Techy People Google Things Too

A few months ago my friend sat down with me to figure out a website thing that I’d been stuck with for weeks.

Long story short: After weeks of Googling, watching screencasts, and getting lost in a seemingly endless trail of forum threads, I still couldn’t figure out how to do this on my own.

We sat down at a coffee shop and he helped me out.

When he got stuck, Googled he did. [Read more…]

Marketing an Ethical Fashion Company Without Being Preachy

shop-smart

I get psyched about ethical fashion and it’s a main reason why I started Cube Riot.

The full story is deserving of another post, but my interest in where our stuff gets made comes from reading a book about a year ago called Overdressed, which is kind of like Fast Food Nation but for the fashion industry… but so so much better and life-changing for ladies of a particular generation raised on $4 t-shirts at Forever 21 and overpriced garbage at Abercrombie. [Read more…]

Pick One Big Audience

This conversation keeps coming up with fellow founders and consultants so wanted to share my thoughts.

Oftentimes, you look at a startup’s website and you see them describing themselves as being “The _____ for everyone.”

I have to admit, I really hate this approach. But I appreciate how hard it is to narrow down.

The reality is, the goal shouldn’t be to focus on everyone. The goal should be to tightly focus on a big audience. [Read more…]

How I Picked a New Name for My Startup

My big accomplishment this month: I changed my company’s name from House of Betsy to Cube Riot, so now you can find us at CubeRiot.com and as “CubeRiot” on all social media channels.

Transitioning away from something that overtly called out the Made in the USA thing (Betsy = Betsy Ross, maker of the American flag) was tricky for me. But after a lot of thought, it felt right.

I worry about the garment industry becoming “green washed” the way that the organic food movement has. For a mainstream audience, the quality and fit of the product matters most. The fact that something is made in the US or uses organic fabric is usually an added bonus, not a core feature. [Read more…]

How to Have An Opinion

My political opinions generally sway to the left, but more than anything they are based on the facts I know about just a few topics. It’s a big, confusing world out there. So, I sink my efforts into knowing the hell out of a few things and vote accordingly.

This also impacts how I talk about politics. If I don’t know a ton about a topic, I’m less inclined to take a strong opinion about it if it comes up in conversation. [Read more…]

When it Comes to Startup Metrics, Focus on Big Rocks

Lately I’ve been helping clients set up metrics-driven processes for marketing.

This is different for every company, of course, but the more I go through this the more I firmly believe one thing – You have to be careful what metrics you track.

I say this because what you measure determines how you spend your time and how you perceive your progress. These are two very important things for an employee and the company that employee works for.

Little Rocks and Big Rocks

Increasing the open rate on your startup’s newsletter by 20% sounds great. If there are ten people on that list, who cares? [Read more…]

Should Early Stage Startups Have Marketing?

This op-ed by Jessica Livingston about why startups should focus on sales, not marketing, has gotten a lot of chatter recently. Given that I’m working with several early stage startups on marketing right now, I figured I should offer my perspective.

My hope is that for founders, this post helps you decide if you should hire a marketer. For marketers, I hope this helps you decide if you should accept a job offer as a first marketing hire, and helps show you what you should focus on. [Read more…]

20 Debates Your Startup Should Stop Having Today

Startups are known for being fast-paced. But anyone who has worked for an early-stage venture knows that isn’t always the case.

When you lack infrastructure as a company, it’s tough to gain momentum and get things done.

It can be unclear who owns decisions in flat organizations.

You’re often doing things for the first time. There aren’t any past practices to rely on for guidance. [Read more…]