• Posts

    Request for Startup: Subscription Car Wash a la WeWork

    Here in Denver I subscribe to a monthly car wash membership for my black SUV which allows me to bring the car in as many days as I want for the same price. Since I have a black car I use this a lot, especially in the winter months when the car is constantly getting splashed with dirty slush. I rent my car out on Turo, so year round I use this service quite a bit (after each transaction) and also let my passengers know they are welcome to take the car in anytime they like. You’d be surprised by how many do! Denver people are the nicest. I’m fascinated…

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    I’m Taking Self-Funded “Sabbatical” for the Rest of 2018

    In this podcast interview on “Founders Talk” with Adam Stacoviak we talk about the decision to sell my startup Mattermark, the process of getting the deal done, managing psychology and explore the many choices along the way. Listen to the full interview here or download and listen on iTunes If you’ve been following along on social media, you might have heard me say “I’m on sabbatical” lately. It’s true, I’m no longer an employee anywhere and this break is self-funded (some folks pointed out saying sabbatical sounds like something that I’d negotiated as part of the acquisition), so I’m not sure what to call it. Yesterday was the start of my…

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    Thank You Mattermark Daily Readers, Contributors and Editors

    After many years, the newsletter that was the genesis of my former startup, Mattermark Daily is sending its final missive today. It was such a pleasure to read the Internet and scour for posts to share 4 days a week with more than 100K readers, 60K of whom opened the Mattermark Daily each day at the peak of her awesomeness. I started the Daily and wrote it for the first 18 months, and then it was the labor of love and dedicated efforts of many subsequent Editors in Chief who made it fantastic (and also made sure it published on schedule!). My deepest gratitude goes to Kevin Morrill, Andy Sparks,…

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    Reading List for Making Relationships Better

    At FullContact, our vision is to “make relationships better” and I’ve spent the last few months wrapping my head around what this *really* means in the context of profiles of people and linkages between their different online identities. The fundamental idea behind this vision is that more data is better for decision-making, and that customers can craft advertising. marketing, and product experiences that are deeply human when they make decisions about what to say, do, offer, etc. with the full richness of understanding a person. This is a significant departure from my day-to-day obsession with companies, financing events, mergers and acquisitions. To help me explore this head space I’ve embarked…

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    “This Storm Is You” and Other Thoughts After a Year in M&A Limbo

    I spent the last 9 months working on selling my previous startup, Mattermark, and now it’s finally done. This blog is more than 10 years old, and I’ve been blogging for nearly 20 years now… so the break from writing and sharing my life has been strange, but good. Now I’m ready to get back to it, and I find myself transformed by life (this is always happening, but it’s often so gradual you don’t notice it) and having a hard time recognizing my old voice, my old “face” in the digital sense. Writing here again, logging into the WordPress console and skimming hundreds of stubbed out potential posts I…

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    Checking On Predictions & Fantasy VC Portfolios

    On June 8th, 2017 I made a list of 20 companies that looked ripe for Series A… it has been nearly 4 months and I just checked to see how my predictions are going. 1 out of the 20 has announced their Series A so far: ClearMetal announced a $9M Series A from Innovation Endeavors and Prelude Ventures. I love to publish picks and then see what happens, and back in February 2014 I shared my fantasy VC portfolio of 7 companies, and then updated it in February 2015 showing a nearly 9.1x* increase in total funding (*excluding the Uber pick) from my initial selection. This group is now at 14x* total funding since my…

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    What Does It Feel Like to Be Married Cofounders?

    when my light’s burn out you’re the only one, you’re the only one you’re the only one left I will answer to when my lights burn out you’re the only one, you’re the only one you’re the only one here who can switch out the dud honey you’re a patient man living in the moment everything I am is not everything you wanted but here we are side-by-side in bed every single morning I am old you can’t keep my pace and you can’t see the flash beneath my veins but you’ve got time for days to watch me drift, and sink and swim in a hundred different ways when…

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    20 Bay Area Startups Ripe for a Series A Investment

    It’s been a couple years since we shifted our product development focus at Mattermark to supporting sales and marketing deal sourcing, but that doesn’t mean I’ve lost my love for speculating on which startups are most likely to raise funding next. Living in San Francisco these past 8 years, I’ve noticed there are often companies that appear seemingly out of the blue and then raise a boatload of money. This was part of what inspired me to start Mattermark in the first place. Can we detect these companies earlier if we were paying closer attention to data exhaust they produce? If we were watching the web traffic, social media, mobile…

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    A Walk in The Land of Never Was: Lessons That Led to Green-Lighting Our Most Popular Feature

    There are so many reasons not to do a thing. Fear, laziness, lack of skill or resources, and stubbornness all come to mind. But this year, I found a reason more dangerous than all of them, worse because its lackluster sound gives it the camouflage of dullness among a deluge of new shiny things. The danger is in finding a great idea, but thinking it doesn’t matter and tossing it aside. “No, obviously we won’t do that,” is the catch phrase. Spoken with enough confidence, especially by someone powerful and respected who uses logic well, and that idea enters the Land of Never Was. The Land of Never Was is…

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    Request For Startup: Personal CRM for Grown-up Friendships

    My life is really full, as a startup founder and CEO there are endless things to do. There are always more meetings I could take (maybe should take?) and by the time Friday evening rolls around I’m usually pretty happy to head home and curl up for the next two days on the couch with a book, a drink, and some good music. This is probably not new… but lately, the signals have been getting through. “It’s hard to support someone I never see.” “You’re really hard to get a hold of.” These aren’t coming from business contacts, and they’re not coming to me by email. They’re coming from friends…