Biz Dev, Entrepreneur, and Dwolla. Previously at Aviary. Forbes Contributor.
Alex has done a bit of this and a bit of that and has shared his journey along the way on his blog. He’s founded SocialRank, he’s co-authored a book, and he’s locked in many deals. Listen up kids, this is the real world of entrepreneurship.
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The biggest mistake I see startups make regarding public announcements is that they assume that just because they exist or that they want to announce something that the press will cover it. Newsflash: Your news is not interesting. No one is going to carbon copy your press release or blog post.
I just ordered the iPhone 6+ 128GB and am very excited. I know it will probably take a few days to get comfortable with the bigger screen but I am committed. I've spoken with a lot of friends about which phone to order and it is nicely split between the 6 and 6+.
I've always been internally conflicted about one aspect of partnerships. That conflict is around whether to selectively partner or try to partner with whomever wants to partner with my company. In the past, I've mostly worked on product partnerships (i.e. an API). With product partnerships you typically want any and every company to integrate your API.
There has been a ton of hoopla about startups and the problem with cash flow and burn. Many big investors are sounding the alarm that late-stage companies are spending too much money. The idea is that if they continue to spend as they have and growth isn't where it should be, they could disappear overnight.
Last week Adobe acquired Aviary. I spent almost two years (2010 to 2012) working in BD and partnerships at Aviary and I'm very happy for the team there. I learned more during the two years at Aviary than I did anywhere else in my career/life and I'd love to share a few of those things here.
I was off-the-grid from Wednesday at sundown to Saturday at sunset because of the Jewish holiday, Rosh Hashana (that went into the Sabbath, so a three-day holiday). During my time off, Ello launched. By the time I got online Saturday night it seems that Ello had come, peaked, and went all in less than three days.
We have just hired employee #4 at SocialRank. His name is Ammar Mian and he comes to us from Moxie Communications and graduated from UPenn in 2012. He has also written for Priceonomics and Hacker Rank. He will be running content and working on BD, partnerships, data, analytics, and everything in between.
Last week TechCrunch ran a piece on how Snapchat picked up the director of digital at Nike to win sports partnerships. That person is Eric Toda, an awesome guy that I've gotten to know over the past year working on SocialRank.
Today's post is one I've been meaning to do for some time. I've been publicly pretty vocal on Twitter's onboarding process. Well today I put my money where my mouth is and wrote a post on how they can take a step in making onboarding better (i.e. turn more people into active users).
Startup progress is a funny thing. Sometimes progress is in form of an outward-facing product. Sometimes its in form of raising money to give your business more oxygen. Other times it is in form of putting time into fixing your infrastructure to scale to millions, something that is not so public facing in terms of the progress (as your product is expected to "just work").
I've been interested in the dynamics around press and startups since joining Aviary back in 2010. One of the co-founders took me under his wing, teaching me some of the ins and outs of putting together a story, pitching, and generally getting someone covering tech to be interested in covering a product launch.
If you have ever spent some time with me and Mike you know we have a healthy amount of disagreement (to say it lightly). We bicker here and there. It is always about product or technological capabilities of what we are doing.
There are a ton of qualities you look for when recruiting for your startup. Everything from problem-solving and previous experience to creativeness and getting previous work recommendations. They are all important. But I think, for startups particularly, there is a #1 quality and it is the ability to self-start.
I'm going to be in SF for three days at the beginning of October, 10/5- 10/7 with Michael. If you want to sit down or catch up, hit me up at Ataub24@gmail.com. If you think I should sit down with someone- also hit me up! See you in SF.
We are in recruiting mode at SocialRank. We finally put up a Jobs page for SocialRank and have a bunch of roles we will be adding. There is a lot we hope to accomplish and need the right team in place to get there.
I've never done a post about my iPhone homescreen. Given that the new iPhone is coming out in a few weeks, I thought it was time. I think I want to do a yearly post on it going forward. Let's get to it. Above is my personal iPhone homescreen.
I began teaching on Skillshare back on November 16th, 2011. First I taught an Introduction to Business Development class. It was quite long, so I made a Part I and a Part II. Then I added a "Practical Business Development" class (less high level and more ready-to-use-today skills).
I have always wondered if I would write a lot of tweets in order (ie tweetstorm, although that word irks me) would I gain or lose followers. - Alexander Taub (@ajt) August 21, 2014 I ask because I want to tell a story about the moment I realized I was getting "old" but it will take a good 10-15 tweets.
Many people talk about writing, blogging, and contributing content as a way to get their thoughts out there. The thought process is that if you write enough about something, you will be seen as an expert in that. This is great but I think there is another reason to write and that is networking.
On the heels of the last two posts, one of the big things we did at the offsite was set ourselves up to build out a roadmap. It is an easy task to build a roadmap when you are a small company; it is not an easy task to stick to it.
Yesterday I wrote about offsites and why they are important for your company. Today I want to write about "The Number" as it directly relates to the first offsite you and your co-founders take. "The Number" is something a company needs to set up early on as it is connected to what you track and care about.
This past week Michael and I had our first SocialRank offsite. We did it two nights last week (Wednesday and Thursday from 6pm-9pm) with one of our company advisors acting as the moderator/facilitator. We discussed everything from what we want to be when we grow up to what roles we need to fill to be successful.
Listening to podcasts is one of my favorite ways to improve my startup knowledge and understanding of the tech industry. The 25 minutes it takes me to get to work is perfect for listening to a few short podcasts or part of a long one.
"How can I break into the VC world" is the second most asked question I get after "How can I break into the startup world." To most, VC is sexy. VC, especially at the seed and A round, is really sexy. But there are very few VC jobs. Like next to zero.
Maybe it is just me but I find video really really difficult to consume on the go (streaming not downloaded). Even the best of them like YouTube and Netflix always have problems. Just yesterday I was coming back from DC, where I spent the weekend, and was trying to watch The Killing season 4, episode 1 on Netflix.