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Why We Plan Our Entire Business In 5-Day Sprints


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There's an incredible amount of magic in having very little time to get things done.

That's why at Startups.com, with over 200+ people, we manage our entire workload based on what we plan on getting done by Friday. That's it. No long term planning sessions, no confusing Gantt charts or Trello boards. Just 5 days to get stuff done.

And damn it's effective.

Less Time = Less Room for Excuses

The problem with creating longer planning cycles is that every additional day, week, or month decreases the visibility and accountability for a single day of work. Our focus needs to be reducing the amount of time we can cheat on our time.

Imagine we wanted to lose 10 pounds this year. At lunch, we can order a cheeseburger, because hey, we have all year t...



Article

How Do I Design My Startup Around My Life?


  

Building a startup that drives our lifestyle choices is incredibly hard, no matter what that care-free Founder's Instagram might suggest.

In order to make our startups work around our lifestyle, we have to make a deliberate choice to bend the fabric of reality to meet our demands.

It's crazy hard. But it can actually be done.

It Starts With Strong Commitments

The foundation for having a startup that supports our dream lifestyles is making really strong commitments to those lifestyle choices. For example, if we're parents and we want to make sure we never miss our kid's soccer game, we have to publicly make that commitment and stick to it.

Sometimes just announcing those commitments is a great way to get the ball rolling. When we launched...



Article

When Will My Startup Make Me Happier?


  

We often think about this concept of our startup "making it" through a sale or some other outcome and then we get to be truly happy.

But that's not how it works.

Our "success" actually comes gradually, day by day, at a glacial pace so that we never actually notice it. Until one day, we wake up, and things don't suck anymore.

So we can't think of our startups driving happiness as being a definitive moment in time. We have to think about it as little pieces and parts that gradually — but noticeably — get better.

When we can say "No"

If we think really hard, we can probably remember a time when we actually got to use the word "No" to things.

You know, like working all weekend, draining our bank account to keep the company afloat, or simply ...



Article

What's Product Design?


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What is product design?

Product design is the entire process of taking a product from idea to customers — and everything in between.

“There’s a widespread misconception that design is all about aesthetics,” product designer Eric Eriksson writes. “Most people don’t seem to understand that it’s about solving problems instead.”

There’s another, more limited, definition of product design which we’re not going to explore in detail here. But basically, that other definition is talking just about how a product looks and functions. For the sake of product design for startups, we’re focusing on the more holistic, process-oriented definition.

What’s the difference between product design and product development?

While product design is part of produc...



Article

Reveal: See Your Industry’s Landscape with Competitive Intelligence


  

There are weapons, and there are weapons made with plutonium. Well, there is competitive intelligence, and there is the competitive intelligence made by Knowlium.

Knowlium is the maker of the competitive intelligence software called Reveal – a product that “accelerates your digital strategy with real-time competitive insight.”

Here’s a quick rundown of what the Reveal competitive intelligence software covers:

  • Brand Monitoring
  • Content Marketing
  • SEO Analysis
  • Benchmarking
  • Social Media Analysis
  • Influencer Analysis

Which is to state matters very very simply. You must have a look for yourself to appreciate the comprehensiveness and sophistication with which Reveal processes data. If you want simple scores to understand your market position com...



Article

Three Millennial Productivity Hacks for 2017


  

80% of Resolutions Fall Short in the First QuarteR

Usually, after the third month of the year your crisp new running gear and fitbit has been designated to the back of the closet as a guilty reminder, and you are counting your steps to the subway station as your day’s exercise. You are not the only one. In fact, according to U.S. News, nearly 80% of resolutions fall short by the second week of February

While Millennials are better than their parent’s generation at sticking to new year’s resolutions, their frantic work and social lives make it hard to stick to plans on the long term. Millennials are ‘experience motivated’ and take up new hobbies and regimes with great intentions, but according to Statistic Brain only 8% achieve their resolut...



Article

5 Factors to Estimate How Much Your Mobile App Idea Will Cost


  

Over the past six years, Applico has built over 300 apps, and I’ve learned a lot about how to find the perfect app developer at the right price. The primary driver of price is the cost of labor. For example, hiring offshore developers will be exponentially cheaper than hiring domestic developers, and an established firm will cost you more than a freelance hire.

Because there are so many different variables, the price for a mobile app could range anywhere from $5,000 to $500,000. The average price range will typically be somewhere between $100,000 and $300,000, and the entire development process takes about 12-20 weeks. It’s obviously a hefty investment, both in time and money. So in order to optimize your financial resources, here are the f...



Article

The Day After: 11 Things to Do After You Publish a Post


  

Clicking the “Publish” button is one of the highlights of my day.

Working hard on a post and then putting it out there to help others is extremely rewarding. It’s one of the main reasons why I continue to write so much.

But it’s not the only reason….

Content marketing remains one of the most effective strategies to grow a blog – any blog.

Eighty-six percent of marketers in North America use content marketing, and 71% of marketers (overall) are planning to increase spending on content marketing.

Creating great content is an extremely important part of any successful content marketing strategy. But it’s just one part.

If all you do is hit “Publish” and then move on to the next article, your blog won’t grow as quickly as it should.

And if you...



Article

Nancy Duarte: Get Creative With Your Startup Presentations


  

Nancy Duarte is a pro when it comes to presentations. Not just giving presentations, but starting them, finishing them, and every step in between. Author and co-founder of Duarte Designs, Nancy Duarte is a seasoned veteran when it comes to incorporating storytelling into speaking and creating connections with an audience.

The below video is the fifth part in a series of 10 in which Nancy shares the key components to making a successful pitch using creativity and critical thinking. Find out what she has to say:

Getting creative (and comfortable) with startup presentations

Back when startup presentations were nearly all slide-based, Nancy used to have a general rule-of-thumb: one slide would equal about two minutes of talking. This was a tim...



Article

A Chat with Unforeseen Startup Warrior Nick Frost


  

…when I started StartupList, I didn’t know where it would lead or even that I was actually creating a startup. It was just a project I was working on to learn more about startups and how to build a website. It evolved into something I never could’ve imagined at the time.

There is no better way to hear the story of how Nick Frost came to champion startups than to hear it straight from his mouth. Startups Live was incredibly fortunate to have such an opportunity.

Often this collection of Founders turns over nitty gritty details of building startups, examining a particular question or aspect of the work. This talk does some of the same, but it also brings the role of fortune into the field of play – not luck, or the unexpecte...



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