Why I Look for Obsessive and Competitive Founders

Both Sides of the Table

When second place isn’t good enough because we live in winner-take-most markets. This blog started from a series of conversations I found myself having over and over again with founders and eventually decided I should just start writing them.It Leadership Tech Market Analysis

Niche marketing works. Here’s how.


How many of us throw away marketing dollars because our paid efforts reach an audience that is much larger than the target or niche audience we need to reach? So, let’s up our marketing knowledge first with a few short answers to marketing questions…. What Is niche marketing?

Wpromote Launches Scholarship For Students In Digital Marketing


Los Angeles-based digital marketing agency Wpromote said on Monday that it has launched a new set of scholsrships, which will go to students interested in digital marketing. Wpromote said that entrants will be asked to write a blog post on any topic of their choice about the field of digital marketing, which will determine the winners of those three scholarships; the winners will be featured on Wpromote's digital marketing blog.

Why Your Marketing Campaign Sucks

Both Sides of the Table

Mostly it’s because your marketing campaigns suck. Or more directly – they are likely narcissistic resuscitations of your newest features or bragging points that nobody but your marketing team and your mom care about. They offer a point-of-view about their market.

Interview with Fariborz Maseeh, Maseeh Entrepreneurship Prize Competition


Last week, the University of Southern California 's Viterbi School of Engineering announced that it had established a new, business plan competition, the Maseeh Entrepreneurship Prize Competition ([link] specifically aimed at students in the engineering school.

Guerilla Marketing, Brad Feld Style


Serial entrepreneur, venture investor and startup accelerator pioneer Brad Feld has notoriously mocked traditional marketing throughout his career. If you have amazing products, the marketing of those products is trivial. If you have $hitty products, the marketing is impossible.

The #1 Question to Ask Before Starting Any Case Study


Before beginning customer success stories or case studies with a new client, I ask a LOT of questions of my marketing contacts - well before ever talking to one of their happy customers. How are they different from the competition?

Understanding the Underbelly of Online Marketing & Why You’ll Lose if You Don’t

Both Sides of the Table

But being best-in-class at online marketing is also a sine qua non to standout from your peer group. The starting point of product IS marketing, which is what a lot of young entrepreneurs that never studied business don’t realize. Simply write a great book?

What Do LPs Think of the Venture Capital Markets for 2016?

Both Sides of the Table

At the Upfront Summit in early February, we had a chance to have many off-the-record conversations with Limited Partners (LPs) who fund Venture Capital (VC) funds about their views of the market. 68% of LPs surveyed expressed caution that the late-stage part of the market is over-valued.

RingRevenue Creates A New Performance Marketing Revenue Channel


Value Prop Twitter Style : “Ringrevenue’s call performance marketing platform enables ad networks, agencies, advertisers & publishers to generate more inbound sales calls.”. In today’s market, so much focus is placed on transacting business online.

If You Don’t Define Your Personal Brand the Market Will

Both Sides of the Table

It is simply the most important way to proactively control your career development and how the market perceives you. This started as a post in which I was going to write out tips to personal branding and became in stead an essay of my own branding journey. That was the market.

Choosing Your Features | Making Apps the Market Wants

Tech Zulu Event

Once you’ve decided on an idea to move forward with, you’re ready to start deciphering the data you’ve compiled on the existing competition and choosing what to do with your own app. If you forget everything else I write about creating an app, remember this: every app needs a hook.

As Quibi reportedly seeks another $1 billion, Fiction Riot fills the programming slate for its rival service

TechCrunch LA

Ficto is bringing to market adaptations of bestselling books and original productions which will be released with theatrical films and has plans in the pipeline for other forms of scripted and unscripted entertainment. Michael Scott is simultaneously writing a pilot for linear television.

Timing and why we’re all VCs

TechCrunch LA

Capitalism is fundamentally about timing, since market competition is about finding opportunities before others. But we can also be way too early, ahead of the market and losing out on alternative opportunities that might have been more valuable.

Do you want to control your business destiny?


This moment is not to be spoiled by such mundane warnings from advisors or consultants to plan carefully, research the market and competition, and execute the plan with tenacity and enthusiasm. Write your own Hollywood script.

Interview with Steve Seigel, Hatched


There are a lot of other competition shows and reality show, which are much more predatory and cut-throat, and it's nice for our entrepreneurs to not only get a real investment, but get great feedback. As an entrepreneur, there is so much competition for so few dollars, so having a finance background and also having done something entrepreneurial really helps me provide balance to the show. Anyone can write a check, but not everyone can provide intellectual capital.

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Can you overcome five risks and create wealth?


One way to mitigate this is by using early money to create a prototype, to perform market research, to complete the first generation of the product, or to deliver the service to a satisfied customer. Second: Market risk. . And fifth: Competitive risk. .

Would the Last Blackberry User Please Turn Out the Lights? I Already Left the Building

Both Sides of the Table

It is stunning to think about the blind spots that market leaders can develop. For years Palm had such a significant lead in the PDA market it seemed inconceivable that they would be replaced. And as market enthusiasts we all want strong competition. Tech Market Analysis

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Some Thoughts about Selling at Startups

Both Sides of the Table

The idea that the course asks students to write public blog posts is a testament to its more modern teaching style. My list of excuses includes: product, pricing, competition and lack of sales support. In my post I specifically talked about the integration of marketing and sales.

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When Should You Allow Exclusivity in Deals?

Both Sides of the Table

I must admit I discuss this very frequently with portfolio companies but hadn’t thought to write about it. As the desk-based Internet emerged it was initially sold through telecom carriers (after players like AOL and EarthLink innovated the market). If you know that at senior levels the buyers often have an enemy in mind in each of their big moves in the market you can use that to your great advantage. Sales Tech Market Analysis

The Most Interesting Online Video Trend

Both Sides of the Table

For those who still don’t know the origins, the Harlem Shake started as a small skit from a YouTuber named Filthy Frank (10 million views as of this writing) on January 30, 2013. And the fan producers all help market your show because they too want the attention.

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Should Startups Focus on Profitability or Not?

Both Sides of the Table

I find it amusing when a journalist writes an article about a prominent startup (either privately held or preparing for an IPO) and decries that, “They’re not even profitable!” They hired a marketing team to promote their products more broadly.

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Putting the Pedal to the Metal at Amplify

From the Venture Trenches

Building a standout destination site for video gamers takes moxie in the highly competitive and lucrative on-line game industry. For the first three months of this year, I have had the pleasure of breathing the same air as the crew from Amplify , the Venice based accelerator.

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A Few Key People Really Can Make a Huge Difference

Both Sides of the Table

awards dinner on Thursday night I started reflected on what it would take to “change the trajectory&# for Seattle or for any regional market, really. Who’s going to help you with improving your marketing / positioning to become a clear platform category leader like Twilio?

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Changes in Software & Venture Capital – Part 2 of 3

Both Sides of the Table

This will continue while we’re in a tech bull market and I predict will wane when we’re not. With new micro VC entrants into to early-stage investing plus increased competition from angels, incubators and the like – traditional VCs have taken notice.

What I’ve Learned About Venture Funding

Both Sides of the Table

Our perspectives on the topic wax and wane with market cycles. Here’s what I believe, but won’t claim to “know” because every time I think I know something the market seems to do something entirely different. The market clearly believes that. VC funding.

I Know Everybody Told You to Send Your Fund-Raising Decks as a Link.

Both Sides of the Table

I know all of this because every VC knows this because we’ve all either funded companies that have marketing technology or we’ve seen a pitch with a company that does this. Your pitch deck should really be your best marketing tool Your pitch deck shouldn’t contain your deepest, darkest secrets and plans. And it’s not infrequent where somebody mentions a market I’m thinking about and I think, “didn’t I just see company x, y, z nine months ago who was playing in this space?”

Public and Open Debate is the Highest Form of Democracy (and Blogging)

Both Sides of the Table

I’ve always believed that you learn a great deal when you’re presenting, teaching or writing about what you know. Part of the reason I always found presenting to people so compelling is that it forced me to put into writing (a PowerPoint deck) what I thought I knew about a topic.

Who Should be on Your Startup Board?

Both Sides of the Table

This is the norm and unless you have a hugely competitive round it’s not worth fighting. In 2019 market conditions often are such that founders retain control of the board through the A-round, usually in a 2–1 (common to investor) ratio but sometimes it’s 3–2 (common to investor).

Improving Sales: The Excuse Departement is Closed

Both Sides of the Table

I’ve started writing up some of those sales & marketing lessons and I plan to continue to build that section out over time. Features don’t win or lose sales – especially in nascent markets. Sure, you need to be competitive on price.

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Why Venture Capital is So Much More Compelling Now

Both Sides of the Table

It’s not hard to find people willing to write the narrative that “venture capital is not an asset class” or “venture capital has performed terribly.” I hope to publish that deck and a full write up in the next 10 days in partnership with Dan Primack at Fortune (if my write up doesn’t suck, I guess ;-)). Companies are now raising much more capital in the private markets now before they go public.

Why I’m Doubling Down on the Twitter Ecosystem

Both Sides of the Table

Think about this: The investment banks and trading houses across the globe have invested billions of dollars in computing equipment and staff in order to process news that affects stock prices milliseconds before the rest of the market can process & transact on this same information.

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6 Tips for Building Relationships with Journalists

Both Sides of the Table

File this under both Startup Adivce and Sales & Marketing Advice. Guy Kawasaki said it best (paraphrasing), “you can’t do great marketing with a bad product.&# Given a choice of your marketing person or talking to you (the founder) there’s no competition.

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On Bubbles … And Why We’ll Be Just Fine

Both Sides of the Table

They have seen one side of a market where many of us have seen the ebb and flow multiple times. Still, market amnesia by ordinarily rational actors always surprises me. I will write more about this in the next 2 weeks. That asset class need not represent the broader market.

How ConsumerTrack Has Created A Growing, Profitable--and Mostly Unknown Business


We spoke with one of those companies-- El Segundo-based ConsumerTrack (www.consumertrack.com)--which is a $30M, bootstrapped an online marketing company which is driving millions of customers to big name, financial customers.