2021 in review
These were the top guest columns on InnovationMap this year
Editor's note: So far this year, InnovationMap — Houston's only news source and resource about and for startups — had dozens of guest columns written by tech entrepreneurs, public relations experts, data geniuses, and more. As we get ready for 2022, here are some of this year's top guest contributor pieces — each with pertinent information and advice for startups both at publishing and into the new year.
Interested in contributing? Email firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.
Startups and small businesses are accumulating data daily — here's how to use that to your advantage. Photo via Getty Images
By Shanna Jin, communications and marketing specialist of the Data to Knowledge Lab at Rice University.
Starting a business in a digital era brings entrepreneurs unprecedented advantages with technology and tools designed to optimize a business' operation. Whether it is a B2C or B2B, business owners can gather almost any data and metrics to improve their performance.
Being able to interpret data and making data-driven decisions becomes the key to the success of a business. It is not just a privilege for big companies anymore. Small businesses need it more than ever to make sustainable growth in the digital era.
The challenge? There are countless analytic tools and resources available that can generate data, but you need people who can extract insights from the massive amount of data. Click here to continue reading.
In-office working isn't going away — but it'll look different for decades to come. Photo courtesy Eric Laignel/IA Interior Architects
By Mark Gribbons, principal and design director at IA Interior Architects, and Jon Pickard, principal and co-founder of Pickard Chilton.
Reflecting on what we have all recently experienced, our physical relationship with the workplace has out of necessity become more fluid. However, we believe that this pandemic will be the catalyst that will accelerate positive change in workplace design.
The shift ahead in workplace design will not simply be driven by performance measures. There is a renewed longing for a workplace that is driven by direct human experiences – one that enhances face-to-face encounters, offers spaces tailored to the moment, and deliberately fosters health and wellness. We all are reexamining the next generation of office buildings in search of a solution. Click here to continue reading.
Here's why ClassPass tapped Houston as a prime place to expand. Photo via Getty Images
By Rachel Moncton, vice president of Global Marketing at ClassPass. She is based in Houston.
Most people know that fitness and wellness leader ClassPass started in New York City. It's less well known that ClassPass has a large office in Missoula, Montana that houses several members of our leadership team, including CEO Fritz Lanman.
In 2017, the ClassPass team spent nine months conducting an intensive nationwide search for a city that matched our mission and values. As a brand focused on supporting an active lifestyle, we wanted a city that offered a connection to the outdoors. One of the most important driving factors in our search was finding a city where we could attract incredible talent to our team. Though we settled on Missoula, Houston was high on the list.I'm thrilled that four years later, we are finally adding Houston as the fourth US ClassPass office. I have personally relocated to this city and now call myself a Houstonian. Click here to continue reading.
Many Houstonians are unemployed, laid off, or furloughed amid the pandemic. Others are literally burned out and ready for a life-altering career change. This expert has advice for both. Photo via Pexels
By Briar Dougherty, CEO and president of Career Organic, an Atlanta-based career coaching company.
I've had so many pivots in my professional career; moving across the country, internal promotions, leaving a corporate job to launch my own company, and repositioning myself and my brand in new markets. But I'm one of those people who enjoy lots of change, and as I've continued in my career journey, I've found that those sentiments are not shared by many.
Making a career transition can not only be stressful for a majority of professionals but can paralyze people from making decisions that carry their livelihood alongside them. This is one reason I am fueled to help professionals, to be a support system for these complexities and helping them make decisions based on facts and strengths, not on fear.
As a career coach, it's my job to find a way to piece together years of experience for professionals in order to tell a story of growth, change, and transferable potential to sway key decision-makers for employment and economic opportunity.
Over the past several years, I've seen many trends in client challenges, storytelling similarities and developed a knack for helping people with complex stories make a successful career or entrepreneurial leap. Click here to continue reading.
What does your company plan on bringing into the new year — and how do you plan to communicate your efforts? Photo courtesy of All You Need Method
By Kathryn Worsham Humphries and Carla M. Nikitaidis, co-creators of Houston-based All You Need Method, a PR and marketing resource for small business owners and entrepreneurs.
The past year has been a rollercoaster for small businesses. When the pandemic hit, every single person was affected. We've all had to pivot in some way either personally, professionally, or both.
As public relations and marketing professionals who specialize in working with small businesses, we've spent the last 10 months in the trenches with our clients, advising and helping business owners and entrepreneurs navigate these uncertain times. While small business revenue is down since January 2020, it's not all doom and gloom out there – we've seen many other businesses experience unexpected success and growth, and according to economists, we are entering the greatest entrepreneurial economy of our time.
And as we start this new year, there is no better time to invest in business growth and planning. Click here to continue reading.