SparkToro Raised a Very Unusual Round of Funding & We’re Open-Sourcing Our Docs

The Short Version Our new company, SparkToro, LLC has just completed a $1.3mm angel financing. And, because we think our structure might be right for many other businekasses, we’re making our documents open-source for anyone to use. The Story SparkToro is, obviously, a product of my and my cofounder, Casey‘s, experiences in the mostly venture-backed worlds of software startups. The…

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…

I Wrote a Weird Kind of Business Book

For the last two years, I’ve been working on a book about what it’s like to build a tech startup and how Silicon Valley’s startup culture biases founders and companies to make a lot of poor decisions. That book, Lost and Founder, comes out in 14 days… I’m the usual mix of excitement and nervousness, elation and fear. The face…

New Jumpshot 2018 Data: Where Searches Happen on the Web (Google, Amazon, Facebook, & Beyond)

Over the last few years, I’ve been incredibly frustrated with inaccurate, unrepresentative data sources about how traffic flows on the web and where web searches take place. Some of these are well-intentioned mistakes (e.g.), while others feel like they’ve got a specific motivation. But one source that’s been consistently excellent is Jumpshot, a collector and provider of anonymized, clickstream-level data…

Why Web Marketers Should Invest in Demand Creation

Every month, hundreds of thousands of people search on Google for “upcoming movies.” And in the SEO and web marketing worlds, there are a lot of practitioners who’d argue that movie studios should be investing more effort into ranking in the lists, news items, and search results that show for those queries. After all, according to the Moz Explorer tool,…

How to Choose a Startup Name that Reduces Marketing Friction

A few months ago, I settled on a name for my new company. Since the launch two weeks ago, I’ve received the question, “why SparkToro?” a few dozen times. Unlike my prior entrepreneurial venture (in which I started with the very awkward SEOmoz.org, and later rebranded to Moz.com), I was far more thoughtful and intentional this time around. And since…

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…