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Is it time to make the switch to entrepreneur?

Posted on 05 July 2012

We all hear a lot about startups and successful entrepreneurs from our social circles and the news. Common themes trend from “The College Dropout Bazillionaire” to “The Garage Startup,” but these are likely inaccurate descriptions at best. Forget mega success, in reality it’s difficult to successfully support oneself as an entrepreneur. If you’re thinking about trying your hand at business, consider these questions first:

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Professionalism is Dead.

Posted on 09 March 2012

I gotta act professional, someone important is gonna be here. Don’t talk about personal issues, it’s not for work. Would you say that in front of your boss?

I hear it all the time…

The truth is, professionalism is really just about respect. Over the years though, it seems to have become more and more about perception.

You are one person at work and another at home.

It’s not really our fault though, it’s just reality. It’s what the system has become and what it tells us too do.

But it usually comes down to one motivator. Fear. Fear is usually the key motivator. Fear of losing your job. Fear of getting demoted or never getting promoted. Fear of never getting a job. That’s mostly it. Just fear.

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One similarity between consumer companies: Transparency to previously opaque information.

Posted on 06 March 2012

I’ve always been curious to why things take off…

One thing I think about a lot is the one thing that made them different at the point in time at which they hit true growth.

I think one main similarity between them all (besides timing) is adding a level of transparency on previously opaque information before anyone else.

  • Facebook added transparency to your relationship status before anyone else.
  • Twitter added transparency to your current status before anyone else, making the world and perceived celebrities feel like everyone else.
  • Foursquare added transparency to your current location before anyone else. (although don’t consider this a major success or long term behavior)
  • eBay added transparency to collectibles you always wanted before anyone else.
  • Craigslist added transparency to your neighbor’s garage before anyone else.

If you are going after massive market in the consumer space it may be worth asking;

What are you making transparent that didn’t exist before?

Image credit: Matthew Wynn

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Cold Start, Spam or Just Enough? The Path Dilemma.

Posted on 06 February 2012

So everyone’s pissed at Path it seems. Well, everyone in our little bubble. My dad uses Path, he doesn’t care that you are saving his address book for him. He just wants to know how I’ve been.  

What happens here is quite ironic though. This one feature we are up in arms about is the one feature that actually makes Path work. It’s quite brilliant and helpful actually.

Facebook figured out that you need to be friends with ten people before you were hooked. They built a team around it.

They also started with your college email address. A close enough graph that was searchable. Then the flood gates happened after they opened it to everyone. Hence the Facebook problem, too many friends.

If Path, like everyone else, used Facebook to find your friends the entire model would have been broken. Facebook isn’t friends.

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I think Google+ hits some weird nerve between Facebook and Twitter.

Posted on 06 January 2012

Do I need another social network? No.

Do I think that most new tech things are hype? Yes.

So why I think Google+ is interesting? A few simple reasons…

I want to do a simple break down on how I think Google+ very strategically took the pieces that work with Facebook and what works for Twitter while steering clear of the pieces that most are finding to be a problem over time and then built it on top of a whopping 150 million Gmail users, all of whom have thousands more non-gmail email addresses in their address book. Add those zeros up and you’ll see some billions…

Let’s start with Facebook: 

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How to quit your job and not ruin your future.

Posted on 06 March 2011

I just quit my job 4 months ago. Our company, Gist, had just been acquired by BlackBerry and I had just returned from a trip to Iceland.

The day I returned home I had a message from a good friend who I had worked with before who mentioned that he wanted to meet, it was urgent and he would be over to my neighborhood soon. (it wasn’t even a question I don’t think.)

I was already at a bar having a drink and remembered that before I left for Iceland he had kicked up this new startup, I figured it was about that but I wasn’t sure.

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