In honour of Canada’s Vancouver Canucks making it into the Stanley Cup Finals, I thought we’d take the opportunity to highlight one of Vancouver’s stars: Sonia Ryan. Sonia Ryan is the Troublemaker at A Thinking Ape. Her vision for ATA is to be THE company recognized by developers as the place to work. Often described as the “Social Glue” she is dedicated to creating an inspiring experience through creative and experimental initiatives. Prior to ATA, Sonia worked at Bootup and was responsible for organizing monthly mentor visits and workshop, Demo Days, Democamps and Launch Party for the Vancouver startup scene. Sonia can always be found with her iPhone and a smile that doesn’t quit.
What motivates you to do what you do on a daily basis?
My team. I am working at A Thinking Ape and my teams dedication and drive to complete tasks is impeccable. We are all working together to create a solid technology company here in Vancouver and it’s really exciting.
If you had 30 seconds to impart your wisdom on a classroom of soon-to-be graduates, what would you say?
Work at a startup. If you are intrinsically motivated this experience is invaluable because you have an opportunity to understand all aspects of the business.
In your opinion, what has been one of the most important technological developments over the past 12 months?
The tablet was one of the most anticipated gadgets of the year, whether it be the android tablet or highly covetable iPad. We saw these tablets turn into e-readers for our digital books, newspapers, and magazines, and Web TV. Geolocation was also huge and I’m talking beyond Foursquare and Gowalla. The creation of Geo APIs from companies such as Facebook and Simple Geo changed the game by adding rich layers of geo-related data to all sorts of apps.
If you had a crystal ball, what would you say will be the most important technological development over the next 12 months?
Mobile Social Photo apps continue to increase in popularity and I don’t see this slowing down. We have Path, Instagram, Color, Twitpic and I’m excited to see what other innovations occur in this space over the next year. Also, with Amazon and Google’s recent foray into streaming music it should be interesting to see how Apple and the major record labels will respond.
Who is one of Canada’s tech stars and why?
It’s hard for me to pinpoint one person in particular. Being in Vancouver, I will name a few key people I admire: Maura Rodgers, Danny Robinson, my Founders at A Thinking Ape – Kenshi Arasaki, Wilkins Chung, Eric Diep, Ryan Holmes and Boris Mann. I named these individuals because they have been an integral part of my life after joining a startup. I look to them for mentorship, feedback and know that they will always be there for me.