Recommended Companies:

We are often asked for our suggestions on a variety of topics around marketing, software, people, service providers, SEO, startups and more. The following are meant to help scale those answers in a broader way.

→ Service Providers in Seattle

Joe Wallin from Carney, Badley, Spellman – SparkToro’s attorneys, who helped us craft our innovative funding structure, and have assisted many other great startups & projects, always to rave reviews
• Rooster Park – a great choice for outsourced and contract software development
Aeon Law – superb patent and IP attorneys (Moz used them for our patents)
Washington Partners – the best commercial real estate folks on the scene
• Delightful Communications – Mel Carson’s remarkable social, PR, and branding agency
• Additional Seattle-centric recommendations on Rand’s FreshChalk page

→  Tools & Software I Love

15Five – What Moz historically used to track our team’s 1:1s and project progress; if SparkToro scales employees, we’ll likely use this again
Pocket – I frequently skim good articles on the web, save them to Pocket, and can then read them anywhere (including on mobile, even when I don’t have a web connection on flights)
Fresh Web Explorer – like Google Alerts, but way, way better, and with a ton of other cool functionality
Keyword Explorer – the best keyword research tool out there
Mozbar – terrific for SEO tasks of all kinds while browsing web pages in Chrome or Firefox
Followerwonk – a tool I loved so much, Moz acquired them in 2013 (it’s now owned & run by the wonderful Marc Mims). Great for Twitter analyses, bio searches, and tracking follower gains/losses in depth.

→ Startup & Technology Sites/Blog

IndieHackers – my favorite community for founders discussing the best ways to solve the challenging problems of building companies
• Techmeme – an algorithmically built news site for the tech field
• Geekwire – coverage of the Seattle area tech & startup worlds
ProductHunt – like everyone else in tech, I’m addicted to seeing what pops up and does well here

→ Search & Internet Marketing Sites/Blogs

Trending – what the web marketing industry is talking about & sharing, updated every few hours
• Search Engine Land – news on the search industry and landscape
Moz – daily blog on SEO & web marketing techniques + how-to
Dejan Marketing – one of the best experimenters in the search world, Dan Petrovic combines creativity and scientific rigor
• Distilled Blog – Top notch SEO consultants sharing their findings
• Seer Interactive Blog – very talented and well-written Philadelphia SEO team
• Siege Media – some of the most sophisticated and helpful content marketing advice you’ll find on the web comes from the Siege team’s thoughtful posts
Ian Lurie’s Blog – superb advice, rants, & analysis on web marketing, agency operations, and more

→ Interesting Web-Based Utilities and Applications

Oyster – terrifically in-depth hotel reviews w/ editorial photos from their team
SkyScanner – a great travel resource site; one I hope can compete against Google’s attempts to wholly own the travel search market
• SeatGuru – find the best seat on any flight; a must have for frequent fliers like me
Niice – a great site for finding unusual, visually stunning, inspiring graphics and images

→ News Sources

• NYTimes’ Most Read Articles – the most popular stories from the US’ greatest paper
• – Opinion, analysis and creative journalism
• National Geographic News – the best coverage of the natural world
• The Stranger’s Slog – Seattle-based weekly paper with style and substance
• Five-Thirty-Eight – statistically rigorous and impressive analysis of he
• BBC World News – extensive global news coverage
• Freakonomics Blog – the “hidden” economic factors at play in our world
• Metacritic – all forms of media/entertainment reviewed algorithmically

→ What I Read/Visit in My Free Time

• The Everywhereist – my wife’s brilliantly humorous travel blog
• The Sixty-One – a great site for independent music
• SeriousEats – scientifically rigorous recipes… yum
Maptia – the best travel writing and photos on the web

→ Conference & Event Recommendations

Mozcon – IMO, still the best large-scale web marketing conference out there; content, production value, speakers, and after-hours events are all top notch
Searchlove – my favorite smaller events (3-500 attendees) are those from Distilled; technical, tactical talks from high quality presenters amidst a wonderfully friendly and internationally diverse crowd
SMX Munich – one of the biggest and best shows in Europe; Munich attracts great content and speakers from across Europe and North America
SEMpdx Engage – for over a decade, Engage (formerly Searchfest) has been one of the premier regional shows in the US, and is hosted in Portland, OR, one of my favorite cities
Business of Software – possibly my favorite event in the entrepreneurship and broader business community
Brighton SEO – a remarkable, partially-free event in the south of England that attracts great talent and attendees

→ Books that I’ve Found Valuable

The Billionaire Who Wasn’t – A remarkable biography of one of my personal heroes: Chuck Feeney. This is probably the book that’s inspired me most in my professional career.
Good to Great – From analyzing 1,435 companies over 40 years, Jim Collins’ team found 11 standouts. This book looks at the difference between the great ones and the rest.
Built to Last – What do companies that survive for generations do differently than those who burn out fast? Another great analysis.
Predictably Irrational – A phenomenal work from Dan Ariely on why we make seemingly irrational choices.
The Upside of Irrationality – Another excellent book from Ariely, with a lot of new research and a personal take that helps keep the text moving.
Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion – Robert Cialdini’s seminal work on how and why mankind thinks and acts. Essential reading.
Startup Communities – In 10 years, Boulder, CO transformed into one of the world’s startup Meccas. Brad Feld, who engineered this process but takes little credit, describes how this can be done in regions around the world.
Lean Startup – Despite all the hype, it truly is a great book on architecting early stage startups
Incognito – A great take on neuroscience as it relates to behavioral psychology
Nudge – Learn about libertarian paternalism, choice architecture, and the science of how human beings can make themselves better decision-makers.
Radical Candor – one of the best books out there on how to manage people in a more thoughtful, holistic way.