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Why You Should Put Yourself Out There and Try New Products

Both Sides of the Table

I went to an industry event where people actually called me self-centered for writing publicly. Here’s the thing: If you never try new product and new networks you’ll never learn anything. In 2006 I started using Facebook and most of my friends & colleagues thought I was strange.

Why Email May Be Draining Your Company’s Productivity

Both Sides of the Table

That great productivity drain that we somehow all buy into. So I ask you – if you’re being reactive to somebody else’s emails are you really being as productive in your company as you could be? You’re writing a freaking blog post! Email. Ah, email.

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Why Bots Aren’t the Real AI Disruption: The Quiet Rise of Headless AI


Editor’s note: This piece was originally posted on Textio’s company blog. Hey Siri, how’s the weather today?” “OK OK Google, remind me to pay the power bill.” Alexa, tell me a joke!” Bots are eating the world.

Your Product Needs to be 10x Better than the Competition to Win. Here’s Why:

Both Sides of the Table

It was a pleasure to write them myself. He wanted to build direct customer relationships to get product feedback but only 2% of customers would ever return their registration cards. they can build teams that really focus on building & marketing great products.

Turning Thoughts into Productivity | The Fetchnotes Story

Tech Zulu Event

Turn on your phone and look at the productivity folder. Something to write your notes, another to set reminders, and one that does both. You’ll be more productive within three weeks time. We discuss productivity, emails, communication, and the dynamics of the team.

Next Generation Hardware | Miselu Presents Musical Democracy at SXSW

Tech Zulu Event

Miselu’s seeks to “innovate products to create the next generation of musical experiences,” according to their statement on their website. The feedback we got will help us iterate and next time we show, we will have an even bigger impact and better product.

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How to Get Busy People to Take Action When You Send an Email

Both Sides of the Table

On my most important ones I spend as much time figuring out what to cut out as I do putting into the writing of it. Many people write email without a “call to action” or reason they’re writing the email. Write to one person at a time.

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Tongal | Create Together & Earn Cash

Tech Zulu Event

The best part about Tongal is anyone who wants to write, act, direct, and/or animate videos can join for free. The community is full of people eager to make a product that is worthy of people’s time. Creative thoughts are constantly processed in everyone’s mind.

Why Titles Matter a Lot if You’re a Blogger

Both Sides of the Table

When I first started writing this blog several years ago I had less followers than you have right now. But the realist in me knew I couldn’t write daily nor could I convince you to think to check out my blog with regularity.

Top 30 Startup Technology and Product Posts for September 2010


Great content again in September that meets at the intersection of startups, technology, product and being a Startup CTO. Why Every Entrepreneur Should Write and 9 Tips To Get Started - OnStartups , September 27, 2010 "The best part of blogging is the people you will meet"- Hugh MacLeod repeating wisdom from Loic Lemeur to me at the Big Pink at 2 am in South Beach after the Future of Web Apps 2008. Why You Should Write. It's human nature," he writes.


Don’t Subtract - Restart to Find the Minimum Viable Product


Steve Blank wrote a great post recently entitled Perfection By Subtraction – The Minimum Feature Set where he explains the real goals around defining a minimum viable product: Founders act like the “minimum” part is the goal. Only a special subset of customers will and what gets them breathing heavy is the long-term vision for your product. I’m a big believer in delivering a minimal product out of the gate, although minimum gets defined differently in lots of cases.

Should Startups Announce Their Funding?

Both Sides of the Table

I will add to this as I write more in the coming weeks on the topic. You may have gotten some articles that covered your product launch or may have gotten into industry rags but this might be your first time on TechCrunch, AllThingsD, PandoDaily, GigaOm, Business Insider or the equivalent.

Talk Like An 8th Grader When Pitching Investors


Select the real software product from this list. Open-architected, workforce-neutral, productivity assimilator. All of these “products” were created with a few clicks of a buzzword generator. Photo courtesy of Santa Barbara Independent’s recent Techtopia Issue.

How I Invest

Both Sides of the Table

I answered in the same way I always do so I thought I’d just write it publicly. “I I spend hours thinking about the products, competitors, market opportunities, recruiting and financing of these businesses. I am much more attracted to technical product teams than to new business concepts or commerce types. Anyway, since I’ve now been asked three times in the past week I thought I’d just write publicly what I often say privately.

Document Your MVP for a Developer


I was talking with an early-stage founder who has a product vision and wants to get it built. He wanted to get input from me on what he's doing, and he wants to begin to ask developers what it would take to build his product. You likely are writing your first one of these.

The Corrosive Nature of Over-Introducers

Both Sides of the Table

I find the over-introducers especially corrosive around first-time founders who often struggle with the balance of their time between tasks like building product versus tasks like speaking at conferences or meeting with potential business development partners.

The Pivot You Need to Read About

Both Sides of the Table

They are everything you could hope for in a team: Hard working, committed until the end, product-centric, loyal, frugal and importantly — very warm and sincere people. I was reluctant to write about GOAT because I don’t want to pretend that I deserve even 0.1%

Why I Backed a 24-Year-Old Trying to Assess Human Potential

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Incumbents launch products, VCs throw cash at other competitors, team members quit, the economy dips — whatever. As leaders we intuitively know that while basic skills in math, science, reading & writing are necessary — they are not sufficient.

Here Are the Details About Upfront Ventures’ Newest EIR – @Chamillionaire

Both Sides of the Table

And after one meeting they started asking for his advice about marketing, customer engagement, product design, monetization – whatever. Five-and-a-half years ago I first met Chamillionaire at a tech conference in LA.

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Why Lawsuits Are On the Rise at Startups and What To Do About It

Both Sides of the Table

As I write these words I already imagine my next deposition in which I’m asked to read this out loud. They were then sued for trademark infringement by a foreign company who had no product, no customers and no employees in the US. *. Lawsuits.

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What I’ve Learned About Venture Funding

Both Sides of the Table

And if you’re lucky and hit product/market fit straight out of the gate – awesome. Money when you find product / market fit is an extreme differentiator. Overfunding after product / market fit is essential to competing and winning. VC funding.

Why GoToMeeting’s SaaS Playbook Wouldn’t Work Today


In November of 2015, Citrix announced that it will spin out the “GoTo” Division, of which GoToMeeting remains the flagship product, as a standalone public company. I was writing them multi-seven figure checks each month, because they were generating tens of thousands of customers.

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Why Startups Need to Blog (and what to talk about …)

Both Sides of the Table

But should you actually write one if you’re a startup, an industry figure (lawyer, banker) or VC? This is a post to help you figure out why you should write and what you should talk about. They became both a thought leader in the space as well as a beautifully designed product.

An Enchanting Conversation With Guy Kawasaki


An entrepreneur, in particular, has to be likeable and trustworthy AND have a great product. An entrepreneur has to enchant people to use new products and services not simply bludgeon them, promote them or discount them.

Why You’re Not Getting the Most out of Your Board

Both Sides of the Table

Every time I think to write a post about this I figure the most recent board meeting I’ve attended will think it’s about them so I don’t bother. So I’m going to write a series of board meetings posts unrelated to anybody or maybe an amalgamation of them all.

What Do You Need to Do to Improve Sales? Here’s a Start …

Both Sides of the Table

I write about sales often both because it’s the lifeblood of any organization and because in my experience it is the area in which more startups are least experienced or inclined. I also write and talk about it frequently because raising capital is a part of sales and this is important for entrepreneurs to understand. The other big mistake people make in qualifying is not determining whether the buyer has a budget to afford their product.

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How GoToMyPC Kicked pcAnywhere’s A$$


I hesitate to write about design, as I have never considered myself to be a "color or font" person. Good thing I was never entrusted with product design. In fact, the product''s tagline, “Fast, Easy, Secure,” was an overt rebuke of Symantec’s cumbersome solution.

Quick Hack to Make Your Boss (and you) More Productive

Both Sides of the Table

Yesterday I wrote a post about the " Urgency Addiction ” and how many people start important tasks late and then motivate with a huge wave of productivity and inspiration driven by deadlines and commitments to others.

Why I Look for Obsessive and Competitive Founders

Both Sides of the Table

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 Obsession. The drive to succeed at all costs.

Here’s How to Do PR on a Budget

Both Sides of the Table

Yesterday I wrote a post about The Silent Benefits of PR in which I pointed out that most young companies I encounter don’t fully grasp the benefits of PR because they are less measurable than product milestones or customer acquisition analyses (like CAC/LTV). I’m generally not a believer in too much PR until you have a product built or at least well designed. It super charges a business that is closer to product delivery.

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What I’ve Learned from Fred Wilson

Both Sides of the Table

The final clip is Fred & I talking about whether “the best product wins” and my assertion that the bias in today’s Silicon Valley dominated tech world there is probably too much emphasis on tech at the expense of how to sell, implement and service customers.

SBIR Source Launches New Research Tool


Los Angeles-based SBIR Source , which maintains an online database of grant opportunities from the Federal Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program, said this morning that it has launched a new product, GrantIQ. The company said its data can be used by startups and small tech companies looking for R&D grants, to write more targeted proposals and to understand the competition and needs of Federal agencies.

Catching Up With Joanne Bradford, Demand Media


But, they could not write, and did not know what to write from the travel perspective. Every one of those writers has a byline and a bio, and are paid twice a week at a pretty decent rate for that writing or assignment.

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Productivity Hacks: Voicemail, Folders & To-Do’s

Both Sides of the Table

I recently wrote a post about avoiding the “ Deferred Life Plan &# and some related thoughts about personal productivity that came from Tim Ferriss’s book, The Four Hour Workweek. I would love to say that I’m the productivity guru.

Startup Lessons From Pink Floyd’s Dark Side Of The Moon


Their deep understanding of their customers, an uncompromising drive to create a quality product and the courage to ignore the music industry's formulaic approach to producing hits resulted in the creation one of the top selling non-compilation albums of all time.

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How to Nail a Group Presentation

Both Sides of the Table

So I thought I’d write a piece on how not to suck when you give a presentation. They bring your product to life. Establish the persona of the person who would be using your products. Tell us what their life is like without your product – how they struggle.

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Why Successful People Focus on the Bottom End of the Funnel

Both Sides of the Table

I point this out because in a world where it sometimes feels productive to be busy, people seldom find extreme focus to get stuff out of the bottom end of the funnel. Business leaders have many tasks to accomplish and prioritizing stuff can be hard.

The Silent Benefits of PR

Both Sides of the Table

When you’re an early-stage business every dollar matters and because many startup teams these days are very product & technology centric they often miscalculate the importance of PR.

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How to Know if You Have ADD and What to Do About It

Both Sides of the Table

I believe it is what drives my huge bursts of creativity and productivity that what Stephen Covey called “The Urgency Addiction.” I have checked Twitter at least 10 times during the writing of this post so far and Facebook 3 times. I write my presentations the night before.

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Here’s What President of textPlus @Nanea Reeves Has to Say on Leadership, Mgmt, Women in Tech

Both Sides of the Table

I’ll try to get write-ups shortly but for now here is an overview of my interview with Nanea Reeves – President and COO of textPlus. In our video we discussed leadership topics such as managing product and engineering teams, communication and company organization.

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