“Always Be Thinking About and Working On What Is Next For Your Company”: With Founder, Sheetal Jaitly

“There are innovative ways to receive money/funding so that you don’t always have to dilute your equity.”
I have had the pleasure of interviewing Founder Sheetal Jaitly of Tribal Scale. Tribal Scale works with several big-name clients including: ABC and PGA Tour.

What is your backstory?

I started working in mobile right out of high school. The technology was booming so I spent my time working closely with USRobitcs and the Palm Pilot. Soon after that, in 2001, the tech bubble burst during the Dotcom Crash. I was out of work and needed to pay the bills so I started working for Ricoh as a salesperson. I sold photocopiers door-to-door which led to me selling copiers in the Xerox head office.

Selling copiers wasn’t bad work, and it taught me that sales was something I excelled at, but my heart wasn’t completely in it. In 2005 I started working in Data Science (before anybody knew what Data Science is). At that point I had two jobs; selling software and working as a data science consultant. It wasn’t long until I realize where my passions truly lie; I love solving complex business problems.

That’s when I made my move to Xtreme Labs — a mobile applications developer — where I worked as the Director of Business Development until the company’s acquisition which is when I started TribalScale to fill a huge gap in the market.

What is the funniest or most interesting thing that has happened to you since you started your company?

When I started TribalScale I had no idea how quickly we would grow. That’s been the most interesting thing in my opinion — the growth and seeing how many people believe in our vision. Our goal has always been to create a new era of innovation and the tribe we’ve built around that goal astounds me everyday.

What does your company do?

TribalScale is a digital firm creating a new era of innovation through the design and development of digital products for premium brands. TribalScale also builds startups from the ground up through its internal Venture Studio. TribalScale is headquartered in Toronto, Canada with offices in New York City, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Dubai.

How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?

It’s good practice in the technology community to give back once you’ve had some success yourself. In my case personally and also as a company at TribalScale, we make sure that our doors are always open. We allow founders who are just starting out to use our facilities so that their lives can be slightly easier. Launching a startup is hard enough without having to worry about where you’ll conduct business day-to-day. We also host a founders breakfast and several meetups in our space to encourage collaboration in the community.

We try to encourage collaboration and innovation across a variety of disciplines so we created a number of unique meetups including a CTO meetup and SprintsTO — a collaborative Design Sprint for everyone and anyone who is passionate about product development and design. We also sponsor a number of technology conferences and have recently started our own; the TakeOver Innovation Conference. TakeOver is one of the first events of its kind to have a diversity mandate. We’re bringing in over 70 speakers from around the world and half of them are women and visible minorities.

I also sit on the advisory tech board for Toronto’s children hospital, Sick Kids.

And in addition, as a company TribalScale supports a number of charities that we’ve decided collectively are important to us.

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me Before I Launched My Startup,” and why?

  1. Management coaching and training is important. At TribalScale we have a young leadership team and in order to create the best leaders possible we need to leverage people who have been there and done that before.
  2. HR and people policies are super important. People talk a lot about culture and that’s because it’s incredibly important. But you can’t have a great culture without building policies and processes that run efficiently.
  3. There are innovative ways to receive money/funding so that you don’t always have to dilute your equity.
  4. Diversity is super important. At TribalScale we have a diversity mandate when hiring (and we believe all companies should) because the simple truth is that diverse teams are more effective teams.
  5. Always be thinking about and working on what is next for you company. At Tribalscale we are always pushing the envelope — we are working on new technologies and platforms like Voice, Blockchain and Artificial Intelligence (AI) and have formalized our research and development efforts into an internal venture studio that has the goal of creating new service offerings and products for our clients.

Which person or which company do you most admire and why?

I’ve always admired Google for a number of reasons. First, they started their company as a search tool when there were already other major competitors and they still managed to dominate. Not only did they dominate search, they’ve also claimed web browsing, mobile, music, photos, video conferencing, maps, self driving cars, etc. But aside from that, Google created a culture and a new way of working that paved that way for every discussion of culture we have today. The people who work there absolutely love it, and that’s something that other companies are constantly trying to create for themselves and their employees. On top of that, Google is a company that values transparency and continuously works to teach the world lessons they’ve learned the hard way. And they keep learning lessons because they are endlessly innovative.

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