Why You Should Hire Agencies & Consultants (for everything you can)

In my first decade as a tech CEO, I consistently got advice about how building a great team was essential to building a great business. Agencies and consultants were never part of this conversation. It was always: hire full-time employees in areas where you need a competitive advantage; only hire agencies for functions you want to put on autopilot or…
Psychology Startups

We’ve Gotta Stop Using “Lifestyle Business” as a Pejorative

For a long while, American business culture has worshiped at the altar of big. Entrepreneurs want to build “big” companies, because they believe that’s how they prove their worth. The media tells us that’s true when they report on every move made by big companies, but barely cover small ones. Speakers on stages and webinars reinforce it when they talk…
Marketing Startups

Where Should You Start Marketing a New Business or Product?

There’s no question I get more when presenting on startup marketing than this: “I feel so overwhelmed… Where do I even start?” It’s a fair response, one for which I have great empathy. If you start consuming information about marketing a business online, the rabbit hole can quickly lead to some very overwhelming and, in my opinion, misleading advice. When…
Marketing Psychology Startups

Read The Room.

When folks ask me about how best to do marketing right now, my answer is consistently turning into the same three words: Read the room. Imagine you’ve walked into a religious space. This room is sacred to the people inside it. When you speak, whatever you say will be viewed through the context of where you are. That’s exactly what…

Extraordinary Times Call For Extraordinary Measures

There can no longer be doubt: the majority of people in advanced economies are living through the most life-altering event of the last forty years. Natural disasters, wars, economic turmoil, political shifts, technological disruption — all of these pale in comparison to COVID-19’s breadth, speed, and the raw quantity of prolonged, global change. That’s in no way meant to minimize…
Startups

Google in 2020: From Everyone’s Search Engine to Everyone’s Competitor

I’ve written a lot this year about the shifts we’re seeing from Google — moving from search engine to answer to engine and now to a direct competitor for an enormous number of websites and businesses. Today, I’m sharing the latest numbers from our friends at Jumpshot on Google’s Q3 CTRs (using their recently updated estimation methodology), and providing some…
Startups

As the Antitrust Case Against Google Kicks Off, Here’s Where the DOJ Should Start

Google has been, in many ways, a positive force in the worlds of technology, society, convenience, and information dissemination. It’s hard to argue that any of the other tech giants (save, perhaps, Microsoft) have done as much to improve numerous aspects of the lives of people around the world. But in building services outside their core web search business —…
Startups

Why We’re Putting A Bunch of Our Savings into TinySeed

Geraldine and I have a pretty good financial situation going. We’re in our late thirties (which, according to this ridiculous TV graphic, means we’re in a non-existent generation). We’re somewhere between the 80th-90th percentile in savings for American families (source). And we have several sources of income — our books, my startup, Geraldine’s writing+blog content licensing, some investments, speaking, and…
Marketing Startups

Can You Still Blog Your Way to Visibility & Credibility?

In the last handful of years, I’ve had a creeping sense that blog readership is dropping across the web, even as the quantity of organizations and people producing posts has grown. Stats, unfortunately, are hard to come by. Most all of the readership data is from blogging’s golden era — 2001-2012 (or so) — when several reputable organizations regularly published…