Guest Blog Posts Archive

The following guest post is from some of my former UC Santa Barbara students. I thought this post might be of interest to some of […]

With Greathouse Comes Great Responsibility

The following guest post is from some of my former UC Santa Barbara students. I thought this post might be of interest to some of my readers, as it offers a glimpse into my approach to teaching entrepreneurship.  Fall quarter of Sr. year proved to be a crucial time for the progression of brightblu – Ben, Sid, and Taylor see this as the period that sparked their entrepreneurial passion. Along with taking Sr. Design together, the course that introduced the idea for brightblu, they were concurrently taking three other classes: Entrepreneurship, Entrepreneurial Marketing and Art of the CEO. These courses all proved to be serious influences on turning the dream of starting their own company into a reality. The biggest motivator for starting brightblu was John Greathouse’s Entrepreneurship class. He delivered a message to his students from the very first day that in order to reach your aspirations, you must be able to work hard and take risks. He conveyed his message in various ways, but the most memorable was a piece of literature he had them read called The Mouse Driver Chronicles, a true story about two Wharton MBA roommates who passed on their big salary job offers and followed the dream to launch their own business. After reading this book, Ben, Sid and Taylor realized they could do the same thing and become their own bosses. On the first day of class, Professor Greathouse told his students, “Take a look around the class, these are the people you will most likely start a company with,” and boy was he right. Every aspect of his course was aimed at preparing his students to build, execute and run their own business. Each week he brought in passionate and successful entrepreneurs to speak to his students and give advice about the different facets of creating a startup. Some of these influential speakers included Kevin O’Connor, founder of FindTheBest.com & DoubleClick and Simon Dixon, CEO of Idea Engineering. Along with bringing in a hall of fame cast of serial entrepreneur speakers, Professor Greathouse assigned his students weekly projects where his students would create their own venture and produce an executive summary. At the same time the brightblu team was building their actual company, they were learning and refining necessary business skills by creating made-up ventures. These weekly assignments not only equipped Ben, Sid, and Taylor with a strong foundation and critical knowledge of the most important aspects of creating a business, but also proved to be essential to building their entrepreneurial spirit. Once brightblu began to take off and started developing their product and technology, it was brought to their attention that there was an upcoming business contest called the UCSB New Venture Competition. From that point forward, the team felt a responsibility to not only win the competition but to do so by carrying out the entrepreneurial desire instilled in them by John Greathouse For a video interview between John Greathouse and Kevin O’Connor, check out: Kevin O’Connor Shares The Secrets Of Business Success. Ben, Sid and Taylor started BrightBlu while still students. Recent graduates, they are now pursuing the opportunity full time. Be sure to sign up as a Beta Tester of their innovative home automation solution here.  
The following guest post is from Dan Monarko, Online Marketing Manager at The Resumator, a SaaS applicant tracking system and hiring platform trusted by many of the […]

Quick Tips For Hiring Your First Employee

The following guest post is from Dan Monarko, Online Marketing Manager 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. Your business is off the ground running and months or years of work brought you to this point. You, my lucky friend, are ready to hire your very first employee. This can be a very stressful exercise for many given the success or failure of your company can be directly tied to making the right choice for your first hire. What should you look for in hiring your first employee? Here are some tips to consider while prospecting and interviewing candidates for your first employee:
The following guest post is from Eric Gaydos, Buzz Marketing Manager at The Resumator, a SaaS applicant tracking system and hiring platform trusted by many of the […]

Four Recruiting Lessons From Grandpa

The following guest post is from Eric Gaydos, Buzz Marketing Manager 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. Much has changed in just the last 10 years of recruiting. Social recruiting tools are here, and your next resume will probably never actually be on a sheet of paper. You might have even found your current job on social media. Some things about recruiting and hiring are timeless; things us whippersnappers would do well to consider during our next round of hiring. Who better to turn to than someone who’s been in business for six decades? Here are some fantastic recruiting tips from Grandpa:
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 […]

The Men of Pinterest

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.
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 […]

Ask the Career Expert: “Why Do I Need a Mentor?”

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?
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 […]

Entrepreneurs: Are You an Olympic Athlete or a Spectator?

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.
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 […]

Olympic Lessons for Startup Life

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.
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 […]

Facebook’s Biggest Mistake?

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.
The following guest post comes from the blog of GraphEffect. GraphEffect has delivered billions of impressions, millions of fans and unparalleled ROI for a variety of […]

Holy Viral Attribution, Batman! Why Social Gets to Win

The following guest post comes from the blog of GraphEffect. GraphEffect has delivered billions of impressions, millions of fans and unparalleled ROI for a variety of global brands on Facebook and Twitter, including: American Express, Disney, Walmart Bacardi and VISA. I an investor in GraphEffect via Rincon Venture Partners. At the Ad:Tech conference in April, our very own CEO James Borow gave a pretty awesome speech about why social gets to win, emphasizing the new tracking phenomenon of viral attribution. But before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s start at the beginning.
The following guest post is from Eric Greenspan, Founder and CEO of MakeItWork, a consumer facing, in-home tech support service. Entrepreneurs are inundated with success […]

Make It Work- the real story

The following guest post is from Eric Greenspan, Founder and CEO of MakeItWork, a consumer facing, in-home tech support service. Entrepreneurs are inundated with success stories, but far less is written about ventures that do not succeed. Success has many fathers, failure is an orphan.  Most entrepreneurs do not have the guts to publicly discuss a venture gone awry. However, Eric recently posted the following insights on his blog. Much can be learned from success, but much more can be learned from failure.  11 years and 8 months of commitment, my life savings, every available dollar on every credit card, line and loan, and a promise to my children of a future, gone. The real story behind Make It Work’s demise isn’t exciting. It’s simply about a team of dedicated individuals that failed. We failed because the industry we were in changed over the years. We failed because the economy has drastically fallen since 2008, particularly in the consumer sector. We failed because Apple invented the iPad and the Genius Bar. We failed because Microsoft finally got Windows right. We failed because we tried. We gave it everything we had and it in turn, it took everything we had.
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