The following guest post comes from Sean Percival, CEO of Wittlebee, a kids clothing club that sends its customers a new customized box of clothes every month, based on their children's age, color preferences and geographic location. I am an investor in Wittlebee via Rincon Venture Partners. In case you missed it, Pinterest is a new website capable of curing the common cold, solving world peace and doing your taxes. It’s literally that good. Really though, it’s a new bookmarking service that has been all the rage lately. Seeing how it just surpassed 10 million monthly visitors, it’s hard to deny there’s something there. Now that I think about it, I remember when we relaunched Myspace last year and the Pinterest team accused us of basically ripping off their layout. I knew that wasn’t the case so I also remember sarcastically tweeting at them something along the lines of ”Wow, you invented the grid layout? You guys are going to be rich!” I guess I was right.
Rapidly and repeatedly hiring star employees is a competitive advantage. Although this is a core competency that must be honed over time, there is a cadre of SaaS hiring tools that the world’s leading tech companies deploy to their advantage. No matter how rapidly a startup is growing, it can never afford to sacrifice employee quality as a means of achieving its hiring goals. A hiring mistake early in a startup’s life can be expensive, especially when opportunity costs are considered. The loss in productivity involved in transitioning a struggling employee out an organization, coupled with the time required to conduct a subsequent job search, can cripple a small company’s ability to achieve its strategic objectives.
The following is a guest post from Laurel House, an author, lifestyle mentor, and contributing blogger for Campus Explorer. The folks at Campus Explorer believe everyone deserves a fulfilling education, no matter the name or place. Their philosophy is that anyone shopping for college or continuing education can find the perfect fit, if they have access to the proper tools. To this end, Campus Explorer has compiled everything needed to perform an efficient and effective online college search. I an investor in Campus Explorer via Rincon Venture Partners. Question: ”Why do I need a mentor? When should I start looking for a mentor and how do I find a one?” Answer: Now’s the time to lock down a mentor, even if you haven’t locked down your exact major or career goal. Why? Because the fact is that you are about to enter into a new game where you are definitely not at the top of it, and probably don’t even really know the rules. More than that, how do you even know that this is the career you want to spend the rest of your working days doing? What do you know about the reality of this world and the day-to-day of the lifestyle?
This article originally appeared on TechCrunch HERE. Successful Olympic athletes share a number of common qualities with entrepreneurs; including boundless energy, uncompromising tenacity and a willingness to innovate. Such innovations include new training routines, inventive diets, and novel gameplay tactics. Entrepreneurs are well served to pay particular attention to two of the most innovative Olympic athletes: Dick Fosbury and David Berkoff, the former of which I discuss in the following 2-minute video.
The following guest post is from Laurie Barkman, Marketing Lead at The Resumator, a SaaS applicant tracking system and hiring platform trusted by many of the fastest-growing companies in the world, including: Pinterest, Tumblr, Hootsuite, Klout, Posterous, Bitly, Atari and Mashable. I am a Board Member and an investor in The Resumator via Rincon Venture Partners. It’s National Small Business Week, celebrating the more than 2 million small business owners in the US. This week the SBW2012 Conference in DC offers sessions geared for small businesses including a Social Media forum, Business Matchmaking, and Federal Contracting 101. The conference ends with the Champion Awards Dinner. This event honors Small Business Champions– individuals or organizations dedicated to supporting small businesses. This year’s four winners include representatives from the Small Business Association, Microsoft, Visa, T-Mobile, and…an Olympic athlete.
This article originally appeared on Forbes HERE. As part of UC Santa Barbara’s Distinguished Lecture Series, serial entrepreneur, CEO Coach and Author Lex Sisney shared a preview of his newly released book, Organizational Physics: The Science of Growing a Business. As Co-Founder and CEO of Commission Junction, Lex grew the company from two employees to become the de facto leader in the world of affiliate marketing, beating Google in the process. To this day, Commission Junction remains the dominant player despite Google's significant investment of time, money and resources. Lex's new book, Organizational Physics, is compelling, as it applies the fundamental laws of physics to the world of business. By viewing companies through this prism, one can diagnose organizational problems and identify corresponding solutions, irrespective of a company's size, the markets it serves or even the personalities of its senior executives - which makes the book a powerful toolkit for business leaders. By applying the laws of physics to organizations, the author helps the reader, “understand how your business and team really work… (and) get at the underlying causes of what’s making them fail or succeed.”
The following guest post is from Courtney Englert, Customer Success Intern at The Resumator, a SaaS applicant tracking system and hiring platform trusted by many of the fastest-growing companies in the world, including: Pinterest, Tumblr, Hootsuite, Klout, Posterous, Bitly, Atari and Mashable. I am a Board Member and an investor in The Resumator via Rincon Venture Partners. Bleacher Report recently put together a list of the 30 Greatest Athletes in Summer Olympics History. Sitting on top of the list was 14-time Gold Medalist Michael Phelps, who holds the all-time record for the most Olympic gold medals. It might seem like a stretch to draw a connection between an Olympic swimmer and life at a startup, but bear with me. Being the most successful Olympic athlete in history (and arguably the most successful single athlete) requires a freakish amount of natural talent, backed up by consistent hard work.
This article originally appeared on Forbes HERE. I always enjoy a great guerilla marketing story, such as TestFlight’s use of T-shirts and Tacos to gain Steve Jobs’ attention at Apple’s 2011 developers’ conference. Thus, I was inspired when I heard about the impact collaboration-in-the-cloud innovator Central Desktop made at the April 2012 San Francisco ad:tech conference. Rather than hire the clichéd booth babes (which I have always found to be more than a bit sleazy), the company secured the services of a cigar-smoking, bearded angel with an exaggerated New York accent. By adhering to the following guerilla marketing precepts, Central Desktop’s scruffy angel not only grabbed the attention of the show’s 8,900 attendees, he also effectively conveyed the company’s unique value prop.
The following guest post is from Molly Greathouse, a blogger for RingRevenue. RingRevenue's unique technology allows online and offline advertisers and publishers to consistently increase revenues from mobile, print, search and email campaigns by tracking the phone calls generated by such ads. I am a Board Member and an investor in RingRevenue via Rincon Venture Partners. Facebook is the new crack. Everyone has an account and checks it multiple times a day, no matter how often people threaten to delete it and “de-wire”. Yeah, right. This addiction calls people to get their “Facebook fix” on more than just their laptops or desktops. We need it on the go. So it only makes sense that the Facebook mobile app has been an enormous success. Trust me, as a Facebook addict myself, I can confidently assure you that, when the cell phones come out, more often than not people are checking their Facebook. With all of the app’s success, Facebook is rolling in the dough, right? As it turns out, not exactly.
This article originally appeared on Forbes HERE. Serial entrepreneur, venture investor and startup accelerator pioneer Brad Feld has notoriously mocked traditional marketing throughout his career. Rejecting the paint-by-numbers approach to corporate communications deployed by most marketing executives, Brad has embraced unconventional guerilla marketing tactics to help establish his venture capital firm, Foundry Group, as a thought leader in early-stage tech investing. “…companies should… focus on building amazing products. If you have amazing products, the marketing of those products is trivial. If you have $hitty products, the marketing is impossible. Instead of focusing on marketing as an activity… integrate it into (your) products.” Brad Feld, Managing Director, Foundry Group