A Welcome to SparkToro’s Cofounder: Casey Henry

In 2011, in one of my favorite hiring stories, a longtime SEOmoz community member joined our team. He’d been contributing to the blog for years, commenting and emailing with us, even building some SEOmoz-related side projects. He was young (as was I), but had the temperament and demeanor of a much older soul. Geraldine even described him as “a cranky…

Why Elon Musk’s “People as Vectors” Analogy Resonates

In his keynote at INBOUND last year, Dharmesh Shah (Hubspot’s cofounder) shared a personal story of meeting Elon Musk and their short but powerful conversation about aligning people on a team as you would vectors in an equation. Unlike many folks in the startup world, I’m not a die-hard Musk fan. I appreciate his creativity and accomplishments, but also find…

Moz Returns to SEO

Preface: This is a hard post to write, and one that’s taken far longer than I hoped to publish. Never before have I been so challenged to walk the line between empathy and transparency. Never before have I had to get a blog post approved by my boss, board, and legal team. And so I ask, humbly, that you read…

Negative Self Talk and Self Deprecation

I’m not sure if I can short form blog effectively (like two of my blogging heroes – Brad & Fred), but I’m going to try a little more of that since my time to blog is so limited. While browsing my social streams today, this headline/article caught my attention: via Can You Hack Your Self Esteem? There was a paragraph…

Swapping Drivers on this Long Road Trip Together

2013 has been a really hard year for me. In many ways, it’s been harder than even the 2002-2006 era when my Mom and I went deeply into debt and worried about paying the rent and being chased by creditors. Some of that is attributable to the less-than-what-I-hoped-for results the business achieved (mostly because we artificially constrained our acquisition funnel…

Launching Adventure Teams at Moz

Like many software companies moving from the early to growth stage, we’ve experienced our fair share of challenges and pains. At the start of 2012, there were ~50 Mozzers, a very flat management structure, and things like process, communication, and planning were fairly simple. But over the next 12 months, we more than doubled to nearly 120 (today 130+) and…

Vision-Based Framework

Some companies exist primarily (or exclusively) to make money. Others exist for a variety of non-financial (or pseudo-financial) reasons. But in much of the research about companies that have gone from startup to scale to world-changing status, observers found a common architecture. This architecture is vision-based, and mission driven. It starts with a core purpose and core values, then builds…

Generosity & Entitlement

I’ve been trying something new at Moz. I schedule 90 minutes every week or two for “office hours,” and invite anyone from any team at the company to come visit and chat about whatever’s on their mind. So far, attendance has been sparse (only 1 person the first week, ~10 the 2nd week, and 4 each of the last two…

Well, He’s Not Going to Get Very Far

Company culture is incredibly fragile. It’s hard for founders/CEOs/execs to understand how little faith and trust people have in us when we stand up at a meeting and say “we believe in our culture” or “we put values first.” That skepticisim has often been built up over years or decades of being let down. People joined companies that claimed to…

If Management is the Only Way Up, We’re All F’d

Geraldine used to love her job at Cranium (the board game startup in Seattle, prior to the Hasbro acquisition & layoffs). She wrote questions for the board games, and copy for the boxes and marketing materials. She was good at it. But, something weird happened – they tried to promote her. I remember her coming home at night and fretting…