When I’m with my two sons (ages 9 and 11) I try to be fully present. I’m learning all too quickly how fleeting childhood is, and I’ll never get these precious years with them again. On the other hand, as Chairman, CEO and Chief Stamp Licker at PebblePost, I have a virtual 24/7 obligation to my company. And, like my dad before me, I try to forge a workable compromise by giving my sons occasional glimpses of what the business world is like. The results can be amusing — and humbling. ... Read on.
I got an unusual complaint the other day. A guy had visited the website of a brand that we do business with. And afterward he didn’t get retargeted. “How come you didn’t send me anything in the mail?” he said, sounding disappointed. “I thought that’s what you guys do.” He was half right. ... Read on.
I’ve been working in startups most of my career and gained a lot of experience to draw from, both positives and negatives. These experiences include being on “both sides of the table” — founding a company, then founding a seed stage venture fund, and now founding a startup once again. This time I’m able to approach the role from a very different perspective than I had the first time around. ... Read on.
The dozen or so email invites arrived while I was visiting friends in Napa Valley. On each one, the subject line read “Lessons Learned.” Then I saw where they were from: Lester Wunderman, Mary Cohn-Wells, David Ogilvy, Bernice Fitz-Gibbon, Joy Mangano, Ron Popeil, Shirley Polykoff … ... Read on.
In business the first-mover advantage is obvious but it is not foolproof. As one analyst wrote, “First-mover advantage is no absolute guarantee of success, and for reasons which must remain forever mysterious, late-arriving and sometimes inferior products often take over the market from the first-movers.” ... Read on.
“There are different ways to do innovation. You can plant a lot of seeds [and] not be committed to any particular one of them but just see what grows. And this really isn’t how we’ve approached [Facebook]. We go mission-first then focus on the pieces we need and go deep on them and be committed to them.” — Mark Zuckerberg, Founder and CEO of Facebook, in an interview with Fast Company, 2015 ... Read on.
The Pacific Crest 19th Annual Global Technology Leadership Forum reminded me of a promotional tour I once went on with my dad and some of his clients in the music business. In two days, I did 16 meetings with growth funds, about 50 minutes each, one right after another. I’d make the same pitch, give the same updates. I even wound up making the same jokes in the same places. Pull the string and let the puppet do its thing. ... Read on.
At PebblePost, we strive for a diverse culture that encourages people to express their individuality. We don’t want marionettes. Still, when it comes to the current state of marketing and advertising, we all speak with one voice. Marita Scarfi, our CFO and Head of West Coast Operations, recently summed up what we see industry-wide in five pointed words: “an amazing amount of wrong.” ... Read on.
I was in Pittsburgh for an old law school classmate’s wedding on the second weekend in September of 2001. I had intended to unplug entirely and just enjoy the occasion. I wasn’t even going to bring my laptop because it was such a hassle to get email back then — you had to do the modem handshake and all that nonsense — but I changed my mind. And I was glad I did. ... Read on.
As I’ve said before, there’s nothing like the rush of that lightbulb moment when a great idea arrives. I’ve experienced it myself several times. It’s the best part of being an entrepreneur. Everything that follows is hard work. ... Read on.