A version of this article previously appeared on Forbes. It should be no surprise that this social media guru has earned over 113,000 authentic Twitter followers. His bonafides are impressive: named by Forbes as a Top 50 Social Media Influencer, cited by LinkedIn as a Top 25 Social Media Market Expert and proclaimed by AdWeek to be a Top 50 Person Re-Tweeted By Marketing Leaders.
A version of this article previously appeared in Forbes. I just suffered through the worst "can you help me" call of my career. It was a rather hapless soul who was seeking my help networking within Santa Barbara's startup community. Fortunately, this particular call was brief. In the fifteen minutes that we chatted, the caller made some shocking networking mistakes.
A version of this article previously appeared on Forbes. Always the bridesmaid? While it still emotionally sucks, at least it will no longer break the bank; that is, if Kelsey Doorey has it her way. Warning: Kelsey's idea will make you ask yourself, "Why didn't I think of that?" Ms. Doorey, Founder and CEO of Vow To Be Chic, believes that men have had it too easy for too long. When they are invited to join a wedding party, they simply roll into a tuxedo shop, rent a suit that (sort of) fits and off they go, fully equipped to sing bad karaoke and do shots at the wedding reception.
A version of this article previously appeared on Forbes. Founder ≠ King Everyone around you knows that you have it, but you are in denial. You say things like, “I am open to giving control to the right person at the right time”. However, the reality is that the “right person” does not exist and the “right time” never arrives. Founderitis, Founder’s Disease, Founder’s Syndrome; by any name, this my way or the highway approach to running a business is the same affliction. When Founderitis strikes, the Founder’s drive, energy and vision(characteristics crucial to the startup’s initial success) become a hindrance to the company’s maturation into a self-sustaining entity.
A version of this article previously appeared on Forbes. Quick - name a phone company. AT&T? Verizon? Maybe you said Apple or even Google, but I bet Facebook didn't come to mind. Yet, that’s exactly who the Atlantic called out in an article last week (along with Apple), and they’re right. According to the author, 60% of Facebook’s revenue comes from mobile ads, double that of the prior year. Yep, Facebook is a phone company.
A version of this article previously appeared on Forbes. I recently received an email from a former student in which he described how he was able to secure a lunch meeting with a high-profile entrepreneur who is operating multiple ventures in parallel. Benedikt Scholz is an exceptional student whom I had the pleasure of instructing when he recently studied at UC Santa Barbara. A native German speaker, he will soon graduate from University of Münster.
A version of this article previously appeared on Forbes. Noted American architect Frank Lloyd Wright famously cautioned his design disciples that form should not compromise function. However, for many online startups, form should drive the design process. I hesitate to write about design, as I have never considered myself to be a "color or font" person. Steve Jobs might have felt that an improper level of font worship was grounds for termination, but I usually erred on the side of utility. Good thing I was never entrusted with product design. At Expertcity (acquired by Citrix), I have had the pleasure of working with two executives who shared astounding aesthetic sensibilities: Klaus Schauser and Brian Donahoo. This dynamic duo, who now head up AppFolio, led the design and development of GoToMyPC and GoToMeeting. Their focus on ease-of-use form over function resulted in a series of products that defeated stalwart incumbents, including marketing-leader Symantec.
A version of this article previously appeared on Inc. Bob Wood has been a mentor to dozens of professionals during his long career in public service. Despite retiring several years ago, he continues to provide guidance to young (and not so young) professionals. As noted in You're Never Too Old (Or Too Successful) For A Mentor, Bob has become not only my mentor, but also my friend. Thus, I was honored when Bob agreed to share his insights regarding mentorship with my UC Santa Barbara entrepreneurial students.
A version of this article previously appeared on Forbes. I have a confession: I used to quickly become frustrated whenever I tried something new and I didn't quickly excel. Rather than attempting to master the new activity, I would moved on to another task, seeking a gentler learning curve.
A version of this article previously appeared on Forbes. Much has been written about social entrepreneurship; ventures in which an explicit goal is the betterment of society. However, far less attention has been applied to entrepreneurial philanthropy, in which a startup mindset and accountability is applied to issuing non-profit grants. Intrigued by the concept, I was turned onto one of the leaders in this emerging field of philanthropy, A Better Chicago (ABC), by friend and ABC Board Member, Brent Rasmussen. ABC is applying entrepreneurial principles to the art of charity. Even the organization's lexicon reinforces its startup mindset. It performs "due diligence" before it makes "investments" and it measures results as a "return on its investment."