March 22, 2016

A New Path Forward

A New Path Forward Welcome to the world, Path Forward, Inc.! I’m thrilled to announce the launch today of Path Forward, a new non-profit with a goal of empowering millions of women to rejoin the workforce after taking time out for childcare. We are launching today with a Crowdrise campaign.   See more about that below.  And we launched with a bang, too – the organization is featured in this really amazing story on Fortune. The concept started at Return Path two years ago, as I wrote about here and again here, when our CTO Andy Sautins came to me with a simple but powerful idea of creating a structured program of paid fellowships with training for women who want to reenter the workforce but find it difficult to do so because of rusty skills, lapsed networks, or societal bias. We expanded the program later that year with partner companies ReadyTalk, SendGrid, MWH Global, SpotX, and Moz, as I wrote about here.  The response from both participants and companies has been nothing short of amazing. The day after I put up that last post about v2 of the program, a human resources leader at PayPal gave me a call and asked […]


February 5, 2015

Book Short: Internet Fiction, part II

Book Short:  Internet Fiction, part II I hate to write a lame post, but here’s what I wrote earlier in the year about Eliot Peper’s first Internet thriller, Uncommon Stock: Eliot Pepper’s brand new startup thriller, Uncommon Stock, was a breezy and quick read that I enjoyed tremendously. It’s got just the right mix of reality and fantasy in it. For anyone in the tech startup world, it’s a must read. But it would be equally fun and enjoyable for anyone who likes a good juicy thriller. Like my memory of Hackoff, the book has all kinds of startup details in it, […]


September 2, 2014

Startup CEO: The Online Course Part II

Startup CEO: The Online Course Part II Startup CEO the online course offered by the Kauffman Fellows Academy is back this fall starting September 15!  As many of you know, the course is based on my book Startup CEO: A Field Guide to Scaling Your Business. When the course first ran earlier this year, I wasn’t sure what to expect.  Hundreds of students from six continents signed up, all eager to learn as much as they could about entrepreneurship and how to develop their startups.  The students worked together in teams to develop their startup ideas on the unique online educational platform […]


September 3, 2013

Startup CEO (OnlyOnce- the book!), Part IV – Book Launches Today!

Startup CEO (OnlyOnce- the book!), Part IV – Book Launches Today! My book is officially on sale on Amazon and iTunes today.  The full detailed outline is here if you’re interested, and the link to buy it is here. This is very exciting.  I had been saying for a while that I had no idea whether 50 people would buy it or 5,000, but the publisher (Wiley) tells me we had over 2,000 pre-orders, so that’s a great start, at least. So thanks to those 2,000 brave souls, and anyone else who buys it as well.  I hope you enjoy […]


July 9, 2013

Startup CEO (OnlyOnce- the book!), Part III – Pre-Order Now

Startup CEO (OnlyOnce – the book!), Part III – Pre-Order Now My book, Startup CEO:  A Field Guide to Scaling Up Your Business, is now available for pre-order on Amazon in multiple formats (Print, Kindle), which is an exciting milestone in this project!  The book is due out right after Labor Day, but Brad Feld tells me that the more pre-orders I have, the better.  Please pardon the self-promotion, but click away if you’re interested! Here are a few quick thoughts about the book, though I’ll post more about it and the process at some point: I’ll be using the […]


June 27, 2013

Book Short: Tales of Two Cities

Book Short:  Tales of Two Cities Return Path is basically dual-headquartered in New York City and Broomfield, Colorado, so two recently published books which provide history and insights into the tech industry in those two cities were both of interest to me. Startup Communities: Building an Entrepreneurial Ecosystem in Your City, by Brad Feld (book, kindle) came out a few months ago and is part of Brad’s Startup Revolution series which will also include my upcoming book Startup CEO, to be published this fall.  In the book, Brad uses the example of the Boulder/Denver area and a few different sectors […]


May 1, 2013

Return Path’s Newest Board Member: Jeff Epstein

Return Path’s Newest Board Member: Jeff Epstein I’ve written before about how much I love my Board. Well, I’m pleased to announce I have a new reason to love it – today, I’m officially welcoming Jeff Epstein to the Return Path Board of Directors. He is joining an all-star cast that includes Greg Sands, Fred Wilson, Brad Feld, Scott Weiss and Scott Petry. I first met Jeff back in 2000 when, as CFO of DoubleClick, he and DoubleClick CEO Kevin Ryan agreed to invest in Return Path as our first institutional investor, along with Flatiron Partners.  He is one of […]


December 20, 2012

Startup CEO (OnlyOnce- the book!), Part II – Crowdsourcing the Outline

Startup CEO (OnlyOnce- the book!), Part II – Crowdsourcing the Outline As I mentioned a few weeks ago here, I’m excited to be writing a book called Startup CEO:  A Field Guide to Building and Running Your Company, to be published by Wiley & Sons next summer.  Since many readers of OnlyOnce are my target audience for the book, I thought I’d post my current outline and ask for input and feedback on it.  So here it is, still a bit of a work in progress.  Please comment away and let me know what you think, what’s missing, what’s not […]


November 8, 2012

Two Ears, One Mouth

Two Ears, One Mouth Brace yourself for a post full of pithy quotes from others.  I’m not sure how we missed this one when drafted our original values statements at Return Path years ago, because it’s always been central to the way we operate.  We aren’t just the world’s biggest data-driven email intelligence company – we are a data-driven organization.  So another one of our newly written Core Values is: Two Ears, One Mouth:  We ask, listen, learn, and collect data.  We engage in constructive debate to reach conclusions and move forward together. I’m not sure which of my colleagues […]


November 6, 2012

Startup CEO (OnlyOnce- the book!)

Startup CEO (OnlyOnce – the book!) One of the things I’ve often thought over the years since starting Return Path in 1999 is that there’s no instruction manual anywhere for how to be a CEO.  While big company CEOs are usually groomed for the job for years, startup CEOs aren’t…and they’re often young and relatively inexperienced in business in general.  That became one of the driving forces behind the creation of my blog, OnlyOnce (because “you’re only a first time CEO once”) back in 2004. Now, over 700 blog posts later, I’m excited to announce that I’m writing a book […]


April 19, 2012

The Art of the Quest

Jim Collins, in both Good to Great and Built to Last talked about the BHAG – the Big, Hairy Audacious Goal – as one of the drivers of companies to achieve excellence.  Perhaps that’s true, especially if those goals are singular enough and simplified enough for an entire company of 100-1000-10000 employees to rally around. I have also observed over the years that both star performers and strong leaders drive themselves by setting large goals.  Sometimes they are Hairy or Audacious.  Sometimes they are just Big.  I suppose sometimes they are all three.  Regardless, I think successfully managing to and […]