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Showing posts from June, 2013

Authentic Conversation

When I think through the people I know from Startup Lancaster, some strike me as authentic and open, and others as constantly posturing.

Always on.

I get that--I've been there. You don't want to show that it's hard. Things aren't working out like you told everyone they would. You're screwing up but if you admit it you'll lose the last possible chance that someone might save you. You don't know how to face people and say you're not making it and don't know what to do.

So you put on your little show. We've all done it.

Today Fred posted an interview between my old coach and longtime friend Jerry Colonna and his longtime friend (and coaching client) Jason Calacanis.

I'd also kind of not really liked Jason, and then kind of have, and then not again.   Especially after the public crap with Arrington.

But I don't know him.

This interview changed my mind. I still don't know him, but I really respect his authenticity here, his accomplishment…

Specs

When I design an app, I think about it a lot before I do anything. I might be labeled as not methodical, but this is actually a methodical approach. 
I start really wide. I think about it, talk about it, and start to write about it on paper. Then I open a text editor and develop real data models to capture some of the ideas, and then move back to paper. 
Working on paper, I often just start writing what the app should do--a bit of BDD. And then I might flip it over and design a screen, or a schematic showing the relationships between things. 
I wring that damn sponge dry. 
And then I do it again, but narrow the scope, and then again, and pay attention to flow, and then again. All on paper. 
Some of this might be second-guessing myself. Some of it is useful, but a lot of it is repetitive. It's like I'm practicing the same lick over and over until I get it right. 
My inclination is to go from paper to code. The wisdom of my years tells me to ignore that inclination and go from …

New Startup

I was driving to an auction of a horse farm about 8 weeks ago to hopefully find something worthwhile for the community gardens, when a friend called to tell me about his idea. 
My initial and subsequent reactions were that yes, it's a great idea, and you should really do it. But I thought the chances of him going all in were low, simply because it's hard to launch a startup and he's on a great career path. 
So I was happily surprised when he said he wanted to do it, and asked me to join him as co-founder. The one major criterion that I have for starting or joining something is that it has to have the potential for a big positive impact on the world; the mission has to make a difference in people's lives. This easily meets that criterion. 
He visited Lancaster for an early brainstorming/planning session, it went well, and, well, I'm all in too. We're bi-coastal; I'll be in Lancaster/NYC most of the time and he's on the West Coast. I'll give more detai…

Email Intro Tip: Keep it Concise

I posted this list of email tips over at Fred's blog (which is a daily habit among a few others) Good morning folks! --no more than 4 lines
--concise subject
--clear request
--details can follow if requestedHave a great day everyone (yes sleep is a wonderful thing)

Punt: AVC on Lead Gen

To Fred's credit he  punts to Russell from WorkMarket. Russell's post is a decent but incomplete list of lead-gen tactics.

Notably, he doesn't discuss it from a strategic marketing perspective, so keep that in mind.

Also keep in mind a lot of the comments are not good advice, some from observers of sales and marketing and not from market builders.

This is one area where you want to pay attention to people like Phil Sugar, and avoid other sugar-coated platitudes. Phil knows how to carry a bag and has both the air miles and battle scars to prove it.

While you're at it, go read the following folks about lead generation, selling, marketing, traction, etc. All were/are successful entrepreneurs:

Marc SusterSteve BlankArnold WaldsteinOld posts of mine