i3 - May/June 2017 - 50

Business
By Jake Sigal
A DV I C E FO R E N T R E P R E N E U RS

Find Credibility by Showing Examples

 I

was recently invited
by TechTown Detroit
to participate in
a roundtable luncheon with
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai. Net
neutrality issues affect many of
us within CTA, and I saw this
as a great opportunity to discuss how it affects my business.
I emailed CTA to make sure I was up
to speed on the subject. I was surprised
when I was advised to avoid debating
the issue, and to instead focus on promoting my business and discussing
how it has been successful in the current
regulatory environment. This seems like
common sense, but I was totally ready
to go into that meeting with a "don't
mess with the internet" message. Julie
Kearney, CTA's vice president of regulatory affairs, was super helpful.
Tell your Story
At the luncheon, I was one of the more
experienced entrepreneurs with lobbying
50

MAY/JUNE 2017

After a round of stories, the group
opened up a dialog about opportunities.
Our group came up with a new concept
(which happens when you put entrepreneurs together in a room) to create a sandbox and test environment for the types
of IoT products we develop. The problem
is that current engineering development
and research opportunities for many companies (especially MVNOs) is somewhat
limited when dealing with RF. What is
available is very expensive to test for and
time consuming to set up for small businesses. As an example, I mentioned the
FAA's permitted test areas for drone
flight across the U.S.

Make it Personal
The larger theme mirrors advice
I was given by a CTA mentor years ago.
It's very important for companies to
provide examples that back up knowlexperience. I asked the chairman about
edge. Whether it's a sales call, a product
the types of information that help him
development meeting or lunch with
most with decisions related to policy.
the FCC chairman, making a statement
Chairman Pai answered by asking for
and following it up with "for instance"
stories about products and how they are
and a personal story provides context
impacted by existing policies.
and the authenticity needed to move
I had stories with examples from my
your point forward.
first company, Livio, as well as Tome, ready
For small companies, credibility
to go. I explained how things would be
may be an issue. Investors get hundreds
very different if there had
of pitches, and making
been controls and limitaa "fact statement" isn't
tions on internet access
enough. You need to
It's important provide an example for
in place. For instance,
for companies both context and validaour Livio Radio featuring
to provide
Pandora wouldn't have
tion of your claim.
done very well if the big
This isn't a free pass
examples that
internet service providers,
to
make up numbers and
back up
like Comcast, had decided
then back them up with
knowledge.
to micromanage streaming
a qualitative story, but it
or to charge extra for access
does put color around
to Pandora. I also explained
your point and regardless
the IT concerns related to troubleshooting
of the number, it allows everyone in
IoT devices as a result of select website
the conversation to understand why
throttling. With third parties throttling
you care. Throwing in an example a few
our server while allowing full traffic from
times can check the box for credibility.
another service provider, it would be nearly You know you are smart, but your cusimpossible to identify and solve problems.
tomer may not - at least, not yet. ■
I T I S I N N O VAT I O N

Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP Photo

FCC
Commissioner
Ajit Pai



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of i3 - May/June 2017

Contents
i3 - May/June 2017 - Cover1
i3 - May/June 2017 - Cover2
i3 - May/June 2017 - Contents
i3 - May/June 2017 - 2
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