Lessons Learned From Working At A Startup
I graduated from the Startup Institute in late December 2013. Since then, I got married, welcomed my first child into the world and finished my first full year of work at Vsnap.
“Fastest Turtle” — Healthcare Investing and the U.S. Economy…
Given the investment horizons for venture capitalists, we do not necessarily try to time public markets when making new investments...
Hardware by the Numbers (Part 3: Logistics + Marketing)
This is part 3 of a series on what building a scalable hardware business looks like.
Hardware by the Numbers (Part 2: Financing + Manufacturing)
This is part 2 of a series on what building a scalable hardware business looks like. Financing + Manufacturing.
Founder Leadership Models
There are a number of founder leadership models that can work well as a startup evolves. I have lived a few as an entrepreneur and worked with many as a board member.
Hitting the Road
About a year ago, Nancy and I were spending some time with Hardi Meybaum and his family. Hardi is the founder of our portfolio company GrabCAD which was acquired recently by Stratsys.
Eeeek! Invasion of the Culture Snatchers
A CEO friend recently told me that he asked three people to leave his company over the last few months. After they were terminated, there was a marked improvement in the overall morale and attitude of the other employees.
Leadership Key #1: Build and Develop an Incredible Team
A few years ago, in a moment of intense frustration, I wrote down six keys to effective leadership. I will spare you the detailed context to protect the guilty, but at the time I was desperate to communicate what effective leaders do.
Why Metrics Get Worse With Scale
Conventional wisdom suggests that the most important metrics for a startup - such as unit economics, cost of acquisition, lifetime value, churn rates - typically get better with time.
Why You Should Welcome Dogs Into Your Workplace
It’s been known for decades that dogs can confer important health benefits on people in the workplace.
Atypical Startup Career Advice Learned from 4 Billion-Dollar Exits
Four of the companies I’ve worked for during my career have been acquired for over $1 billion dollars. Make no mistake, my contributions to these successes, particularly early in my career, were relatively minor, and I’ve had my share of failures, too.
Millennials and Mission-Driven Start-ups
Why do we work? Over the past 25 years, entrepreneurship, creativity and mentorship have always guided me to strive for a meaningful impact on the world...
Startups Are A Contact Sport
It wasn’t long into my first startup that my mentor Andy van Dam offered those five words – “Startups are a Contact Sport”.
Mentors and Vintage Oars
I’ve been mingling with a large number of established company directors and startup mentors over the last few months.
Startup Office Space: How Do Growing Companies Tackle Real Estate Challenges
Company Culture is a major focus among young companies these days. A big piece of culture is the office...
6 Lessons from New Balance and Almighty on Creating Content with a Purpose
I recently had the opportunity to spend a day at the FutureM conference in Boston to hear Marketing innovators share their stories. One panel in particular stuck with me, and here’s a summary of lessons learned.
After Ringing the IPO Bell
Last week's successful IPO of e-commerce giant Wayfair (market cap $3B) and this week's impending IPO of Hubspot (if it prices in the range, market cap $600m) has many in the Boston tech community celebrating.
Celebrate Experiences: Takeaways From Fresh Tilled Soil’s UX Fest
Yesterday Fresh Tilled Soil played host to over 200 people looking to “Celebrate Experiences” at their annual UX Fest, a one day conference celebrating the user experiences that change the way we work, live, and play. Here are some key takeaways...
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.
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...