Demonstrating Deep Customer Knowledge

This week, behavioral economist Richard Thaler won the Nobel Prize in Economics. Thaler is best known for his work for disproving the traditional assumption that people make completely rational economic choices. If you’re a founder and not interested in behavioral economics, you should be.  A great place to start is Dan Ariely’s Predictably Irrational. A ...continue


Why Convertible Notes Hinder Growth In Underserved Ecosystems

Recently, CrunchBase published a new case study on early-stage funding including the different types of deal structures, priced (equity) and unpriced (convertible notes or SAFES).  The post was a useful, if very high level, overview of the early-stage funding process.  However, due to this simplicity, the article painted a naive picture of how unpriced rounds often work ...continue


How Free Creates More Revenue

Nothing is more critical to a growing startup than pricing strategy, and all too often startups leave too much money on the table by not charging enough. This makes it difficult to take full advantage of the new value their product creates.  As Marc Andreessen recently said, if he could put one phrase on a ...continue


Effective Mentorship

Recently, I crossed a passage in Let My People Go Surfing which deeply resonated with me because so few people seem to leverage the giving nature of others. I had no business experience so I started asking for advice.  If you admit you don’t know something people will fall over themselves trying to help.  – Kris Tompkins ...continue


The Cyclicality of Confidence

Most of my last few weeks have been tied up in various meetings.  The unique part has been that in those meetings my role has been quite different depending on the topic and the participants. After one of those meetings, I reflected on how I’ve changed my personal interactions over the years and how I’ve ...continue


Accelerating the Texas Flywheel

Yesterday, Capital Factory CEO Joshua Baer announced a partnership with The Dallas Entrepreneur Center to bring Texas’ biggest accelerator to Dallas.  In his post, The Texas Startup Manifesto, Baer proposed a “Texas startup Megatropolis” combining Austin, Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio. The vision is exciting and highlights many of Texas’ obvious strengths: Growing at a ...continue


Resources for Entrepreneurs

Since our work is primarily focused in areas where the startup ecosystems are just beginning to grow, we often get questions that have been answered by more veteran investors or founders in more established markets.  Inspired by John Gannon’s blog and instead of finding them one-by-one in my bookmarks, I’ve decided to start compiling them ...continue


Unproductive Meetings

Recently, I decided to take a “themed” approach to my book selections.  The first theme has been centered around a new approach to my work habits.  I asked myself three questions (selected book): How can I learn more effectively and efficiently? (Make It Stick) How can I spend time in a deeper state of concentration ...continue


Hustle and Curiosity

Over the decade, I’ve been blessed to work a variety of different jobs with a diverse group of people. I’ve gone from retail store manager to a publicly traded company, to a growing startup while acquiring my MBA somewhere in between. During that time, I’ve worked with some exceptionally talented, hardworking people who all had ...continue


#AlternativeMetrics: Going Beyond Common Startup Performance Indicators

“You get what you measure.” A concept that seems simple enough, yet even the world’s best businesses get wrong.  Measuring the wrong things drives poor decision making and undermines performance.  Simply put, using a metric the wrong way is as bad or worse than not measuring anything at all. Let’s take a look at a few metrics ...continue


Imitation is the Sincerest Form of Flattery, Unless You’re Filing an IPO

It was revealed last week that Facebook is experimenting and planning the wide release of a stories feature similar to Snapchat. Haven’t we been here before?  But count me out amongst the many who criticize Facebook for it’s lack of creativity and imagination. Snapchat’s IPO roadshow will likely reveal just how well Facebook’s strategy is working, but ...continue


Mitigating Early Product Risk

Over the past month, I’ve focused on my growth in product during the span of the last few years. This led me to reflect on my initial days as a product marketing manager and internalize where we succeeded but also what we could have done better. From those thoughts, I’ve tried to put together a ...continue


Growing as a Product Manager in Secondary Markets — Part II — Resources

Last week, I introduced a series which I hope will be of use to new product managers in markets outside of Silicon Valley. For the first installment I am focusing on a few resources that really shaped my view of product management over the last three years. Udemy (Coursera, EdX, Khan Academy) Silicon Valley is full ...continue


CBI Insights Innovation Summit Day 1 Recap

Jonathan and I are at the CBI Insights Innovation Summit in Santa Barbara this week. Below are a few quick takeaways from yesterday’s panels and discussions.  Enjoy. As can be expected, voice and text will be the biggest winners at the intersection of UI and AI over the next few years.  People can now interact ...continue


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