What Does Work Life Balance Look like In a Start Up?

Posted on Categories Business, Life, Startup

I remember when I told people that I need a work life balance (while being a founder at my startup), people looked at me funny.

I did not understand why people thought this was odd. After a few years, I understood.

To me, work life balance meant something completely different than the standard definition. Since the age of 13 up until I was 27 I was an amateur athlete. Amateur athletics are very similar to startups. The pay is low, the risk is high and the rewards do not come until later. The benefits from sport include: The network you make, the mental strength you gain, ingraining health into your daily life, and re-framing high risk situations to your advantage. Continue reading What Does Work Life Balance Look like In a Start Up?

Who Owns Churn and How Do You Fix it?

Posted on Categories Business, Client Success, Life, Sports, StartupTags ,

Churn is a signal into whether your customers are happy and getting value out of your product. It is also one of the five key performance indicators that business owners and investors look for to determine if a company is healthy or not (a healthy churn number is < 5%).

As VP Client Success at viafoura a big portion of that churn falls on my shoulders (I am happy to say that we are under that 5% number and very proud of keeping our customers happy and successful). Churn however is not a one person or one department responsibility. From my own experience and research Client Success has a direct impact for 50% of churn. But what about the other 50%?

I came across a great article from Preact (who sells customer success software). They surveyed their clients and came to the same conclusion I have when it comes to who owns churn.

Client success has a direct impact on 50% of the churn metric and for the other 50% Client Success has a strong influence on its direction. Continue reading Who Owns Churn and How Do You Fix it?

8 Books that Shaped my Thinking as an Athlete and Co-founder of a Technology Company

Posted on Categories Business, Life, Startup, Technology, User Experience

Over the years of being an athlete and co-founder of viafoura, I have come across great books that shaped my thinking. Here is a list of some of those books, and a quick summary along with the benefit I got from it

 

People Skills

This book is over 30 years old, but very relevant and does an amazing job of breaking communication down into its elements. It is great for engineer types that think in detailed fundamental ways.

Venture Deals

When you are at the early stages of forming a company, or raising a round of financing – this book helps you understand both sides of the deal (the investor and the company) and also gives easy definitions to terms that are common place. Continue reading 8 Books that Shaped my Thinking as an Athlete and Co-founder of a Technology Company

Infinite Storage

Posted on Categories Life, Technology

How long does memory last?

There are lots of types of memory. The memory in our brains, our hard drives, our DNA, a carving on a tree or a rock. All these forms of memory are distinct not because of the things they store – that doesn’t matter, but how long they are stored for and how its contents are read in the future. Here some forms of memory with their pros and cons, and some ending thoughts on how to pass on this storage long after the world has ended. Continue reading Infinite Storage

Work Hard, Smart and Fun – You Can’t Pick Just One

Posted on Categories Business, Life, Startup

When I heard the saying: “Work Hard, Smart and Fun – You Can’t Pick Just One”  I wanted to break this down some more. I wanted to see what it’s like in each of the scenarios:

1) Work Hard Only

A lot of first time entrepreneurs fall into this category (and the work fun only category), but it is dangerous to only work hard without having fun or being smart about it. You could work hard heads down and spend months on a product, idea, sales lead or client only to realize they have no impact on the larger picture – you should have added smarts. Or maybe you worked so hard and you got that right product, client or lead but you burned out and pissed off all your employees. Neither approach is sustainable.

Continue reading Work Hard, Smart and Fun – You Can’t Pick Just One

How To Be Happy, Backed by Science

Posted on Categories Life

When I read the title of this post: “10 easy things that will make you happier, backed by science” I loved it right away. For a few reasons.

It is a short, catchy, leading title – which is hard to do. A title (and the picture) are the number one reasons someone decides to click through or not. But I digress.

I really love it because of the content. Happiness is very important to me. I have a whiteboard in front of my bed for the last 10 years with 7 things I want in my life. #1 is to be happy. This article gives easy (really easy) tips, and to top it all off, its backed by science! Who doesn’t love science?!?

I’ll let you read the article to get the details on the science to back it up. Here are the 10 tips, and how It has affected me: Continue reading How To Be Happy, Backed by Science

How Baby Unicorns Lead to Happiness

Posted on Categories Life

I  watched this TED Talk by Shawn Achor  a few years ago, and it still has the punch it had back then.

It is a great example of  stage presence, use of comedy and story telling. All are amazing. You can see when the camera pans to the audience how every single one of them are super engaged. On top of all that the actual lesson itself is amazing.

This was a great little Saturday morning watch, I hope you enjoy: http://www.ted.com/talks/shawn_achor_the_happy_secret_to_better_work.html

What Can You Change for the Better Today?

Posted on Categories Business, Life, Technology

The recent passing of Steve Jobs, the CEO of Apple caused a lot of stir in the tech community. Mr. Jobs has been a large influence on developers, business owners and people in general.

He has been an influence on me in two specific ways:

1.) Never settle for what people say can not be done
2.) Incorporate great design into everything

If you have never seen this, its Mr Jobs’ 2005 Stanford Commencement Address. The dots connect a lot more when you look backwards, and it applies even more in this video Continue reading What Can You Change for the Better Today?