Yet Another (ex-)VC Blog

Cloud computing, startups, and venture capital

Archive for December 2015

Why debate when we can test?

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Going in, I had about ten hypotheses as to what holds women back from investing. Each of the ten was as strongly held as the other ten. My team and I committed to testing each of them – my new mantra is “Why debate something when we can test it?” We started down one road – that women would want to learn about their investing style before investing – and changed course quickly when the women told us that was not the case. Also nixed: that women would want to be part of an investing community. So we won’t launch by the new year, but we strongly believe co-creating this platform with the women themselves will drive a much, much better product and experience.

Source: The Worst Start-Up Advice I’ve Gotten | Sallie Krawcheck | LinkedIn

Written by John Gannon

December 22, 2015 at 6:28 pm

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Stop referring to what you do as “content.”

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Nobody ever woke up and said, Hey, I think I’ll go consume some content today, or, Wow, that was a great piece of content, I wonder if I can find any more content to consume. When you call your work content, you are subtly suggesting to yourself and to others that the work you do doesn’t have much value. You’re just sitting at an assembly line, cranking out word widgets, attaching some SEO widgets at the end, and then tossing it out onto the internet, hoping to catch traffic. That’s not storytelling, and it’s not smart marketing, either.

Source: Contently, Riding Corporate Media Wave, Raises New Funding

Written by John Gannon

December 20, 2015 at 3:48 pm

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What LinkedIn says you should do to build your professional brand

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The quickest way to build your professional brand is with LinkedIn’s publishing platform. Use it to write about everything from industry trends to career accomplishments. It’s important to write about what you know, as these articles will help you establish yourself as an expert. These posts will be clearly displayed on your ProFinder profile.

Source: Become a pro on LinkedIn ProFinder | LinkedIn

Written by John Gannon

December 19, 2015 at 9:15 am

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Super smart career move

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I joined as Airbnb’s third engineer when the company was headquartered in a three-bedroom apartment. I was drawn to the idea that you could have life-changing travel experiences staying with locals while simultaneously empowering hosts. I also believed that sitting next to two designer co-founders would teach me more about product development than being a PM at a larger company.

Source: Joe Zadeh | LinkedIn

Written by John Gannon

December 17, 2015 at 4:32 pm

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Make a HUGE investment of time or money in the outcome you desire (thx @danmartell)

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Over the years I’ve done this in a variety of ways:

  • Moving to San Francisco: Burning the boats and moving to the epicenter of my industry forced me to not waste the opportunity and elevate my skills to participate with some of the smartest folks around.
  • Paying $10K+ to learn a new skill : I’ve done this several times in my career where I invested a large sum of money to learn a new skill by the best person in the world. Making this investment meant I wasn’t going to minimize their time, advice or suggestions.
  • Burning the boats: When I was 24, I worked for 2 years saving every penny to start a company. I emptied my savings account and put it into my new corporate account hiring 3 people day one. I was all in!
  • Scheduling Webinars: When I want to blog or share an idea, the best thing I can do is schedule a webinar and share the link to my twitter followers. Committing to delivering on the content is a great forcing function for me to review my notes and create something great for everyone who joins.

Source: 3 Simple “Forcing Functions” That Will 3-5x Your Productivity | @DanMartell

Written by John Gannon

December 15, 2015 at 2:08 pm

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Why Your Brand Should Be Represented by Real People

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Space doesn’t allow for dozens more stories I could include, but here’s a list from Rand Fishkin of people he knows whose powerful personal brands helped build their company’s brands:  Heather Brunner at WPEngine, Hilary Mason formerly of Bitly, Oli Gardner with Unbounce, Caterina Fake at Flickr now Findery, Dan Shapiro at Robot Turtles, Sean Ellis of Qualaroo, Marie Steinthaler of HopsterTV. (Rand told me he had to stop the list there or he could go on all day!)

Source: Personal Brand Punch: Why Your Brand Should Be Represented by Real People – Moz

Written by John Gannon

December 7, 2015 at 4:21 pm

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Textbook startup job hunting

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The job that I now have was never publicly listed and there was no formal job description; in effect, I was able to create my own role based on the skills that I offered to GrubMarket.

Source: How I Landed My Dream Job in “Two and a Half Weeks” — Medium

Written by John Gannon

December 3, 2015 at 4:17 pm

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