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Finding a Startup Idea

Last week I was talking to an entrepreneur and the topic of finding a startup idea came up. It got me thinking about the different ventures I’ve been a part of and where the ideas originated. Let’s take a look at a few. Freelance Consulting When I was in high school and college the dot com boom was in full effect. As a self-taught programmer, I built dozens of websites and received a recurring question: how do I update my site?...

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High Growth Startup, 0 Employees

An area I’m especially fascinated with is the future of work. Of course, the pandemic significantly broadened that interest through forced remote/virtual work and many discussions of how the office will change going forward. Last week I read one of the most incredible examples of a high growth startup scaling successfully with zero employees. Yes, no employees, eight figures of revenue, and almost a triple digit growth rate. So, how...

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Atlanta Startups on the Deloitte Technology Fast 500

Every year I enjoy reading through the Deloitte Technology Fast 500 and seeing how tech startups in Atlanta are doing. This year’s report is excellent and highlights a number of Atlanta’s high growth firms. Here are the Atlanta startups on the list: #4 – OneTrust – Privacy, Security and Data Governance Software#8 – CharterUP – Charter Bus Rentals, Comparisons and Tracking#11 – FIXD – The Car Scanner That’s Saving...

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Startup Learnings Take Time, So Just Start

One of the more popular questions I receive is something to the effect of “what entrepreneurial advice would you tell your younger self?” After reflecting on this question for years, my favorite answer is to just get going and start something. Being an entrepreneur, just like anything meaningful in life, is best done by doing. Sure, reading and learning best practices like the Lean Startup and a Simple Strategic Plan are important,...

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Startup Lessons from The Perfect Store

In the late 1998 I loved eBay and was on it daily. At the time, I’d buy sports cards from across the country to resell them in my local region. On eBay, I’d focus on Atlanta Braves players — my favorite team — and buy stars like Chipper Jones at half the Beckett pricing guide value from dealers in places like Seattle. Then, as a high school senior, I’d drive to baseball card shows and setup a dealer table selling to people in...

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Critical Startup Metrics By Department

Dave Bailey has an excellent post up titled The Anatomy of a Startup Organisation where he covers a number of topics related to organizing the departments in a startup. My favorite part is how he shares the most important metrics. Here’s a quick recap of the critical startup metrics by department: CEO Company’s North Star MetricOverall dashboard of metrics to run the businessRunway – how many months of cash burn in the...

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Running the Product/Market Fit Engine the Superhuman Way

Every so often I come across a podcast interview that is so profound and thoughtful that I stop everything and concentrate on the content. Last week I listened to an interview with Rahul Vohra, the founder of Superhuman, and it was one such show. There were a number of takeaways over the course of an hour, but the most interesting part for me was about thinking through product/market fit. Here are a few notes on Rahul’s ideas...

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Find Your Digital Mentors

Last month I was on a panel discussing the importance of mentors and how they really helped me in my career. The panel moderator asked for recommendations on how to find mentors and I gave my favorite answer: start with digital mentors. Digital mentors are people that you don’t know but they help you through their books, blogs, articles, videos, and podcasts. Digital mentors don’t have to be traditional writers, rather its people...

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5 Remote-First Principles from Brex

One area I’m really interested in right now is the trend away from traditional office structures for companies. All employees sitting in the same building for 40+ hours per week has felt antiquated for years. Now, with the pandemic, many of us have been forced to work from anywhere for 6+ months, and most people never want to go back to the previous office usage patterns. Of course, purely remote work isn’t the answer for everyone,...

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Build a Startup Ecosystem Guide

One of the areas I’ve been passionate about for years is building startup ecosystems. Entrepreneurship is a force for good and strong ecosystems help increase the chance and rate of success. Startup Atlanta just released The Atlanta Startup Ecosystem Guide and it’s excellent. After going through the guide, it’s clear every startup ecosystem should have one of these as a central repository of resources. Of course, making it...

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Startup State of the Union Slide Deck

Early in the Pardot days, it was clear things were going well and we had something special. Only, we were inexperienced and didn’t know what we were doing (does anyone, really?). My concern was ensuring we grow faster than the market, and to do that we had to ensure our employees’ personal growth was even faster than our company growth. For me, my needed personal growth was around communications and company alignment. To facilitate...