Beatport.com an SFX Entertainment Company) we partnered with influencers to gain significant traction. During that process, we had many problems that could easily be solved with an analytics solution.
Where can people go on the web to learn more about your business?
Final question. We want to thank you for the interview. We have one last question to ask you about imparting some wisdom to future entrepreneurs.
What three tips would you give to other entrepreneurs who are starting out on their journey?
- Find mentors that have more than ten years of experience in the field you want to be in
- Surround yourself with team members that compliment your skill set and are obsessed with solving problems.
- Have fun.