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…]

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…]


To catch you up if you missed my post from last week, I’m off into a new career direction of consulting.

I was so overwhelmed with gratitude for all of the messages of support, and somewhat surprised to hear from many others that they struggle with similar “self-branding” issues.

In my last post I promised to share my process with you. I tried a number of different methods to refine my offering, and some worked better than others.

Here’s what I’ve got so far. [Read more…]

How to Get Better Feedback

A few months ago Kristin, Pam, Liz and I started Marketing on the Rocks – a new marketing blog. I’ve been writing there once a month, so you should follow along and read our posts! Below is a snack-size portion of my latest one. Read the complete post here.

Whether it’s just another quick set of eyes on a blog post or a deep conversation about your career direction, getting great advice can be really helpful. It can even be life-changing. At first blush, feedback may seem like something you take as it comes to you. But there are some things you can do to proactively get the help and advice you need to improve your work.

1) Distance Yourself From The Work

Taking ownership and responsibility is much different than taking everything to heart and associating your self-worth with your job. This is essential for startup employees in particular to understand. To join a startup, a certain level of passion or at least personal interest is necessary in order to choose a risky, fledgling business over stable corporate life. But to incorporate people’s feedback into the projects you do at that startup, you need to balance your heart with your head and take an objective approach. A mental distance between you and the work impacts how you ask for feedback and how you receive feedback. [Read more…]

Career and Life Update, the Sequel

As you could tell from my last post, I was in a career transition mode in December. I’m excited to share that I officially joined One Mighty Roar to lead marketing for our Internet of Things platform, Robin.

One Mighty Roar began as a digital marketing agency. Through client work we developed a few different products. One of the products was technology for connected experiences, so now we are rolling those capabilities out into a spin-off Internet of Things platform called Robin. We launch this spring and you can sign up for our beta here, although I think the audience that reads this blog would be more interested in just learning about the Internet of Things and subscribing to our blog. [Read more…]

Enjoy Your Luck

The all-too-obvious apprehension that most men probably have concerning dealing with women is probably something like, success with women is a game of chance. Is that really true, though?

Maybe it all comes down to having a clearer understanding of what luck is and how to have it intentionally — if, this game of chance metaphor is your programme, or, it's just hard to get out of your head.

ake Your Logic All the Way

Compare these two experiences: going on a date to a club, and, going to a casino. In both cases, a guy would want to hit the proverbial 'jackpot'; he wishes to 'get lucky', or to 'score' by finding the right woman and sharing company with her. But is it wise to have this comparison in the back of one's mind?

First of all, there is the issue of how we have luck, or we are lucky. For fatalists, life (including women and love) is just a crap shoot. We throw the dice as well as we can, and yet, we can't control winning. Others, more optimistic, might say something like, 'you make your own luck.' But, how do you do that?

Those upbeat types will tell you that luck is just this: doing everything possible to be in the position to be lucky, and, not doing the things that defeat your natural luckiness. The implication seems to be that the difference lies in simply how aware someone is of the conditions favourable and unfavourable to what one wants.


Now Take it Apart

The logic of games of chance in relation to dating or looking for a lifelong partner is compelling. After all, a guy actually never controls a woman's desire, although he can do everything possible to attract female interest toward himself.

But let's say that love is quite a bit like gambling — even though a guy does everything possible to foreground his graces, and not shoot his own foot, or put his foot into his mouth, or sabotage himself in any way. But, let's say that in the end there is no control over outcomes with women, period.

Now what? Best thing to do is to get pragmatic, practical, sensible and truly logical: to become invulnerable toward possible losses, and, to even feel lucky that luck is involved. Why, despite the dangers?

It's because life is boring without uncertainty — and, don't forget, the sweetness of success with a woman often is related to the efforts a guy puts forward. Deserving something is quite different than just winning something.


It All Comes Together

So, although one accepts uncertainty, and the ebb and flow of wins and losses — like a gambler — the truly successful player (with women or with cards) always enjoys himself. This is where everything joins: you are confident enough to know that no single upset or rejection will kill you — you may even start to enjoy the chance involved.

TIP: If you want to get better at enjoying the game of love, and the game of life, just practice! A ten'er invested to play some slots and online poker at a solid casino website is much cheaper than night after night taking dates clubbing or for nice meals (with your mind attached to just inning something in return).

It could be so simple: the hallmark of a man who is successful with women is that he knows how to lose like a man, and, he always enjoys playing the games using his true manhood. This kind of attitude is very lucky.