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Managing marketing data in a growing startup, and reflections on last week's The Economist cover article

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In this week’s episode of Ventures, we pull a clip from Episode 37 with Kelly Jo Horton and Sol Cates to discuss marketing operations in a growing startup. Early founder teams often leave the design, implementation, and maintenance of marketing stacks as an afterthought, which ends up costing the new company a massive amount of time and money. In this episode, Kelly Jo and Sol help us understand why bringing in an expert - or at least someone dedicated to learning from experts and driving the integrated flow of marketing data - is essential to any B2C or B2B company’s growth.

Check it out: Tips for setting up and managing your marketing stack in a new startup :: with Kelly Jo Horton and Sol Cates

The Illiberal Left? 

The day after I posted my newsletter from last week (which a number of you chimed in on, thank you 🙏) I got hit up by a bunch of my friends from the right, left, and center of the political spectrum about The Economist’s cover article: The threat from the illiberal left.

After no lack of email, text, and phone conversations about it (apparently the socials were pretty active about it, too), my basic take is to listen very closely to how the right, left, and center are responding to it and do my best to first understand what’s going on.

Granted, I haven’t yet peered into what’s going on across social media (not that it’s any kind of authoritative or good source), so my perspective is limited. Time is short so I don’t intend to look over there (yet), so thanks for listening to my relatively raw thoughts on it.

First, talking about just the USA and UK for now, it seems we need to take an honest assessment of how dire the situation is for people dealing with systemic racism and oppression. If the situation is bad enough (hard to debate it isn’t?), then we have a “burning building”  scenario going on that requires immediate active attention. While I appreciate The Economist’s call to classical liberalism and the science, debating, and checks-and-balances that come with it, I’m empathetic with my friends that are fed up with systemic oppressive structures and want to get themselves (and their friends/family) out of the burning building ASAP.

Second, to assume that a “classical liberal” position isn’t playing the same power games that the far right and far left are playing is, in my view, a mistake. No matter what tribe and position you pick, power structures are unavoidable. In any tribe there are “confessional state”-like dynamics going on, with corresponding groupthink, tribal leaders, dogma being followed, rituals, art, etc…

So - like any good startup founder - let’s get back to the basics. What is preventing people from flourishing? How can those roadblocks be identified and addressed so at least the next generation can live a better life?

I again come back to the call for leadership. We need leaders to be bridge builders instead of bridge burners. We need to be honest about power structures in place and the tribalism that motivates human behavior. We need to find as much common ground as possible to identify burning buildings out there and rescue people ASAP from them instead of sitting around and debating things.

Frankly, while of course we can’t condone violence, I don’t blame the far right and far left for taking the actions they have in the last few years. I think the “middle” has profound lessons to learn from all sides.

Have a great rest of your week!