If it cannot be measured, it is a gimmick, not a plan.
The little things matter
This morning I had a rant. It’s been boiling around in my head for days. It was never a scathing indictment of any one person or thing, but a total airing of grievances against the shit way people often communicate, or do not communicate with others. Then… I read an article on user experience by Om. It changed my whole perception—well, at least made me less angry. It got me thinking...
Worrying that you are late to market is often a sign of a good idea.
Growth is never a passive endeavor
Yesterday I received an email from a friend, the cofounder of a well-funded, well-publicized and generally highly touted consumer startup, that left me a bit baffled. Essentially, the email said: In the new year we’re focusing on organic growth and overall experience, less so on data-driven marketing, because nothing really worked well for...
I'll give 5-minutes to nearly anything
Life is so much easier when you make a decision within 5-minutes. Last week I read a powerful post from Zen Habits packed with little bits of wisdom, including the above gem on making decisions. Out of everything there, this singular piece of advice really resonated with me. It deserves more than the tweet I sent out. So, a question: Starbucks or Philz Coffee? This is an example of...
Write like no one will read it.
A simple social calculus
There are two types of people in this world: Those that add. And those that subtract. With the start of a new year, I’ve begun to assess my social relationships with this simple framework in mind. In particular, I am more aware today than ever before as to whether the relationships I have with others add to my life or subtract from it. I try to consciously consider each interaction I...
Markets primed for explosive growth in 2013
The “startups to watch” list is overplayed. Besides, if I could pick the precise time a specific startup was poised to explode in growth, I’d be investing more, rather than writing about it. More interesting to me are market trends, and these are a couple that I will absolutely keep an eye on through at least the first half of 2013: Same day delivery. There is a potential...
If your mission statement is much longer than this sentence, you should think...
All channels are NOT created equal
Email is too often the default. Think before you integrate. Text Messaging - Instantaneous engagement/ response. Email - Hours later… your emails may get opened, but average response times are far from immediate. Facebook - Days later… messages and notifications often get lost or ignored. Twitter - Like skywriting, its impact can be incredibly fleeting. And the dark horse? In-app...
Q: What books are best to read while preparing...
Put down the books. Focus on understanding your business and crafting your message—that is your top priority. Assuming you’ve already pitched a Seed round, you know the basics. Ideally, this will be a conversation covering your successes, your lessons learned and your plans going forward, and less of a presentation. Traction trumps everything, but you define what traction looks like. Read...
Take a fucking stand
Using new words to describe an old idea does NOT make it any better, or any worse. It’s just lazy, and will only push you into lazy habits of thinking. Find a voice and use it—take a fucking stand on something.
The paradox of having big ideas is that you need to start with small products to...– ~ Aaron Levie
I *really* want to love it...
Man, I want to love @mailchimp, but their editor is *killing me*. Has cost me hours of productivity. — Brendan Baker (@brendanbaker) July 6, 2012 First, I’m a MailChimp fan. They have a solid product with an engaging user experience. It’s quirky, fun and useful. But that doesn’t mean everything’s perfect. Far from it. I’ve almost thrown my computer multiple times...
A few thoughts on mobile
I’ve been thinking a lot about mobile apps lately, especially as I’m starting to learn how to code for iOS. And here’s some of what I’ve been considering… Distribution is built-in. There are benefits to building on top of a platform, and in this case, distribution is a major one. Users download countless apps from the App Store everyday based on what’s...
Maybe the last productivity hack you'll ever need
Funny enough, this hack has virtually nothing to do with how you work, and everything to do with how you think. When I consider productivity, I imagine the massive volume of things I was able to accomplish in a relatively short period of time—in this case a single day—that is productivity for me. So what’s the secret sauce to being and feeling more productive? A checklist. A simple no...
Hidden habits of ineffective people
No one sets out to be ineffective, but it’s easy to pick up the habits. Too easy. Consuming more than you create - Effective people tend to create a lot of content. Content can mean a lot of things - but the rule is always the same, create more than you consume. Ineffective people, on the other hand, spend the majority of their time consuming the fruits of others’ labor. They are...
Hopes & dreams do not equal execution & persistence.