Showing posts from September, 2016

My Startup Toolkit

When I started my first company, FastPencil, in 2007, there weren't a lot of tools to get up and running quickly. But I knew it would be critical to leverage technology if I wanted to stay lean and get to first customer fast! So we immediately setup Google Apps for email and document collaboration. We also used Skype and a few other online services.

Today, there are a lot more services available for startups, and they're better than ever. Here's my basic startup toolkit:

Nimble Social CRM
Every company needs a CRM and most go straight to Salesforce, but I met John Ferrara from Nimble at a Social Selling conference and I'm blown away at what he has been able to do with social CRM. Some of you may remember John from the company Goldmine. Goldmine was one of the first popular CRM applications available. It helped you stay organized and connected to your contacts.

Nimble does all this and more... for today's social selling environment. I started using Nimble as I built …

Admit Defeat and Move On Quickly

The pivot
One of the hardest things to do as a founder of a startup is to admit when your idea isn't working... your idea about the business, your idea about the product, your idea about the problem! That's exactly where I found myself a few weeks ago. It was time to admit Radi8 was chasing a problem that wasn't very painful. But it's not always the fastest who wins the race... sometimes it's the one who turns around first when they realize they are heading in the wrong direction.

That being said, one of the most exciting things about reaching this phase in your startup is the freedom and excitement of changing direction. After a year of trudging along in one direction you gain a lot of very valuable experience and insight. Some of the most valuable things you develop are relationships with your potential customers. And if you've been paying attention, you should have learned what some of the real, and painful, problems they face look like.

With that informatio…

What Are You Committed To?

Lately there has been a lot of discussion about standing for the flag and the national anthem. Some feel it's disrespectful to sit in protest, some feel sitting in protest is the ultimate symbol of freedom. To me it's a statement of commitment.

What are you committed to?
It's pretty easy to look back on a long, fulfilling life and see what you were committed to. Maybe you're reflecting on your life, and you realize how strongly you were committed to helping the poor, or how fiercely committed you were to your family. Maybe you were committed to making as much money as you could. Maybe you were committed to donating all of that money to non-profit organizations before you die. Regardless of your commitment, it's much easier to see what was important to you in retrospect.

But what do you do when you're a young kid, just out of high school or college? Is it really important to be committed to anything right now? It's hard enough making a commitment to meet for …