Author: user

So you want to start a business…

Visions of entrepreneurship often start with someone raising $10 MM in venture capital on the back of a clever idea and a snazzy PowerPoint deck. Most real stories of entrepreneurship don’t involved venture capital at all. They start with a modest self-funded effort or a small capital raise through friends and family. My wife and

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The Unremarkable Lego Brick Separator

I bought my younger daughter a set of Legos for Christmas. The set came with a little, orange plastic tool that looks like this: It’s called a Lego brick separator. It seems to be common add-in for most of the bigger sets now, but definitely didn’t exist when I was a kid. Watching my daughter

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The Taoist Farmer

I’ve seen the parable of the Taoist Farmer quoted in three different places in the past week. If you’re unfamiliar, it’s the story of how a very even-keeled man interprets events in his life. Seemingly good things happen. Seemingly bad things happen. Either way, the farmer is unmoved. There was a farmer whose horse ran

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You’d better recognize

Parenting books highlight that positive praise works far better than negative criticism. The advice given is that, rather than criticizing your child each time they do something wrong, wait until they do something right and then praise the heck out of it. It turns out this works pretty well with adults, too. And, positive praise

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How to Write Better Headlines

Many more talented marketers have spent a lot of time on this subject. I’m not sure I have anything much different or more meaningful to add. But, I’m also reasonably confident that an automated WordPress widget doesn’t either. Every time I write a headline for this blog, a little box appears with a 0-100 score.

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The Next One in the Door

The goal of performance marketing is to generate profitable sales. You buy leads or clicks or impressions and work to convert them into customers. Your marketing costs per sale (CPA) need to be below gross profit per sale, if you want to stay in business and keep at it for the long-haul. To understand how

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Don’t let me rain on your parade

A close friend is working on a start-up. The product is a piece of apparel targeted towards women with a very specific need. Her experience has been a long slog through various highs and lows, consistent with the prototypical entrepreneurial journey. She recently asked for my perspective on the problem she’s solving, the opportunity for

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My Favorite Villain

The original Karate Kid features one of the great villains of classic cinema. Johnny Lawrence, portrayed by William Zabka, is a stereotypical 1980’s bad guy. Lawrence is California-surfer cool, handsome, wealthy and popular. He and the rest of the Cobra Kai dojo ruthlessly bully and menace Daniel LaRusso throughout the movie, only to be rebuffed

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You can grow your business overnight

You can buy clicks on Google and Facebook. Or, you can buy leads from a lead gen company. All you need is money and a little bit of technical expertise, and you have a fast path to more volume. Unfortunately, all your competitors are getting that exact same sales pitch. In this case, you’re really

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