Lessons Learned

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...

4 Startup CEO’s Motivational Moments For Any Occasion

As a typical startup founder I am often faced with difficult situations. Well, “often” is probably an understatement.  ”Always” is more like it.    As Steve Blank said in his Customer Development...

RxApps Uses Texting, Other Tech to Track Mental Health

Watching friends and family members undergo treatment for psychiatric conditions inspired John Moore to create RxApps, a health management platform...

Spend More Time on Your Mission - The Money Will Follow

Time – and how you use it – is the most important consideration for a Founder.  This is one of the most important lessons I’ve learned in my 20 years as an early...

Zero to Sixty in 6.1 Weeks

Now that we’ve wrapped up the inaugural session of the Boston Startup School and prepare for our next class, I thought I’d take a minute to reflect and share some...

Paper Money: Personal finance for entrepreneurs

In 1999, my internet start-up was valued at nearly $100M. I thought I had it made. Like many of my contemporaries at the time, I rented a nice apartment near the beach...

Post-Seed Funding Checklist for Founder/CEOs

You’ve just closed your seed round.  Other than starting to build, hire, and take over the world, there are a bunch of mundane things to do right away.  The following is a...

Scaling is Hard, Case Study: athenahealth

There are many companies that are competing to be the “operating system” for small businesses. The theory is that with the advent of the cloud in the digital age, small businesses...