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Thursday, February 7, 2019 - 6:19pm
Tuesday night I attended the kickoff for mentors and got to hear from the companies that have joined the Alchemist Blockchain Techstars Accelerator in New York – it was a lot of fun and well executed by the managing director of the program Yossi Hasson. He has put together an incredible team it seems with folks like David Gogel. I have been working on and off with TechStars since they first came to NYC and still work with one of the companies that I met with during the first program! (Nestio). Through the initial program and the mentoring I have
Thursday, January 24, 2019 - 5:27pm
A friend recently asked for an introduction to a senior executive at a large organization in the hopes of partnering with them. His company has some new products and services that he believes make sense, and the LargeCo. executive seems like a good audience to meet with. As with many topics I cover, when I find myself sharing the same thing over and over I turn it into a blog post to reference/share/learn publicly from. In this case the intro was made and my friend followed up with a factsheet (PDF) about the products/services + a note all about his
Wednesday, January 2, 2019 - 12:19pm
Scheduling a meeting with someone can be difficult. People are busy, its hard to find time, and its usually a volley of back and forth emails to get something setup. My strong recommendation is to always use a simple formula that has served me well for over a decade; always put forth 3 days and 3 times in your initial email. This means writing out, specifically, 3 open days and 3 open time slots that work for you. As I have written about before, it is essential to do it right from the start. As it relates to reaching out
Saturday, December 8, 2018 - 11:59am
Inspired by this tweet, and the rabbit hole of conversations surrounding it, I was motivated to share some thoughts on the similar look and feel of B2B startups.   As Brianne mentions, many companies are starting to invest in their brands. Having a story that resonates and a look and feel to go with it can be helpful to existing and prospective customers – using the tools and services every day, but also on-boarding new team members into their workflow. There is a fine balance of “look and feel” since the power users probably no longer care about the front
Friday, September 28, 2018 - 12:38pm
I have been sitting down with many smart folks via Expa, and the latest is with Brent Tworetzky, EVP Product from XO Group. I published the full interview on Medium, head on over and give it a read there.
Wednesday, September 12, 2018 - 4:33pm
Often in sales you are dealing with a single individual within an organization. They are your main point of contact, the person in your CRM, and your champion to get the deal done. This is the standard as it may be the person you previously knew, were introduced too, met at an event, or cold called/emailed. As the deal progresses you rarely think about what can happen if and when that person leaves the organization. The theory of 3 Wide 3 Deep can help mitigate against the scenario of your key champion leaving the organization.  After all, if the average
Tuesday, September 11, 2018 - 6:28pm
Values are an important part of hiring and team building, but hard to justify the time to create them. This is a framework I have used with early stage teams to come up with values with the entire team.  It works well for <10 person companies and takes around 1.5 hours. The output is a succinct list of words that the team comes up with that are the start of your core values. Spending time creating them feels like corporate “trust fall” territory which nobody loves. The benefits can rarely be seen until you are through the work. Like many
Wednesday, March 7, 2018 - 5:05pm
I view companies and entrepreneurs through my own lens, and have been developing my investment thesis for some time. Recently I have been thinking more about the software (vs. the wetware). Specifically, thinking through services that use algorithms as a “lock in” mechanism. This started at the end of last year when I received the incredible summary from Spotify that shows minutes, songs, artists and more (see the official Spotify Wrapped if you use the service). This is a great example of algorithmically locking me into the service.  The more I use it, the more interesting data (or value) the
Tuesday, January 9, 2018 - 11:35am
I attended a great breakfast session with former Mayor Michael Bloomberg, put on by TechNYC, and it was a great reminder of the title of this post. During breakfast he talked about the MTA, and the governance of the system. If you have been following things at home you know it is a mess and has been for quite some time. Between the city of New York getting the brunt of commuter complaints, the governors actual responsibility, and the federal governments meek involvement – this trifecta has not gotten things done. This reminded me of early stage teams that make
Friday, January 5, 2018 - 5:10pm
Coming to the end of the last year with so many meetings, I wanted to make focus one of my themes for 2018. One easy way to do this is to focus on less. I wanted to set a “goal” of only doing a certain number of things, but that seemed like spending time on the negative vs. the positive. In this case, a theme of focus accomplishes my macro goal; make the things I am working on successful. Focus is about saying “no” more often. Focus is about being an editor with your time, and allowing for time to think vs filling
Wednesday, January 3, 2018 - 5:05pm
The only startup analogy I like to make is to the real life Tyrannosaurus Rex – a giant carnivore, awesomely represented in Jurassic Park running after Jeff Goldblum and co. In the movie, Dr. Ian Malcolm utters the semi infamous phrase “Must go faster” and I love it. For those playing at home, this line is also in Independence Day (but not really)It represents everything to me in the fast paced world of early stage companies and a constant reminder of what you need to do to stay alive. Here is the full clip which is worth a watch: When folks
Monday, November 13, 2017 - 11:30am
(A huge thanks to my friend and the founder and CEO of Andie –  Melanie Travis who prompted me to finally write up my thoughts on this topic and was nice enough to let me guest post. – this something I have been only talking to people about over the years, and excited to share publicly below.) I talk to a lot of folks at interesting crossroads in their careers and many times the topic of getting an MBA comes up.  I have formed a pretty strong opinion on this after being the host to many top tier MBA programs doing a “trek”
Monday, September 18, 2017 - 5:10pm
At the beginning of last year I jokingly said that one of my resolutions was to try to always be positive with startups I hear about. Fast forward to a year+ later and I am still sticking with this resolution – staying positive in a sea of what can sometimes seem like endless negativity. It has become all too common to quickly dismiss or make fun of the “new thing” and I wanted to stop the trend. I have stuck with it and wanted to share some results, which have been amazing at seeing the optimistic/glass half full side of
Thursday, July 20, 2017 - 12:10pm
The fight has been underway for some time by hardware and platform companies to get into homes for more data, more control, and more share of wallet. The attack vectors have been things like home entertainment systems (think Xbox or Playstation), smart appliances, smart TVs, IoT (think smart light bulbs), and now voice assistants (Amazon, Google, Apple). For the first time after getting the following email from Amazon announcing Alexa calling, directly following the launch of the Amazon Echo Show, I think Amazon has a real shot and pulling ahead in this race. The below image helps explain why — they are
Thursday, July 20, 2017 - 12:10pm

We started Expa Labs to help founders build and ship new ideas. By providing fundamental help in starting and structuring their company, providing office space, funding, and advising, we take a very hands on approach. We do this by working with a smaller group of companies. Building off of our learnings from 2016, we expanded the program to better suit the needs of entrepreneurs. Just like a startup, Expa continues to iterate on making our program better for the creation and scaling of companies. After reviewing over 1,000 companies and meeting with less than 5% for final interviews, we are

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Thursday, July 20, 2017 - 12:10pm

Let’s get the fun part out of the way: the word coachability auto corrects to “coach ability” or “coach-ability” but I like it combined so I am running with it. I mentioned that this attribute is now towards the top of my list in what I look for in entrepreneurs in my lessons learned for Expa Labs 2016 and I wanted to elaborate more on why. You see when I sat down to really think about what to look for and research what has worked with a founding team, I made up a list of what appears to be the

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Eric Friedman is Director of Sales and Revenue Operations at foursquare. Eric was formerly at Union Square Ventures, a venture capital firm focussed on early stage web services and technology companies. He also spent three years working at Reprise Media, a full service SEM, SEO, and social media agency startup that was acquired by IPG in 2007.