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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...



Article

Renovating Your Startup Office: Creating a Google Space on a MySpace Budget


  

Years ago, I was having ice cream with my wife on a hot summer night and I overheard a group of 16-year-olds talking about how one of them went to work with his dad. I remember him saying:

“I went to his office and it was so boring. Everything was bright lights and pale colors. If I had to be in an office all day I’d make it just like my bedroom and enjoy hanging out there.”

I distinctly remember looking at my wife and saying, “That kid has it figured out. I spend 14 hours a day in a room I don’t want to be in with a job that I love.” I vowed one day to change that.

That was ten years ago. It apparently took a really long time for me to act on this one, but I finally did, and I have to say the kid knew ...



Article

Good Enough Never Is (Or Is It?)


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One of the sayings I hear from talented managers in product development is, “good enough never is.” It’s inspirational, always calling the team to try harder and do better. It works to undermine excuses for poor or shoddy work. And, most importantly, it helps team members develop the courage to stand up for these values in stressful situations. Especially in teams that are managing by objectives (or OKRs), the pressure to deliver is intense. Under such pressure, the temptation to cut corners, to quit prematurely, or to hand off shoddy work to another department is overwhelming. It requires courage to stand up and say: “this work is simply not good enough. Sure, we could get away with it, but that’s not how we work.” Good m...



Article

UserCompass: Send NPS Surveys to Get Customer Feedback


  

“You didn’t ask.” Of all the things a business should hope to never hear the customer say, this has to rank near the top. Because it is so easily avoidable. Because the fault for never asking falls entirely on your shoulders. There are even automated tools to help you learn more about what your customer is thinking – to ask without asking!

UserCompass automatically sends NPS (net promoter score) surveys so you can know what your customers really think of you and so you can track their loyalty over time.

Currently, UserCompass surveys your Stripe customers. All you have to do is connect your Stripe account. Then UserCompass will automatically send NPS surveys and give you their feedback.

The service strategically waits three days from the t...



Article

How to Create an Effective Product Strategy


  

What is product strategy?

Product strategy is the combination of a high-level vision of what your company is going to accomplish and the steps you’re going to take to get there. Basically, you’re turning your product vision into your product roadmap. It’s something of a transitional step in the top-down process of transforming your grand vision for your startup into an actual, profitable product.

Most companies have more than one product strategy. In addition to an overarching product strategy that applies to the direction the whole company is headed, if your company has more than more product, then each one is going to need its own product strategy.

For many startups, the overarching product strategy and the specific product strategy over...



Article

Making Media Work: 5 Ways to Avoid Media Failures


  

Let’s face it: Media failures happen to the best of us. Sometimes they’re simple mistakes that go unnoticed, and sometimes they’re catastrophic failures that can ruin a business. The vast majority of the time, though, they’re preventable.

At its core, a media failure is when the value exchange between a marketer and a media company breaks down. This can happen because a marketing strategy was poorly planned, the implementation was rushed, or the media company was unable to actually deliver the audience it promised.

That’s why at New Brave World, I always caution the teams we advise to be careful to consider legal timelines and the time and cost exposure that’s connected to custom content creation. It’s also important to ensure you’ve ...



Article

How to Create a Successful Advisory Board For Your Company


  

With today’s fast-paced, ever-evolving and competitive market, a lot of companies decide to create a board of advisers that can give them fresh ideas and recommendations to keep up with today’s world.

For small companies, creating a well-run advisory board can give them an edge over their rivals. An advisory board that is composed of experienced people can help a company increase sales and flourish in their chosen industry. Seems pretty straightforward, right? But not a lot of companies do this or, if they do, do it right.

The Basics: What is an Advisory Board?

An advisory board is a group of consultants who provide advice and give support to the management of a company. They have no authority or power to arbitrate in corporate matters. The...



Article

Dreaming in Technicolor


  

It’s hard to decide who has changed the most in the last 12 years: Thrillist or its co-founder and CEO Ben Lerer.

Back in 2004, Thrillist was frequently described as the male equivalent of DailyCandy, a female oriented email newsletter that sold for $125 million only to be killed by Comcast. To be clear, that is still one of the largest content exits in the Web era, and it inspired plenty of envy at the time. Many expected Thrillist to be flip-bait as well.

Fast forward to today and Thrillist has raised more venture capital than that DailyCandy acquisition– much of it during a $100 million mega round announced last year. That deal rolled up Thrillist and three other media platforms into one company called Group Nine, and Discovery inv...



Article

These 4 Travel Startups Are Doing It Right


  

When you’re launching a travel business, there are many “what ifs” and “what nows” — especially if you’re a rookie. It’s almost too easy to get caught up in the excitement. Whether you’re trying to build out too many related products before perfecting your core business, struggling to gauge the strength of a potential partnership, or micromanaging your staff, it might be a good idea to take a step back and gain a little perspective from the pros.

After all, those pros started out where you are now, and many are willing and eager to help others get on their feet. So don’t be afraid to reach out within the tight-knit entrepreneurial community to seek advice because almost nothing is more valuable than help from someone who has been in the tre...



Article

Plan Your Year to Keep Employees Happy in Q4 Without Leaving Clients Hanging


  

It’s that time of year again! Get ready for all of the year-end lists, advice, and wrap-ups. Every year, we soak that stuff up, but this year, I’m focusing on something different: my team.

Over the years, I’ve noticed a few things as the holidays roll around.

Naturally, people want to take time off with their friends and family. They should. And they should also prepare accordingly by managing client expectations so they can enjoy their time away.

This is also prime time for folks to reevaluate their lives and career goals. As a boss, that means lots of hand-holding and long conversations with employees around career trajectory and promotion possibilities.

At my company, we’re slammed in the fourth quarter. It’...



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