Ditch the safety net, you slacker.
I was a slacker growing up. In fact, I prided myself on it. Great standardized test scores and shitty grades? That must mean only one thing (I thought) - I was a genius who chose not to apply himself. Imagine how good my grades would be if I tried. Didn’t study, but solid SAT scores? Imagine (I thought) if I had only studied, my scores would be off the charts. Out partying the night...
The Rise of the Invisible App
This post initially ran in Fast Company April 19, 2013 Our phones have become an extension of ourselves, so much that we get anxiety when we leave them at home. Nearly 84% of people worldwide said they couldn’t go a single day without their phone, according to Time. But fewer of us consciously think about the potential for our phones to get to know us, just by virtue of being on us all the time. ...
How scaling a company is like riding a motorcycle
When I was younger, I had a motorcycle. In fact, I LOVED that motorcycle (see pic below). Learning how to ride it was interesting, to say the least. I have quite a few embarrassing stories I could share that I’ll save for another day. One of the most non-intuitive things about learning how to ride a motorcycle is how to handle turning. When you are going around a turn, in order to turn left,...
RunKeeper: Introducing: the next revolution in... →
runkeeper: We’re always trying to do more to make running and getting in shape easier and more intuitive. In the process, we’ve discovered that for many of our users, the phone screen is just too small to get all that important real-time fitness information into one convenient place. So we’re… So proud of the team for stepping up on this…. well done!
Training for Boston - here we go again! →
I’ve been busy the last several weeks training for my 3rd Boston Marathon! This one is more daunting, as with a 10 month old son at home, I am far from in “game shape”. Thrilled to be running as part of Team CampInteractive, which is a year-round program that introduces inner-city, at-risk youth to the creative power of technology. There are 4 of us on the squad, and...
Tobias Peggs: Technology to track my health →
tobiaspeggs: When i was at University in the early 90s, i ran every night. The technology i used was… a Sony Walkman. I’d shove in a well worn tape cassette of New Order’s “Technique”, put the headphones on, hit play and start running. That album is just shy of 40 minutes. I’d run… get half way through…… Tobias nails it once again. It is not just fitness data that matters, your motion...
New Year's Resolutions Are...
Our attempt at a viral marketing campaign to make light of the fact that the success rate on New Year’s resolutions is so low. With some simple tweaks to the model, the success rate gets MUCH higher. Also our secret attempt to turn Larry into a cult phenom like the Old Spice guy. I think we still have some work to do :) runkeeper: See what Larry has to say about New Year’s Resolutions,...
There are a bunch of aggressive, ivy-league-educated, high IQ people working in...– Lee Scott, (now former) CEO of Walmart, circa 2008
This is my shot.
It’s been a while since I’ve done any blogging. Between trying to scale a company and adjusting to being a new dad, the past few months have been the craziest of my life so far. When I read Dave McClure’s blog post today about being a late bloomer, I couldn’t resist taking a quick break from real work to crank out a post of my own. Dave’s post resonated with me on several levels. I too am a...
I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300...
How Boston Can Step Up Our Game (hint: we are so...
It wasn’t too long ago that the Boston startup scene seemed to be panicking a bit. Lots of discussions started to form around how to step up our game and get our groove back. There were talks of rebranding, convincing newly-minted college graduates to stay in the area, and about the sting we felt every time another young company headed out to the west coast to follow their dreams. It seems...
Recruiting as a Strategic Weapon
Many people talk about the importance of recruiting in building a startup. What most people mean by that is that attracting and retaining key talent is incredibly valuable. Here at RunKeeper, we agree. But our recruiting process is important to us for another reason beyond who we end up hiring – the actual process we go through to identify key hires is as valuable as the end result. I’ll give...
Stop Raising Money and Build Your Business
If you are a first-time startup founder, then like mine was, your instinct when starting out may be to try to go out and raise money right away. After all, it is scary starting a company that is funded entirely out of your own pocket. You want desperately to find a team to build your product, and paying salaries feels like a distant dream. You see clearly how much needs to be done, and...
Realize that a startup puts you on an emotional roller-coaster unlike anything...– Marc Andreessen (via saadiq, mikehudack) (via arainert)
Lessons from our First Ten Hires
As our little company nears our third birthday, our proudest accomplishment thus far is the team that we’ve built. We’re up to ten people now (eleventh starts today), and while headcount in itself is not a good measure of success, the caliber of that headcount certainly is. This team is as committed as any team I’ve ever worked with; We work hard, have fun, and all share a...
test: is my disqus and tumblr integration working? this is harder than I thought or I am more technically illiterate than I thought.
Back in Time: My Advice for the 21 Year-Old Me
I studied liberal arts in college, and was never much of a student. I didn’t apply myself, and I wasn’t passionate about or interested in the things that I was learning (or not learning). I was filled with pent up ambition and nowhere to channel it, and found myself partying in a futile search for excitement and fulfillment. As I neared graduation, I had increasing thoughts of becoming an...
Zynga, a global social-gaming company based in San Francisco and founded four...– Reid Hoffman, from his ‘Five Lessons for Entrepreneurs’ article in today’s WSJ
The RunKeeper Mafia
I read this article this morning about Facebook employees splitting off to start their own companies, and it really got me thinking. Everyone talks about the PayPal mafia, the Google mafia, etc. These consist of employees of these companies who built them together from the earliest formative stages through their lifecycles into large, successful, world-changing entities. Once they get there,...
bijan sabet: The big company vs a bootstrap →
Over the last few weeks, we’ve seen some very large companies launch products that compete with products created by self funded startups. Few notable examples: Yesterday, Nike launched an iPhone app that no longer requires a separate sensor in your running shoes. The new app is a direct…
how much did Tapulous get acquired for, anyways? →
So, why do people ‘check in’?
I sure hope this is true.
Not just an app? →
Great post on angel investing from one of our investors, Will Herman. I have not done any angel investing yet, and probably won’t be in a position to do so for some time, but I feel better equipped for how to think about doing so after reading this post. Thanks Will! You are a great example setter for the Boston startup community, and while your words say volumes, your actions speak even...
…we’re a two-year old company and we have this bright spotlight on...– Biz Stone, in his recent interview with Runner’s World - http://runnersworld.com/article/0,7120,s6-243-410—13497-0,00.html
Fantastic presentation on the gamification of life →
Why We Prefer Founding CEOs →
Great post from Ben Horowitz on why Andreessen Horowitz prefers to fund companies whose founder will run the company as its CEO. Particularly refreshing, given how many times I’ve heard people say that there is no way a first-time founder will be able to remain CEO if they decide to take venture funding.
The Power of the Cold Email
As a first-time entrepreneur, I have been drinking from a firehose for two years now. I still have a tremendous amount to learn, but I was thinking the other day about one thing that I have done since the beginning that has served me very well so far. Since I know that there are many aspiring entrepreneurs thinking about heading down the same path, I figured I’d pass it along in case it is...
Ericsson CEO: Devices, not phones, are the future... →
The future of mobile is not phones, it is connected devices. LOVE it! Couldn’t agree more.
The "Quantified Self" Movement →
I haven’t met Esther Dyson, but I’d sure like to after reading this article! She does a masterful job of getting to the root of the health issues facing our country and the best ways to solve them. By spending more energy on preventing people from becoming patients rather than treating them once they are patients, it will dramatically reduce the number of patients who need treatment...
Shaming Your Way to Weight Loss? →
This article advocates shame/embarrassment as effective deterrents to eating the wrong foods. With RunKeeper, many of our users have told us that auto-posting their runs/bike rides/etc. to twitter and Facebook has served as a powerful positive motivator, since they want their social graph to be impressed with how far they ran, their pace per mile/KM, etc. I guess the question is whether negative...
Startups Have Too Many Engineers →
I enjoyed this post by Tom Loverro, nice contrast to the ‘no place for an MBA in a startup’ rhetoric that I’ve heard so much about. No doubt engineers are the critical lifeblood of an early stage company, but as a non-technical founder (w/ an MBA), I like to think that our roles are important too.
Howard Lindzon interviews John Borthwick →
I could watch these kinds of interviews all day—-so much better than reading fiction or watching television.
Take control over your destiny
I couldn’t agree with this post more. Tempting to do deals that bring huge reach and leverage for sure, but not at the expense of the core product and user experience. Otherwise, what’s the point? We’d rather plow forward solo and wait for the ‘right’ deal to come along, knowing that the further we get on our own, the stronger the position we’ll be in when it...
Leadership & Entrepreneurship Lecture @ MIT -... →
Lengthy, but very interesting if you like getting an inside peek into how companies are born.
Techcrunch on Why Losing a B-School Biz Plan... →
As an aspiring entrepreneur and mediocre academic, I couldn’t agree more. It’s not about making the plan flawless in a vacuum, it’s about getting the raw story real-world validation as early as possible so that the story can be altered and refined with input from real users from the earliest days. Identify a real pain, get a working theory going about the best way to solve that...