Inside My Brain

Thoughts about startups, tech, marketing, and life

Guest post for ThornTech – The Week in Tech: Yahoo Screen shutters, longer tweets, and more

Yahoo-Screen-logo2

Check out my latest guest post on ThornTech.com titled “The Week in Tech: Yahoo Screen shutters, longer tweets, and more.

This week we talk about the shuttering of Yahoo Screen, longer tweets, Activision’s purchase of Major League Gaming, and a round up of what’s happening at the Consumer Electronics Show.

I hope you found this interesting! If so, please share this article, sign up for my email list below, then connect with me on TwitterGoogle+, and LinkedIn for future updates.

Guest post for ThornTech – The Week in Tech: Spotify gets hit with class action lawsuit, Sidecar shuts down, and more

Spotify on iPhone

Happy New Year!

Check out my latest guest post on ThornTech.com titled “The Week in Tech: Spotify gets hit with class action lawsuit, Sidecar shuts down, and more.

This week we highlight Spotify’s class action lawsuit, the shutdown of Sidecar, and Comcast’s internet breakthrough.

I hope you found this interesting! If so, please share this article, sign up for my email list below, then connect with me on TwitterGoogle+, and LinkedIn for future updates.

Photo courtesy of Bjorn Olsson on Flickr.

Reflecting on 2015, big changes coming in 2016

New-Year_Resolutions_list

Another year flies by! It’s amazing how fast 2015 went and how quickly 2016 will be here.

Here are my thoughts on how I did with the resolutions I made in 2015.

And I’m not making resolutions for 2016!

Read on…

Recapping 2015

Here were my resolutions for 2015 and how I did:

1) Publicly launch ribl and gain over 100,000 users: ribl launched, but we didn’t get close to 100K users

We launched ribl publicly at SXSW in March, but we certainly did not gain over 100,000 users.

While we worked hard to launch our app, we couldn’t keep up with the fast pace necessary to maintain and grow a consumer mobile application.

We’re bootstrapping ribl, which means that we’re funding the company with our own money. Bootstrapping a startup is hard; it’s difficult to find a balance between working for paying clients and building a product that won’t bring in any revenue for the foreseeable future.

Because we had to spend a lot of time on consulting engagements, we didn’t quite get as far as we expected with ribl. Sucks.

Rating: 5 out of 10

2) Measure more: not bad

I made a resolution to be more analytical and more frequently look at the metrics of my clients’ websites, my blog, the ribl app, and any other property that I managed.

I did spend more time on analytics and learned some new measurement tools, but probably didn’t do as much as I could.

Rating: 6 out of 10

3) Avoid alcohol for two weeks every quarter: total fail

Jeez, I totally forgot about this one. Again.

Absolute fail.

Rating: 1 out of 10

4) Be a great dad: pretty good!

Baby Maya was born on May 14, 2015 and she is incredible!

It’s tough for me to truly judge how great of a dad I’ve been, but I think I’ve done a solid job so far.

Vicky and I have been working well together to balance our schedules to take care of Maya. We also have the help of Vicky’s mother and my Mom, which has been a godsend.

Maya is happy and healthy, and that’s all that really matters.

Rating: 8 out of 10

One more thing for 2015 – launch of my podcast

Another big thing that happened in 2015 is that I launched a podcast, the Go and Grow Podcast.

At the beginning of the year, I hadn’t ever listened to a podcast. But by October, I launched my own!

It’s been a great ride so far.

My podcast has reached #1 on a few iTunes New and Noteworthy categories.

More importantly, I just love speaking with entrepreneurs about how they’ve launched and grown their companies. I’ve learned so much and have been inspired by their stories.

Looking forward to 2016

To tell you the truth, I don’t feel like making any resolutions for 2016, and maybe ever again.

I just wind up forgetting about the resolutions I’ve made and then get depressed when I write this blog post at the end of each year.

Yeah, I know, it seems like a cop out. The better solution may be to actually remember the resolutions I’ve made and stick to them, right?

Instead, I’m just going to work hard, make progress every day, and balance my career and life as a whole.

I do want to highlight some major changes that are coming in 2016.

Career changes

As I stated in my recap of resolution #1, we didn’t even come close to progressing with ribl as we hoped. This was because we lacked the time and resources to focus on building and growing the app.

The ideal situation would be for me and my co-founders to dedicate 100% of our time on building ribl or whatever product we choose to develop. But life doesn’t work that way, as we all have families for which to provide, so we need income.

So I’ve decided to join my co-founders in growing their software development firm, Thorn Technologies, where I’ll be Chief Marketing Officer!

The structure that we’ve had the past couple of years wasn’t quite working.

I consulted for Thorn Technologies for a few hours per week to help market the firm and sell software development projects. And whenever we had some free time, we would work on ribl.

Thorn Tech would grow a little, ribl would grow a little, but we would still be strapped for resources and not get as far as we’d like on either.

Now I’ll be working full-time to grow Thorn Tech faster.

The hope is that by dedicating more time to growing Thorn Tech, we’ll have a larger portfolio of projects and more robust pipeline of potential clients. This in turn will put us in a better financial situation, allow us to hire more resources to both cover our client projects and help us build a product, whether that’s ribl as it exists, ribl in another form, or something in a completely different direction.

Will this new structure work? We think it will, but who knows.

It’s clear that what we had didn’t work, so we need to try something else. It wouldn’t make sense to keep going as-is and just hope that things will get better.

So we’re going to give this experiment a shot and see how much progress we can make on the product front.

I’ll still continue to grow my podcast on my free time, and maybe even launch a show for Thorn Tech!

Life changes

With the birth of Maya, our condo is getting pretty cramped. And with Maya growing so quickly, it will only continue to get more crowded.

So Vicky and I have been looking for a larger home that will accommodate our growing family.

We’re not sure where we’ll wind up, as we have to balance our love for the city, the quality of schools, availability of houses within our budget, and many more factors.

It’ll be a lot of work to find and transition to a new place. We’re not even sure if the move will happen in 2016 but it’s certainly a possibility.

Conclusion

2015 was a fun but up-and-down year.

The birth of Maya was certainly the highlight of 2015. Though it’s a tough job raising a child – many sleepless nights and lots of uncertainty – it has been one of the most rewarding experiences ever.

And while I’ve had early success with my podcast, I didn’t come close to achieving as much as I would have liked with the startup, which is my #1 career priority.

2016 is going to be full of change and excitement.

I can’t wait to see how much Maya develops, and look forward to the changes her growth brings to our lives.

I’m pumped about my new role at Thorn Tech, as I do believe it will help us progress in building a product.

And I’m excited to continue working on my podcast and growing my audience.

See you later, 2015, it was nice knowing you. Hello 2016, looking forward to finding out more about you!

What changes are coming your way and what will you focus on in 2016? I’d love to hear about it in the comments!

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Guest post for ThornTech – The Week in Tech: SpaceX lands the Falcon 9, Google and Ford teaming up on self-driving cars, and more

SpaceX launch

Happy Holidays!

Check out my latest guest post on ThornTech.com titled “The Week in Tech: SpaceX lands the Falcon 9, Google and Ford teaming up on self-driving cars, and more.

This week we cover the successful launch and landing of SpaceX’s Falcon 9, Google and Ford’s self-driving car partnership, Lyft’s big fundraise, and Apple and Ericsson’s patent deal.

I hope you found this interesting! If so, please share this article, sign up for my email list below, then connect with me on TwitterGoogle+, and LinkedIn for future updates.

Photo courtesy of SpaceX

Guest post for ThornTech – The Week in Tech: Ride-hailing drivers can unionize in Seattle, Slack launches app directory and fund, and more

Uber app

Check out my latest guest post on ThornTech.com titled “The Week in Tech: Ride-hailing drivers can unionize in Seattle, Slack launches app directory and fund, and more.

This week we cover Seattle allowing Uber and Lyft drivers to unionize, Slack’s new app directory and fund, drone registration rules, the increase in music royalties, and hailing an Uber in Facebook Messenger.

I hope you found this interesting! If so, please share this article, sign up for my email list below, then connect with me on TwitterGoogle+, and LinkedIn for future updates.

Photo courtesy of Mark Warner on Flickr

What advice should you listen to, and what should you ignore?

Bad Advice

Advice is cheap.

Advice gets thrown around all the time, whether it’s asked for or not.

So how do you know what advice to listen to, and what to ignore?

Asking for advice

I ask for advice from my family, friends, and colleagues often.

Whether it’s about a tough life decision I need to make, or what product feature we should add next, or how to get my kid to sleep through the night, I naturally seek the opinions of others who may have been through these situations.

Sometimes, advice is given to me unsolicited, too.

Many times I have no idea what advice is good and what is not.

Everyone wants to help, and I’m appreciative of having a strong support network. So if I ask you for advice, please know that I absolutely value your opinion and will always take it into consideration.

But I often have trouble deciphering good advice from bad and often am just as if not more confused about what I should do than if I hadn’t asked for advice in the first place.

Providing advice

I’m happy to provide advice to whomever asks me.

I’m an advisor for a startup called FanCheer Interactive and I speak with the CEO approximately once a month about how his business is doing. Sometimes he simply provides updates. Other times he asks for advice, and I provide it to him. That’s my role.

I also provide advice to some of my fellow startup founders about marketing, product, strategy, or whatever topic, whenever they ask. I’m happy to help at any time.

And some of my friends and family speak with me about their careers (as if I have any idea what I’m doing with mine) and whether they should pursue certain opportunities.

All of these people typically tell me my advice is helpful. But most of the time I have no idea what they are really thinking, if they used the information I provided, and what the outcome was.

How are you supposed to know what’s good or bad advice?

Hindsight is always 20/20, so after you’ve made your decision, you can certainly determine whether the advice provided to you was good or bad.

But as you’re going through the decision process, how can you identify what advice is signal and what is noise?

I don’t know the answer to this question (obviously).

I think it just comes down to gut feel, and understanding if the person providing the advice has truly been through your specific situation before and can thus put himself or herself in your shoes.

Even then, there may be biases, as there always will be.

How do you decipher good advice from bad? I’d love to hear in the comments how you separate the signal from the noise.

I hope you found this interesting! If so, please share this article, sign up for my email list below, then connect with me on TwitterGoogle+, and LinkedIn for future updates.

Image courtesy of Alexander on Flickr

Guest post for ThornTech – The Week in Tech: Yahoo to spin off internet business, Walmart launches mobile payments, and more

Yahoo Marissa Mayer

Check out my latest guest post on ThornTech.com titled “The Week in Tech: Yahoo to spin off internet business, Walmart launches mobile payments, and more.

This week we highlight Yahoo’s spin-off of its core business, Walmart Pay, Twitter’s non-chronological feed, and Samsung’s move into the automotive business.

I hope you found this interesting! If so, please share this article, sign up for my email list below, then connect with me on TwitterGoogle+, and LinkedIn for future updates.

Image courtesy of Yahoo

Guest post for ThornTech – The Week in Tech: Zuckerberg to give away 99% of his fortune, Yahoo’s possible sale, and more

Zuck Chan baby

Check out my latest guest post on ThornTech.com titled “The Week in Tech: Zuckerberg to give away 99% of his fortune, Yahoo’s possible sale, and more.

This week we cover Mark Zuckerberg’s charitable vow, Yahoo’s potential sale, Cyber Monday revenues, and Apple’s possible plans for smaller iPhones.

I hope you found this interesting! If so, please share this article, sign up for my email list below, then connect with me on TwitterGoogle+, and LinkedIn for future updates.

Image courtesy of Facebook

Guest Post for The Good Men Project – I’m a Husband, Father, and Entrepreneur, Thanks to My Wife

Good men project image

Check out my guest post on The Good Men Project titled “I’m a Husband, Father, and Entrepreneur, Thanks to My Wife.

I’ve been a husband for over three years, and a father to my beautiful baby girl Maya for just over six months. Of course, I couldn’t be a husband and father without Vicky.

I’ve also been an entrepreneur since July 2012. I owe that to Vicky as well.

Being a husband and a father were inevitable. Being an entrepreneur didn’t have to happen. But it did, and I couldn’t be an entrepreneur without the financial and emotional support from my wife.

Being a husband, father, and entrepreneur all at once takes a lot of sacrifice and compromise, and of course, not only on my part. Vicky arguably has sacrificed more than I have, and I owe everything to her.

Read our full story on The Good Men Project.

Photo courtesy of Junichi Ishito on Flickr

Guest post for ThornTech – The Week in Tech: Anonymous declares war on ISIS, Google+ is back, and more

Anonymous ISIS

Check out my latest guest post on ThornTech.com titled “The Week in Tech: Anonymous declares war on ISIS, Google+ is back, and more.”

This week we highlight Anonymous’ war vs. ISIS, the rebirth of G+, Square’s IPO, and the Google / Facebook search deal.

I hope you found this interesting! If so, please share this article, sign up for my email list below, then connect with me on TwitterGoogle+, and LinkedIn for future updates.

Image courtesy of Anonymous on YouTube