One Customer Feedback Email Changed Our Startup’s Trajectory

Building a new company means constantly managing one’s emotions. The high highs of days when everything’s golden inevitably give way to the low lows when you’re certain it’s all doomed. At the end of February, Casey (my cofounder) and I were in that latter boat, nervous about how signups for our 10-month old startup had slowed to a trickle. Here’s…

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…
Marketing Product SparkToro Team

SparkToro’s Finally Here

Almost two years ago, Casey Henry and I joined forces on SparkToro in the hopes of solving a thorny, expensive, long-standing problem in the market research world: How to discover the publications & people that influence any group of people online. Though we’re launching at a very scary time in the world, we’re excited to finally share that product with…
Hiring Psychology Startups Team

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 Startups Team

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…
Moz Personal Team

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…
Product Startups Team

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…