Business Archives

  1. Work Backwards

    Relating to yesterday’s post on inertia, I wanted to pass on another nugget I’ve learned about how to approach and define problems: working backwards. I’ve found this to be useful in both technical and business situations and I use it all the time. Basically, start with the end result you want, and figure out how…

  2. Every New Hire Has Three Jobs

    At Crowd Favorite we’re getting ready to hire several developers. I’ve been told that our on-boarding process can be stressful, but I’ve also been told that this is the case for most high performing teams. I’d like to smooth the path a little for our new hires, so I’m going to try a new approach.…

  3. Lessons From Inbox Zero

    I’m a month in on INBOX ZERO. It’s been a good experience. I spend less time staring at a list of things I need to deal with at some point and am only looking at new things that need attention. I like not having a backlog of things sitting on my shoulders weighing me down.…

  4. On Selling Crowd Favorite

    On Friday Karim and I signed the final papers to bring my Crowd Favorite team together with his VeloMedia team. Whew! I’ve told the story of how I came to build Crowd Favorite countless times. I tell it on podcasts and in on-stage interviews, to candidates during the recruitment and interview process, to folks who…

  5. Institutional Knowledge

    Don’t underestimate the value of your team’s (collective) experience. When new folks come on board you can tell them how you do things and why you do things certain ways. You can share historical anecdotes about the reasons things are done these ways, but there is no way for those new hires to actually have…

  6. Define the Problem Instead of Suggesting a Solution

    Life lesson from running a digital agency: When asking for help, focus your efforts on defining the problem instead of suggesting a solution. The person you’re asking for help from may have solutions you’ve never considered. If my recent experience is any measure, it works equally well when asking a hotel concierge for help getting…

  7. Your Team is Your Product

    I read with interest the path that Peter took in learning about a SAAS business vs. his consulting business. Having experience in both types of businesses there wasn’t too much that was unexpected for me here, but reading a well thought out exploration of a situation is often results in clarifying ideas for me. In…

  8. You Can’t Avoid Talking About Money

    I read this article in A List Apart with interest. Value based pricing vs. time and materials billing a topic that sparked a passionate conversation at OwnerCamp a few months back, and it’s one that I’ve been thinking a good deal about on my own as well. At a certain budget size, I think the…

  9. Email Reply Checklist

    Stuck on how to reply to an email? Here’s the mental checklist I use: Re-read the email a second time, without an emotion reaction. What was the real purpose of the incoming email? (informative, question, request for action, express frustration/anger/etc.) What type of response is needed? (simple reply, take some action then reply, ask for…

  10. Motivated or Creepy?

    I definitely appreciate motivated job applicants (the more effort you show in your application, the more time we are likely to invest with you), but if you walk into a small development shop without an invitation or appointment it’s not likely to go the way you hoped. People are busy doing stuff and there likely…

  11. Kindle Lending Library = Trojan Horse

    The Amazon Kindle Lending Library is quite a perk for Prime subscribers: a free book rental every month. This, along with the free streaming video they added a little while back makes Prime even more compelling. Amazon’s not dumb, they know when people sign up for Prime they stop shopping elsewhere. Any perk that gets…