• Daily Life,  Startups

    I Don’t Do That Job Anymore

    Something has changed, permanently, in me. I’ve been trying to figure out how to express it, because the transformation has been so interesting, unexpected, and meaningful to me. If you are a first time founder, or planning to be, this might resonate. I’d love to know if you’ve had a similar experience and what that was like. Jobs I Don’t Do Anymore These aren’t job titles, but roles I’ve played in the past that I no longer care to play. During YC (Summer 2012) I made a clean break from a lot of these things in order to totally focus on building Referly, and after letting those activities go for…

  • Posts

    Call the Shots & Stop Being So Nice

    I gave a long rambling talk at Thinc Iowa.  So rambly in fact, that I was scared to watch it on video for a few months. Here’s the short version: Stop being so nice Gather the facts and judge people Don’t be the no in your own life If you don’t make decisions no one will Inertia is death Don’t miss the part where I tell people to STOP DOING ALL THE THINGS and also the part (around 17:20) where I’m really honest about how women having the biggest problem with being too nice.

  • 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.…

  • Daily Life

    Don’t Waste a Single Moment

    I’ve embarked on a new adventure as CEO & Cofounder of Referly – a startup that is helping anyone earn rewards for referring products they love and generating purchases.  We are in the YCombinator class this summer.  Learn more at http://refer.ly Lately I’ve been waking up really early, and working “farmer hours” (StarCraft caster reference – there are farmers who have 9-to-5 schedules, and gamers who get up late and stay up late).  It started back in October when I made my first extended trip to London to launch Twilio into the European market, and then I would come back and keep the early morning schedule so I would be…

  • Daily Life,  Referly,  Startups

    Saying No

    I love saying yes.  I love helping people, and being generous with my time whenever I can.  I love being a mentor.  I love the brain dump, having my brain picked and picking others, coffee, chats, happy hour, walks around SOMA, lunch, drinks, late night drives and all the other social activities that I’ve used over the years to build relationships, dispense advice, and make memories and connections. I love my friends, our regular spots to eat out, drink, brunch, lunch, gossip, bitch, support each other, and hang out. I love my family, our regular 4th of July drunkeness around their pool, riding the horses, fireworks on the Indian reservation…

  • Referly,  Startups

    Timeline: Starting Referly Took Me Three Years

    On Monday we launched Referly, and announced we will be participating in YCombinator this summer. While this is only my second full-time week as a founder, I thought it would be fun to rummage around in my email and Github to grab a timeline of how Referly went from idea to actual company. As Kim-Mai Cutler of TechCrunch reported, I haven’t been particularly secretive about the idea. I’ve gone through period of active and passive engagement with this idea since October 2009, and got really serious about just this past February. ———————————— April 2009 Just a few weeks after starting at Twilio I was still working out of Founder’s Fund…

  • 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…

  • Lessons In Startup Marketing

    Close the Loop on Your SXSW Campaign & Leads in 5 Steps

    This is a followup to my post last week How to Hustle SXSW for Fun & Profit, which is part of my sporadically ongoing Lessons in Startup Marketing blog post series and its focused on what to do post-SXSW to make the most of all the hustling you’ve been doing. Please let me know what other followup tips you have for event marketing, and thank you for reading! —– Hello 500!  I hope your hangovers aren’t too brutal. I wanted to followup on my post about “How to Hustle SXSW for Fun & Profit” and make sure I also told you how I think about closing the loop on the…

  • 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…