• Advice,  Code

    Don’t Break the Chain

    Before I decided to take Referly full time it was just a side project for a couple years. For New Year’s 2012 I set a personal goal to code every day (my job at the time was head of marketing for a developer company), and in early February of this year I decided to get serious with a “don’t break the chain” mindset. Referly was the project I decided to rebuild from the ground up and 6 weeks into my routine I let Jeff know I would be leaving so we could start the transition plan.  Shortly after that conversation I had some beers with Joseph Walla from HelloFax and…

  • Advice,  Referly,  Startups

    Startup Metrics to Obsess Over

    I obsess over my startup’s metrics. I constantly have Google Analytics realtime running in my browser to monitor traffic on Referly, and throughout the day I check it to see how many people are concurrently visiting our website (scroll to bottom to watch video on how to use this tool). I can see how many are new and how many are returning, where they came from and which parts of the site their are viewing, all within a glance. The psychology of this quick data dump into my brain is powerful, either reassuring me that people are discovering us or scaring me into thinking we might live in obscurity forever.…

  • Advice,  Startups

    500 Details: The Process of Mentoring Startups

    This morning I posted a link on Twitter & Facebook to How I Mentor Startups & Entrepreneurs.  After it went out, I realized it doesn’t tell the full story.  Where are the details of how this whole thing works.  I knew I’d written it down at some point, so I dug up this email I wrote to the 500 Startups list.  New personal rule: emails longer than 4 paragraphs might need to be blog posts.  Enjoy! ——— As a mentor who has gotten involved in ~12 companies and ended up writing checks to 3, so far, I want to share a little about how I think about the whole process.  First of all, I love mentoring and it is…

  • Advice,  Events,  Lessons In Startup Marketing,  Startups

    How to Hustle SXSW for Fun & Profit

    This is a copy/paste of an email I sent to 500 Startups Founders & Mentors email distros.  Another reason why you should join our program – I will fill your inbox with swear words and unsolicited advice.  Enjoy! Thank you so much to everyone who voted this up on Hacker News, where it spent 3 hours in the #1 position and more than 12 hours on the front page.  This post has now officially beat out How I Built a Multi-User Door Buzzer for our Apartment, with over 8,000 unique pageviews in the last 12 hours. — This is the email where you all find out I am a hyper-socially…

  • Advice,  Objectivism

    Tips for Asking Good Questions After a Lecture at OCON

    One great aspect of Objectivist Conferences is the opportunity to ask questions of the intellectuals presenting their ideas, immediately following their talks.  Coming up with a thoughtful question can add depth to the topic, and help express misunderstandings that might be shared by a lot of the attendees listening.  However, Q&A sessions have a limited amount of time, so if you’re going to take it up with your question you might as well do a good job.  I personally find it pretty intimidating to get up and ask a question in front of the large audience, however I can tell you a lot from an audience perspective. Write Down Your…