Lessons Learned

Process Is King

Software development is often unpredictable. Changes in the infrastructure or libraries we depend on happen. Bugs come up. Milestones slip by. To be able to deal with all of those changes, we need a proper process in place that will help us deal with unforeseen problems and give us the confidence to upgrade any part of our system at any time.

How to Balance a Startup With Parenthood

A look at balancing parenthood with the demanding schedule of a startup. One of the common startup myths is that single 20-somethings are the most successful entrepreneurs and that they are the demographic that starts the most companies.

Advisors vs Mentors and Coaches. Every Founder Should Have Them

I shared two other thoughts that often come to my mind when I think of advice for less experienced entrepreneurs...

7 SEO Mistakes That Startups Make

I’ve worked with (and for) a variety of startups so I wanted to share some of the most common SEO mistakes that I see recurring on a regular basis. Startups often have a very short runway, so it’s crucial that they maximize every marketing channel available (including SEO).

5 Business Tips I Wish I'd Known Starting Out

To say that getting a business off the ground is hard work would be an understatement. Whether you’re still drafting your first business plan or recently opened your store, starting and running a business can be an exhilarating – and terrifying – experience.

Four expert tips for learning to see the future

When I worked for Meg Whitman at Keds, in a quasi cool-hunter role, I took it upon myself to teach her how I spotted trends.  At the time I was skilled at combining real world observations and traditional media sources to find “white space” we should attack with brand innovations.

Four Themes Spotted at the Boston Big Data and Analytics Unconference

At the end of March 2014, people across various industries gathered in Boston for the AnalyticsWeek Big Data & Analytics Unconference. The overarching purpose of the weeklong event, as shared by the organizers, was to share information and capabilities across the Boston big data and analytics community.

Six Things I Want To Teach My Dog About Work

Dharmesh Shah recently wrote a blog post about the lessons of entrepreneurship that he wants to teach his son called “12 Things I Want to Teach my Toddler about Work.”  It was a neat post which offered his typically pithy insights, with the twist that it was directed at his three-year-old son.

How startups can recruit top talent over well funded companies

One of the things I picked up at Oasys, and has now continued with Privy, is the need to surround yourself with a team that challenges you and elevates your game, big time. In an early stage company, each hire needs to carry the weight of 3-4 full time hire responsibilities in order to move the company forward. 

Communicating when “fires” break out – “We are on it”

As software product managers, we often deal with cross-functional issues from time to time such as projects that fall behind schedule and now risk making a release, creative designs not ready for implementation, serious production issues that require immediate swats to be released etc.

Your career path: a virtuous cycle of doubt, anxiety and learning

Sometimes, different ideas from different sources combine in your brain at the same time. Suddenly you have a clearer understanding of a concept  than you ever have had before. This happened to me recently.

Sales and Marketing Metrics for Early Stage SaaS Businesses

There’s been a lot of attention lately given to sales and marketing metrics for SaaS businesses.  As the co-founder of an early stage SaaS business, I struggled to initially decide which metrics really impact and drive our business.

Lessons from Sending One Million Surveys

Nothing is loved or hated more in the world of marketing than the online survey...

How to focus in a startup? Make a daily “not until”.

At the end of every work day, before my head hits the pillow, I document all major objectives and accomplishments by day in a file called ~/sweller.plan.

How Not to Get Fired as an Executive

As an executive you have a strategy to increase value and drive the process of your company’s growth forward.

Procurement Made Easy? Absolute Commerce thinks so...

Absolute Commerce is a company with GE roots and a plan to help businesses better manage purchasing budgets...

5 rules to follow to attract top talent to your startup in the ‘burbs

The allure of working in the city, especially when you’re young, is great.  The diversity of people, restaurants, things to do.  The flexibility of mass transit.  The glamour of high...

It Took Me 25 Years to Meet Mickey Mouse

By now, hopefully you have heard the news — Punchbowl has been named the exclusive provider of digital invitations featuring Disney characters. To say I’m excited...

How Entrepreneurs Can Avoid Burnout

You don’t have to look too far in Boston to see a burnt out entrepreneur. Blood-shot eyes, unshaven stubble, and eyes glued to a computer screen run amuck in this city...

10 Things I Learned in 2013

Before last year fades completely in the rear view mirror, I want to share a presentation I gave recently. Jorge Soto from Sales4Startups asked me to speak at one of their...

Don’t “Waste” Your Time at a Campus Career Fair: 5 Steps to Take

Unless you have a strong presence on campus or possess a notable brand, most startups struggle to yield great results from participating in University Career/Recruiting Fairs. First and...

Video from our UX Fireside Chat with Fab.com's Devin Flaherty

Video from our fireside chat with Devin Flaherty, SVP of User Experience at Fab.com.  Devin graduated from Stanford with a Civil Engineering degree in 2008.  He moved...

The Glorious Post Seed Startup Financing Chaos

I recently got a call from Scott Kirsner at the Boston Globe asking: “what happens to all these incubators entrepreneurs after Demo Day”? The short answer: chaos...

Living The “Hai Life” – EverTrue’s First H-1B Visa

We recently received approval for our first H-1B visa. It was a complex process that is challenging for any company, but particularly burdensome for resource constrained...

The Bowdoin to Boston Tech Trek

I was reading in Xconomy yesterday the Taylor Yates description of his trek to Silicon Valley with his MIT Sloan classmates and I couldn’t resist sharing with the Boston community...

Tips from Boston Investors for Securing Early Round Funding and Achieving Startup Success

Last month, IDEA: Northeastern’s Venture Accelerator hosted Investor Insights, a biannual event featuring a panel of venture capitalists and angel investors. The forum provides...

Founder Dialogues IX featuring Dharmesh Shah of HubSpot [video]

Has there been any other company in the Boston area that has created more buzz than HubSpot over the past few years???  Dharmesh Shah was the latest guest for Eric Paley's...

HubSpot’s Dharmesh Shah Shares Ups and Downs of Startup Life

Last night, in the ninth installment of the Founder Dialogues series, Dharmesh Shah, co-founder and CTO of Cambridge-based SaaS company HubSpot, recounted his entrepreneurial journey...

Pricing is a Process and How We Validated Our Technology By Pricing Gold

One of the biggest lessons we’ve learned within the world of pricing is that even though your price remains the lever that has the highest impact on your revenue, the subject is one...

What Do You Suck At?

One of the truisms of entrepreneurial startups is the importance of focus. Starting a company to compete against huge, well-capitalized companies is daunting enough. So focus...