Category Startups

Psychological triggers — five ways to think about building awareness

Much has been written about how psychology can be used to influence a customer’s behavior, and there are a huge number of theories and treatises on this subject. So I confess here to simplistically distilling my thoughts down the five… Continue Reading →

Airbnb’s growth hacking story

Airbnb, like many successful ‘out of nowhere’ startups began its life by solving a problem that the founders had themselves in 2007 — they wanted to rent out their own San Francisco apartment. They soon found out that they were not just solving their own problem, they were solving a problem that people all over the world had too — a solution that is now worth $10B. Here are the things that stood out for me with what Airbnb did to succeed.

It’s an exciting time to be a graduate… Steve Blank’s commencement speech

When I graduated college, I don’t even recall there was a commencement speech. Presumably there was. But I don’t recall a single nanosecond of it. Nothing was said to kick me into the world, all fired up and ready to change… Continue Reading →

Should you start a business with a friend? Or a family member?

This is a tough one, and one I’ve felt personally. Multiple times.  Both as an observer. And as a startup founder. Today’s Pando “Startups anonymous” tells a sad story.  But here’s the problem: in the Valley, friends are co-workers. Co-workers… Continue Reading →

Basically, I agree with every single one of these.

Vision, mission, mantra and more

 “It is awfully important to know what is, and what is not, your business.” —Gertrude Stein One of the most important guiding principles in building a cohesive corporate plan is to align every member of the team behind the company’s vision… Continue Reading →

Startup postmortems — they’re all the rage right now

I have been involved in many startups. The same problems come up time and again. But it seems that teams often just want to go out and learn lessons the hard way, just because they believe that’s the only way… Continue Reading →

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