Virtual Successes

Virtual Successes

Tyndale Students in Tech-based business

phoneJosiah Shelley, in his second year of Tyndale’s business administration program, runs Up2date Communications. He has developed an application that allows businesses, schools and organizations to mass text their customers on their mobile phones. With Josiah’s platform, a business can create and send coupons to their customers or a university can send an emergency notification to its student body immediately.

For most of us, Josiah is on the forefront of mobile technology, yet when he speaks of the future and how we’ll be able to use our Smartphones to pay for our groceries, it’s obvious this is just the beginning.

Paul Yoon, a graduate of Tyndale’s MTS program, runs booksforchrist.com. Paul has seen growth in sales year upon year to the point that his company has become one of the largest Christian bookstores in Canada. “Our mandate is to support the local church by providing Christ-centred resources at affordable prices as conveniently as possible,” says Paul.

Both Josiah and Paul speak of speed as being one of the major benefits of using technology. “A text message is received and read in 10 to 15 seconds,” says Josiah, and there’s a high response rate from those who receive the texts. For Paul, the benefit of technology is providing information quickly to all their customers—they have 8,000 friends on their Facebook page.

Technology enables a very cost effective business model. According to Paul, “One of the best things about being online is providing everything at an affordable cost because we have decreased the amount of overhead we have. We’re not housing too much in our warehouse and most of our infrastructure is housed on our website back at the office.” Josiah’s business is also very lean and cost effective.

The shadow side of technology? “People wake up in the morning, see all the messages they haven’t read, and already feel behind,” says Josiah. “This isn’t a positive thing.” And though Paul uses Facebook, he can’t interact with his customers face to face–he feels this is the major limiting factor of technology.

Josiah already has some national clients, like Telus and West 49, and with more Canadian companies adopting mobile marketing the future looks bright. The advent of eBooks might change Paul’s business, but he is the only online Christian bookstore in Canada and sales continue to grow.

In terms of technology, “I’m not entirely sure where we’re going,” says Paul. With technology and humanity, the future is definitely unknown. >