There's an incredible amount of magic in having very little time to get things done.
That's why at Startups.com, with over 200+ people, we manage our entire workload based on what we plan on getting done by Friday. That's it. No long term planning sessions, no confusing Gantt charts or Trello boards. Just 5 days to get stuff done.
And damn it's effective.
The problem with creating longer planning cycles is that every additional day, week, or month decreases the visibility and accountability for a single day of work. Our focus needs to be reducing the amount of time we can cheat on our time.
Imagine we wanted to lose 10 pounds this year. At lunch, we can order a cheeseburger, because hey, we have all year t...
The myth of the "stolen startup idea" somehow continues to live on, despite an insane lack of proof to the contrary. The thinking goes that if someone else hears our idea, they will simply take it and create a billion dollar business from it.
On paper (and in movies) that can happen. In reality, it's basically a Sasquatch myth.
Just having an "idea" for something accounts for nothing. Great companies aren't built because someone had an idea for something that no one else thought of — we all have novel ideas.
Great companies are built through an insane amount of dedication and execution that (rarely) leads to a big outcome.
By the way, plenty of people had the idea for a social network — and built them — before Facebook was ever "stolen."...
Think of big companies like the Death Star.
On the outset, it's a planet killer. But its weakness, (other than a really questionably-architected ventilation system), is that it moves at a glacial pace.
I spent 10 years running a digital agency working with these Fortune 500 giants like BMW, Best Buy and Eli Lilly.
What we don't see on the outside is how impossible it is for these companies to move internally and how we can use that lack of mobility to our advantage versus worrying about our home planet of Alderaan getting blown up.
The first thing we need to know about big companies is that their culture is almost always faced entirely inward.
That means their staff, unlike ours, spends more time co...
The investor pitch. It's feared. It's desired. It's terrifying.
But don't worry: We've got you covered. Here's everything you need to know about that all-important investor pitch.
Invisu.me Co-Founder and CEO Donna Griffit is a master pitcher who has helped countless founders distill their pitch down to exactly what they need — and nothing they don’t. She had the opportunity to sit in on a private pitching event where a delegation of startups had the opportunity give a five minute pitch and receive direct feedback from a group of top-tier Silicon Valley VC’s. (So top tier that she can’t even say who was there but, trust us, you will want to memorize this section before your next pitch.)
Here’s what ...
Product design is the entire process of taking a product from idea to customers — and everything in between.
“There’s a widespread misconception that design is all about aesthetics,” product designer Eric Eriksson writes. “Most people don’t seem to understand that it’s about solving problems instead.”
There’s another, more limited, definition of product design which we’re not going to explore in detail here. But basically, that other definition is talking just about how a product looks and functions. For the sake of product design for startups, we’re focusing on the more holistic, process-oriented definition.
While product design is part of produc...
Product differentiation is process used by companies to clarify the differences between their products and other products on the market. Those other products can include competitors but also a company’s own products, to prevent overlap between the offerings. The goal is to find a product’s unique selling point (USP).
Product differentiation is important because it makes your product stand out from the crowd! It’s easier and easier to create a company or sell a product or connect directly with factories in China these days. So what makes your housewares product or dating app or SaaS product different from all of the other housewares products, dating apps, and SaaS pr...
There are weapons, and there are weapons made with plutonium. Well, there is competitive intelligence, and there is the competitive intelligence made by Knowlium.
Knowlium is the maker of the competitive intelligence software called Reveal – a product that “accelerates your digital strategy with real-time competitive insight.”
Which is to state matters very very simply. You must have a look for yourself to appreciate the comprehensiveness and sophistication with which Reveal processes data. If you want simple scores to understand your market position com...
I’m going to let you in on a little secret. I’m not that smart, and yet I’m a pretty good online marketer. I am actually probably one of the better ones out there.
So, how’s that possible? Well, you don’t have to be smart to be the best marketer. Instead, you need to be creative, execute well, and continue to learn from others.
Here’s the process I used to become a great marketer, and here is how you can follow in my footsteps:
When I first started out in the world of online marketing, I didn’t know anything about it. I didn’t know how to edit HTML; I thought MSN was a bigger search engine than Google; and I had no idea where to start.
But the one thing I did know is that there are marketers out there who are a...
It’s a crazy, multi-device world.
According to one report from Facebook, 60% of online adults in the U.S. and U.K. use at least two devices each day, meaning that mobile is at the epicenter of many brands’ marketing, sales, and product strategies.
This trend creates a window of opportunity for companies that are looking to reach audiences at multiple points in their buyer journeys. The challenge, however, is that mass-market tools and analytics technologies haven’t caught up—basic reports in Google Analytics only provide aggregate-level traffic data, for instance. It’s tough to dissect the steps that your audiences are taking to become customers and repeat customers.
Despite this lack of transparency, one concept holds tried and true: you’r...
Unfortunately, my site (SujanPatel.com) was hacked again, but I’m happy to report that everything is back up and running – no data lost and no personal information compromised.
I wish I could say that this was the first time somebody messed with my site, but what I’ve come to learn is that getting hacked is part of the price of admission for running on WordPress.
Don’t get me wrong – I love WordPress. The fact that it’s open source and widely adopted means tons of great templates, plugins and add-ons, many of which I use to power this blog. But those same pros turn into cons when you take into consideration the fact that hackers have the same amount of access as you do.
Dealing with the potential for WordPress hacks requires two things – be...