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Refresh and Reboot: Entrepreneurship Tips for 2012

Only weeks away from the end of 2011, it’s time for us to reflect on our successes and challenges we all encountered this past year.

There is no denying that, from a macroeconomic perspective, 2011 was another recession year rife with volatility around the globe. Many entrepreneurs may not have been able to achieve their targets for 2011, but it would behoove you to not use the economic climate as the sole reason for missing your goals. Leave the blame game in the break room. Smart companies are looking internally at their processes and execution to determine where areas can be optimized, streamlined, and primed for a quantum jump in 2012.

A common first thought for many companies during unsure economic times is to hunker down. In a world of recession, high unemployment rates, and no signs of let-up, many will decide to freeze hiring, trim their employee base to a skeleton crew, and put a halt to virtually all spending.

This knee-jerk reaction could be misguided. Does this mean continue to spend recklessly? Absolutely not – a very critical eye should be cast upon all spending to determine any places where you can lower costs.

Retaining and acquiring the best and brightest is always the best option in today’s economic landscape. At AvePoint, we’ve continually grown our employee base throughout good economic times and bad – increasing our family from 700 at the beginning of 2011 to more than 1,000 today. We opened several new offices worldwide, now with 25 in 13 countries on five continents. And we don’t plan on stopping there, either.

From a macroeconomic outlook perspective, the technology market remains one of the strongest performing sectors. In a recent sign of strength for the Technology Initial Public Offering (IPO) market, Jive Software went public with valuations at 10x+ multiples of 2011 revenue, was multiple times oversubscribed, and saw strong market reception with 20 percent share price jumps within days of its IPO – despite the fact that the company has yet to reach profitability. The investor support and strong belief in high-growth technology companies reaffirms this principle: Regardless of the economic backdrop and market volatility, strong companies with solid fundamentals must continue to forge ahead and execute with growth in mind.

The future goes to those who are confident, take calculated risks, and are willing to challenge traditional thinking. We’ve abided by these three tenets since our first days in 2001, and we have no intention to change course now.

Dr. Tianyi Jiang (TJ) co-founded AvePoint in 2001 and has served as the organization's Chief Executive Officer since 2005. TJ is responsible for overall strategy and direction of AvePoint, which includes product innovation, investor relations, and business development. He is focused on delivering value to customers, partners, shareholders, and the AvePoint team, every day. A recipient of Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year award in New Jersey in 2010, TJ received both B.S. and master’s in electrical and computer engineering from Cornell University, and a Master of Philosophy and PhD in Data Mining from Department of Information Systems, Operations Management, and Statistics, Stern School of Business, New York University.


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