Topic:   Startups

How are blockchains creating value for humanity? Why is Web 3.0 important? :: with Andrew Cronk

In this episode of Ventures, my guest Andrew Cronk (https://www.linkedin.com/in/andrewcronk/, Co-founder and Chief Product Officer at https://figment.io/) and I discuss Web 3 and blockchains beyond price hysteria, energy-usage debates, and influencer shenanigans. While everyone has been distracted by current events, the Web 3 builders continue to push the technology forward in a way that is genuinely compelling for our future. We talk about Proof-of-Stake, building a Web 3 developer community, technologies that exist today for decentralized apps, NFTs, Helium Network, what the rest of this year looks like for Figment, and much, much more.

From founder to VC to founder again: practical advice for startups and investors :: with Alex Giannikoulis

In this episode of Ventures, my guest Alex Giannikoulis (https://www.linkedin.com/in/giannikoulis/) and I discuss his journey from startup land, to angel investing, to venture capital, to founding a new company again. His current startup (https://goivee.com/) builds enhanced in-vehicle experiences. We dive into not only the story of IVEE, but how Alex’s experience as an angel investor and VC has informed his leadership style and practical advice for founders, especially regarding fundraising.

Scaling a product management team, lessons learned from startups and enterprises, and how to drive customer success from a product advisory board :: with Kiel Sanders and Patrick Lowndes

In this episode of Ventures, my guests Kiel Sanders (https://www.linkedin.com/in/kielsanders), Patrick Lowndes (https://patricklowndes.com/), and I discuss many details surrounding growing product management teams and operating efficiently at scale. We discuss the various roles that newer founders may not be aware of that exist at larger companies, the skill sets needed to recruit and manage effectively, setting up a product advisory board, what to do when customers are unhappy, and lessons learned when scaling products both at a new startup and within a larger organization.

Self-discovery, discerning our limits, and transitioning from idealism :: with Kathryn Little

In this special episode of Ventures, Kathryn Little (my amazing mother) and I discuss finding oneself, discovering purpose, transitioning out of idealism, saying yes and no to the right things, processing grief, marriage, parenting, and being who you are as an entrepreneur and human being. Indeed, when thinking about the best possible guest for this episode, I asked my mother and she graciously agreed to share her story and insights.

Connecting people, building community, and learning from super connectors :: with Weston Woodward and Sol Cates

In this episode of Ventures, my guests Weston Woodward (https://www.linkedin.com/in/westonwoodward/), Sol Cates (https://www.linkedin.com/in/solcates/), and I discuss community building from a personal, startup, and local city perspective. We talk about how to listen and ask questions, effectively connect people to help raise the tide for everyone, advice for startup founders, and thoughts about social media and the future of communication in the Web 3.0 era.

Trajectory: Startup. Plus, is it possible to use social media in a healthy way?

In this newsletter I write about this week's podcast with Dave Parker and our discussion on his new book, Trajectory: Startup: Ideation to Product/Market Fit―A Handbook for Founders and Anyone Supporting Them. I also write about my recent thoughts and conversations with colleagues about social media, well being, and Web 3.0.

Ideation to Product-Market Fit, choosing revenue models, and general advice for founders :: with Dave Parker

In this episode of Ventures, my guest Dave Parker (https://www.dkparker.com/) and I discuss his new book, Trajectory: Startup - Ideation to Product-Market Fit. We talk about Dave’s background, his journey into startups, how he approaches common questions from founders, why he is fascinated with teaching founders about revenue models, information asymmetry in the venture capital industry, and where Dave is heading next.

One From Many: Lessons for the Web 3.0 generation from Dee Hock's book on VISA and the rise of Chaordic Organization

In his book One From Many (2005), Dee Hock beautifully tells the founding story of VISA and weaves in his concerns about centralized, command-and-control organizational structures. As an alternative solution, Dee describes his vision for “Chaordic” (Chaos + Order) organization and how VISA was started with such principles. You can read the Amazon reviews for the gist of the story and how most people think about it. Here, I’m going to focus on a few things that stood out to me regarding lessons for the Web 3.0 generation.

Cybersecurity and user experience philosophies through Web 1.0, Web 2.0, and Web 3.0 :: with Jim Reavis and Kurt Seifried

In this episode of Ventures, my guests Jim Reavis (https://www.linkedin.com/in/jimreavis/), Kurt Seifried (https://www.linkedin.com/in/kurtseifried/), and I discuss the philosophies and principles behind the Web 1, Web 2, and Web 3 transitions from a cybersecurity perspective. We talk about the implications of Self-Sovereign Identity (SSI), user experiences in a Web 3 world, and an exciting new project that Kurt and Jim are working on in the blockchain and education space.

Technical product management, architecting a growing product team, and deeply understanding your customer’s needs :: with David Pierce

In this episode of Ventures, my guest David Pierce (https://www.linkedin.com/in/daviddpierce/) and I dive deep into the technical side of product management through his personal story. In a growing startup, not only is “product” relatively misunderstood, but embracing the nuances between the growth and technical sides of product management is often completely missed. In our conversation, we talk at length about how founders and enterprise managers alike can best elevate their technical product operations to achieve business success.

History and principles of cybersecurity for startup founders, individuals, and Web 3.0 builders :: with Malcolm Harkins and Sol Cates

In this week’s episode of Ventures, my guests Malcolm Harkins (https://www.linkedin.com/in/malcolmharkins/), Sol Cates (https://www.linkedin.com/in/sol-cates-649736/), and I discuss all-things cybersecurity. After hearing about Malcolm’s background and career path, we examine the history and principles of cybersecurity for startup founders, individuals, and anyone helping to usher in the Web 3.0 era.

Finding purpose, embracing curiosity, and navigating career paths in the 2020s :: with Kim Porter, Eric Sullivan, and Sol Cates

In this episode of Ventures, my guests Kim Porter (https://hatchone.com), Eric Sullivan (https://thumos.io/), Sol Cates (https://www.linkedin.com/in/sol-cates-649736/) and I go “meta” and ask questions about questions. We discuss creatively in career paths, finding purpose, doing good, helping humans flourish, proving middle-schoolers with mentorship and encouragement, pursuing interesting professional questions, and connecting people.

The dance of product and growth within a startup, from idea through acquisition into enterprise :: with Jenna Langer

In this episode of Ventures, my guest Jenna Langer (https://www.linkedin.com/in/langerjenna/) and I discuss the nuances of product and growth from the perspective of an early stage startup (Livefyre) all the way through acquisition by Adobe. We talk about Jenna’s entrepreneurial story, wearing many hats, team composition strategies, the skill stack of a product manager, professional life in an enterprise, and lessons for startup founders.

Marketing operations, building a MarTech stack, and ensuring data visibility and security in a growing startup :: with Kelly Jo Horton and Sol Cates

In this episode of Ventures, my guests Kelly Jo Horton (https://www.linkedin.com/in/kellyjohorton/), Sol Cates (https://www.linkedin.com/in/sol-cates-649736/) and I discuss marketing operations from a startup and enterprise perspective. We dive into Kelly Jo’s story entering the space, the need for a marketing operations expert as early as possible in a startup, how to avoid technical debt with your MarTech stack, why to setup a centralized command center, and how/why to retool a broken MarTech data infrastructure.

Complex business-to-business (B2B) sales, the inflection point in a buyer’s journey, and strategies for building a sales team :: with Steve Crepeau and Sol Cates

In this episode of Ventures, my guests Steve Crepeau (https://www.truesalesresults.com/), Sol Cates (https://www.linkedin.com/in/sol-cates-649736/), and I discuss the nuances of sales, including characteristics, values, tactics, and techniques for helping people progress along the buyer’s journey. Our discussion expands from complex B2B sales to how the “inflection point” concept can be applied to other areas of startups and enterprise sales, including “selling” your team and investors on your idea as a startup founder.