What I’d Like to Stop Doing in 2015

I really do love New Years. Reflecting on life and setting goals to make it better definitely feels like a process worth celebrating, and since my professional life began 10 years ago I’ve really enjoyed spending some of my time off in December preparing for the year ahead. I’d layered in a lot of goals over the years like getting up early, prioritizing self-care (nails, hair, skin etc.), and writing a TON more. This year, I will continue on the journey for self control and my focus will be on…

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Burn Rates Post & Second Seed Announcement Enter My Top 10 All Time Blog Posts List

This year has been an interesting one for blogging, I’m writing a lot more drafts and publishing far fewer posts. I’ve adopted Medium as my main platform for what I’d consider to be my “professional” writing because the editing tools are superior to WordPress, and the writer’s experience being good leads me to draft more and feel excited to quickly jot down something and trust that the platform will help with distribution. I’ve been blogging lightly for my company but have handed off a lot of our professional brand voice…

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Tweetstorms, Hashtags, and Why User-Invented “Features” Keep Me Long on Twitter

Full Disclosure: I bought Twitter stock in the company’s IPO and I will not be selling it anytime soon. Each year around the holidays I head North to Washington State to hibernate for a few weeks with my parents at their house, reflect on what I’ve been doing with my life, read, gamble at the reservation casino, drink and snuggle by the fire. This past winter I decided, after a few glasses of wine, to drive my Twitter followers a little crazy. I had a lot of ideas I wanted…

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Introducing Mattermark, the Deal Intelligence Company

The year we suspended disbelief long enough to find a frighteningly ambitious startup idea. From “TechCrunch Killer” to “Bloomberg for Startups” and beyond… Part of my job as an early stage CEO is to protect my company from being put into a box too early. Leaving us unsorted makes investors, customers and even employees a bit uncomfortable. It’s human nature to categorize things, to crave the efficiency of communicating, “Mattermark is XYZ for ABC.” It feels safe and socially correct, intellectually digestible, rational. But those motivations aren’t what drive category defining…

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My Fantasy VC Portfolio

I build software to help venture capitalists source deals, here are the ones I wish I had done Over the past few years I’ve made a handful of personal angel investments in founders who I think are incredible, and I am proud to be a small part of InternMatch (Andrew and Nathan), Bitnami (Erica and Daniel), LE TOTE(Rakesh and Brett) and Estimote (Jakub, Lukasz and Rafal). I have two themes I am passionate about: Software Developer Productivity (Bitnami & Estimote) Actualizing Ourselves as “Grown Ups” (Internmatch and LE TOTE) Both themes come…

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Mattermark Wasn’t a Pivot

We completely started over, here’s what happened. After shutting down our previous product I was depressed, disillusioned with consumer tech, and definitely had blood in my mouth. I took the huge chip on my shoulder on a mission: for 30 days I would write a post every day, starting with our own post-mortem. I wanted to talk about things no one else was saying in Silicon Valley, like which VCs were wasting founders’ time, or how much revenue Tumblr actually had leading up to being acquired by Yahoo. I scored…

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Measuring Startup & VC Performance – Everyday is Another Chance to Turn It All Around

Today I wrote about some potential methods for benchmarking startup investors, and on a call with a client this afternoon I was asked how I handle the inevitable pushback from investors who aren’t in the top 10 of the list. This the same question I regularly face regarding our approach to assigning scores to startups and the pushback I receive there is similar. My answer right now is simple: this is not predictive. While this frustrating from a data science perspective, not to mention as an investor (who doesn’t want…

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Focus

Wow. My last post was in August. I’m proud to say I’m still doing the same thing. As with most of my journals, I don’t usually write much when things are going exceptionally well in my life. For more writing on startups definitely check out the blog on Mattermark and subscribe to our newsletter.

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Embracing the Incrementality Mentality

We’ve all heard that line about the 10 year “overnight” successes. A friend* recently told me a key metric of his company was growing 4% week-over-week. Actually, he related with some dismay that it was only growing at 4%, and he was looking to build another product to make their company more attractive for raising the next round of funding. I was shocked. The base number that this 4% growth is accumulating on top of is in the billions, without much marketing or distribution yet. They found a problem many…

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