Blog

The 70/30 Rule, Crappy Products, Logos, Bots, and Growth Hackers

All too often organizations from startups to enterprise growth teams go into growth mode before they are ready. Launching into growth too soon can squander resources, your customer's good will, and obscure successfully preparing for growth. Here are 5 reasons you shouldn't be focused on growth. Reason # 1: YOU DON’T KNOW SQUAT ABOUT YOUR CUSTOMER The customer is at the core of...


How Great Innovation Teams Operate

Working on an innovation team is hard. Anyone who says different is just flat wrong. Not only does innovation work inherently mean you don't already know the answer; the complex dynamic of working on a team searching "in the wilderness" for answers to questions that likely haven't been asked before makes for a lethal one-two punch. In the midst of these challenges, most...


3 Traits of Great Value Creators

I was honored to give this talk, "The Art & Science of Value Creation: 3 Traits of Great Value-Creators" for Creative Mornings at the end of San Diego Startup Week.  Check out the talk here:  And here's the deck:    ...


Core Mindset and Skills For Customer Development

Over the last few years I have argued time and time again there is “no more powerful tool in your marketing toolbox than a cup of coffee with a customer.” That’s because the answers to your most important questions can only be found by direct interactions with your customers. Direct, authentic interactions with your audience always lead to the best...


Building capability to move fast, iterate quickly and act boldly

Growth is hard. From those of us starting from zero, to those with a flourishing audience. From a startup in a co-working space to an enterprise marketing team in global HQ. From the greenest novice to the battle-tested veteran…growth is hard. That’s because marketing has forever changed. What used to be a simple one-way broadcast has turned into a continuous, asynchronous, amalgamous, voluminous, raucous conversation. The...


Failure Isn’t A Goal. Learning Is.

It’s true, there is no lack of failure in starting new ventures. The likelihood of failing with a startup, new innovation initiative, or new product extension is much higher than the likelihood it will succeed. Just because those are the hard facts, doesn't mean failure is an acceptable outcome. Yet, in startup culture, the phrase, “Fail Fast” has become something of...


One of the key principles of lean is to “learn fast.” I can’t tell you how many times I’ve stood on a stage and said those two words in the last year. Although, on paper, the concept seems easy enough, the truth is, learning fast is hard. You must be prepared to hear things you don’t want to hear. You must be open...


In a world where customers are smart, competition is fierce, and change is easy, business success cannot rely on a tight message, a pretty promise, and a large megaphone. Instead, success depends on inviting customers on a shared journey toward creating real value. We all know that social media has transformed the communication landscape. If the conventional approach to branded communication...


[This article was originally published on Brandisty.] A question that seems to come up a lot in brand development is, “what’s the difference between a logo, identity and a brand?” After all, people often use them as interchangeable synonyms everyday. “Check out our new brand,” or “we are going through a re-design of our brand,” or my favorite, “do you do branding?” To...


Lessons Learned From The Launch of #LeanBrandLab

I’ve become more and more acquainted with the phrase, “eating your own dogfood,” the farther I journey down the Lean Brand innovation path. If you’re unfamiliar with the phrase, “eating your own dog food” (also called “dogfooding”) is slang for using your own product or ideas to validate the quality and value of your product or idea. My personal acquaintance with the...