July 31, 2010

I Don’t Want to Be Your Friend (Today), part III

I Don’t Want to Be Your Friend (Today), part III My first thought when my colleague Jen Goldman forwarded me a SlideShare presentation that was 224 pages long was, “really?”  But a short 10 minutes and 224 clicks later, I am glad I spent the time on it. Paul Adams, a Senior User Experience Researcher at Google, put the presentation up called The Real Life Social Network.  Paul describes the problem I discuss in Part I and Part II of this series much more eloquently than I have, with great real world examples and thoughts for web designers at the end. If you’re involved in social media and want to start breaking away from the “one size of friend fits all” mentality – this is a great use of time.


July 31, 2010

Agile Marketing, Part II

Agile Marketing, Part II I wrote about this years ago when I was temporarily running Marketing and was noting a lot of the similarities between running contemporary Product Development and Marketing efforts. Nick Van Weerdenburg just put up a great post called Why Marketing is Becoming Like Software Development which you should read if you run or work in, or work closely with, a marketing department.


July 22, 2010

Feature Requests

Feature Requests Here are two new features I’d like to see in life: Any time you hit “reply to all” when you are in the BCC line – a giant red alert should pop up and say “are you really sure you want to let all these people know that you were BCCd on this thread?” Any time you place a call to a cell phone that’s outside of the person’s normal time zone – a giant red alert should pop up and say “are you sure you want to call this person at 3 a.m. in Singapore?” before completing […]


July 8, 2010

OnlyOnce, Part II

OnlyOnce, Part II After more than six years, my blog starting looking like, well, a six-year old blog on an off-the-shelf template.  Thanks to my friends at Slice of Lime, OnlyOnce has a new design as of today as well as some new navigation and other features like a tag cloud and Twitter feed (and a new platform, WordPress rather than Typepad).  I know many people only read my posts via feed or email (those won’t change), but if you have a minute, feel free to take a look.  The site also has its own URL now – https://onlyonceblog.wpengine.com. With […]


June 23, 2010

I Don’t Want to Be Your Friend (Today), part II

I think Facebook is starting to get out of control from a usability perspective.  This doesn’t mean it’s not a great platform and that it doesn’t have utility.  But if the platform continues on its current path, the core system runs the risk of going sideways like its various predecessors:  GeoCities, MySpace, etc.  Maybe I’ll go in there to look for something or someone, but it won’t be a place I scroll through as part of a daily or semi-daily routine. I wrote about this a year ago now, and while the site has some better tools to assign friends to […]


June 9, 2010

Why I Love Our New Product

Why I Love Our New Product   Return Path officially announced a new product today called Domain Assurance, which I blogged a little bit about here.  It’s a very exciting product that will help reduce and ultimately eliminate phishing emails – spam’s even more evil cousin that leads to identity theft, malware, further propagation of spam through botnets, and all sorts of other goodies.  The product is in beta now with a bunch of top ISPs and brands. Those are a lot of reasons to love our new product.  But for me, there’s more. For starters, this is the first […]


February 22, 2010

From Founder/Builder to Manager/Leader

From Founder/Builder to Manager/Leader After I spoke at the Startup2Startup event last month, one of the people who sat with me at dinner emailed me and asked: I was curious–how did you make the transition from CEO of a startup to manager of a medium-sized business? I’m great at just doing the work myself and interacting with clients, and it’s easy for me to delegate tasks, but it’s hard to have the vision and ability to develop my two employees into greater capacity… I’d be interested in reading a blog post on what helped you make that transition from founder/builder […]


December 17, 2009

Pivot, Don’t Jump!

Pivot, Don’t Jump! I spoke last night at the NYC Lean Startup Meetup, which was fun.  I will write a couple other posts based on the experience over the next week or so.  The Meetup is all about creating “lean startups,” not just meaning lean as in cheap and lightweight, but meaning smart at doing product development from the perspective of finding the quickest path to product-market fit.  No wasted cycles of innovation.  Something we are spending a lot of time on right now at Return Path, actually. My topic was “The Pivot,” by which the group meant How do […]


August 7, 2009

Techstars Roundup: Why I Mentor Other Entrepreneurs

Techstars Roundup:  Why I Mentor Other Entrepreneurs Yesterday was Demo/Investor day at Techstars in Boulder, Colorado.  A lot of people have written about it – Fred, Brad, and a great piece by Don Dodge on TechCrunch listing out all the companies.  My colleague George and I co-mentored two of the companies, SendGrid and Mailana, and we really enjoyed working with Isaac and Pete, the two entrepreneurs. I posted twice earlier this summer on the TechStars experience.  My first post on this, Where do you Start?, was about whether to be methodical in business planning for a startup or dive right […]


June 24, 2009

Techstars: One Pitfall to Avoid

Techstars:  One Pitfall to Avoid George and I met with our Techstars “mentee” companies again yesterday.  As was the case with the last meetings, the sessions were energizing and fun and great to see new companies unfolding. One lesson I was reminded of yesterday with both companies is a timeless one, since at least the beginning of the commercial internet: Don’t create a “solution looking for a problem” I call this the Pointcast problem, after the mid-90s service that pulled headlines into screensavers and clogged corporate networks until the fad passed.  One of the companies we’re working with has this […]