On Startups


Getting It Done

Sometimes, there is talking about getting stuff done Sometimes, there is putting processes in place to get stuff done Sometimes, there is estimating how long it will take and how much it will cost to get stuff done Sometimes, there is gathering requirements and documentation for the stuff that needs to get done Sometimes, there is politics, posturing or arguing about how to or who should get stuff done Sometimes, there is rationalizing or pointing fingers about why stuff [...]

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Your Biggest Competitors Are Not Who You Think They Are

Check the Gartner Magic Quadrant, do days of competitive research, engage a strategic consulting firm to identify your competition. Even after all this work, your top two competitors probably don’t show up. Why? Because your top two competitors are Do Nothing and Do It Ourselves. If you’re not competing against them, you’ll likely lose.

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Standing on the Edge of Failure

What will you do when standing on the edge of failure? Quit? Lie? Scream? Drink? Cry? Or maybe, you’ll reach out to your partners, team, investors, mentors, significant other, friends, etc. and share the issues you are facing. Chances are they’ll help you through it. Facing failure alone is scary and challenging. Asking for help makes it easier. And if you’re going to start a company, you’ll stand on that edge often.

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Under Promise and Over Deliver? Not Always!

When you are in the digital product delivery business, you must decide how to communicate with the business and commit to deliverables on a roadmap. The best scenario for everyone is to accurately estimate the scope of work and deliver against it. Almost impossible in a fast changing business with agile development. The question then becomes whether to over promise and under deliver, or under promise and over deliver. We’ve consistently been taught to do the latter – it’s the [...]

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Culture is Key to Start-up Success

One of the best things about starting your own business is that you get to (try to) build whatever type of company you want — including the culture. Everybody has been in organizations where the overall culture and values — or at least certain management styles — were more toxic than not, and a lack of leadership undermined employee morale and performance. So why would you want to see that in your own business? Surprisingly, start-ups and closely-held businesses often [...]

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Start-Up Success is Higher With User Research – 5 Things You Need to Know

Marketing organizations big and small are talking about data-driven design and decision making — leveraging user research and analytics to optimize user experiences, increase marketing campaign effectiveness and improve products — with the ultimate goal of winning and retaining new customers. For start-ups with digital products or those reliant on digital marketing, where platforms are new and resources are limited, putting user research processes and analytics tracking in place can be overwhelming and get put on the back burner in [...]

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I Wish I Had That Idea

“I wish I had that idea.” I often hear people say that when talking about the latest start-up that got acquired or went public. The reality is, in most start-up situations, many people already did. But only a few have what it takes to make it successful. What does it take to turn a great idea into a successful business? It takes dedication, sacrifice and relentless execution. It requires believing in yourself and your idea in the face of [...]

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Your Customer Sees One Digital Experience – So It Better Be Seamless

A few years back I was admiring a friend’s new paddleboard — and the deal he got on it — and he sent me to www.theclymb.com. I went to the site and discovered The Clymb, a provider of outdoor goods, apparel and adventure travel and basically an awesome place to get cool gear at a discount. After registering to become a member, I began to receive their marketing emails. After a few months I still hadn’t found the board I [...]

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