ArticleHow to Create a Customer Journey Map for Your Inbound Sales Funnel

How to Create a Customer Journey Map for Your Inbound Sales Funnel

A customer journey map can be an incredibly helpful tool for your business. These maps outline every step that your customer goes through while engaging with your company, from learning about you for the first time to making repeat purchases. A customer journey map helps ensure that your customers are the center of your marketing — it should include touchpoints, frustrations, purchasing motivations, and the like. Creating one can help you identify pain points and keep your customers engaged throughout their buying process.

In this article, we’re going to outline how you can create a customer journey map for your inbound sales funnel.

Start by defining your buyer personas

Before creating your customer journey map, you need to build and defi...

ArticleIn Our Darkest Hour Where Do We Find Hope?

In Our Darkest Hour Where Do We Find Hope?

Startups run on money but survive by optimism.

The greatest currency in our startup is our wildly insane, totally manufactured optimism that things might actually work out, even in the face of everything taking a giant crap on us. That of course sounds inspiring, but when we're actually living in that position when everywhere we turn things are falling apart, it's hard to pretend we can just put on a happy face and make everything a resounding positive.

This isn't a pep talk though — it's a game plan. The difference between letting our startups implode and bringing them from the brink of destruction is how we plan through this mess. As a 9-time startup Founder myself, I can tell you it sucks every. single. time. There's nothing cool about ...

ArticleGreat Ideas All Start As Dumb Ideas

Great Ideas All Start As Dumb Ideas

Great companies are born from dumb ideas.

That's now how we think about them, though. We all have this fantasy that great companies start with a clear, genius vision for the world, and the rest of our time is spent just realizing that vision. That sounds awesome, but that's not at all the way ideas work, and that fundamental misunderstanding by Founders prevents a lot of great companies from ever forming.

No Shame in Dumb Ideas

The reason as Founders we prevent ourselves from finding great ideas is that we're ashamed of pursuing dumb ideas. Facebook was a dumb yearbook app long before it became the most powerful social media tool in history. In fact, before I go listing a ton of examples of every major company you've heard of that was a dum...

ArticleWhy is Everyone Counting My Money?

Why is Everyone Counting My Money?

No one cares what we have — they care that they don't have it.

That's a huge problem for Founders because we often have very asymmetrical compensation compared to the rest of our staff. We have more equity, we have a higher salary. We're on an investor retreat to some insanely cool resort while they are freezing their asses off in our cramped office. We're driving the new Benz while they're sharing a Kia with their roommate.

No matter what the delta is, what we have and what everyone else does not will always be a problem. As the organization grows, and the delta between our lifestyle and that of our staff increases, this situation only gets exponentially worse.

What we need to do is first understand why it's happening and then be mindful ...

ArticleBeware the Absentee Landlord of Equity

Beware the Absentee Landlord of Equity

What's the worst equity holder we could possibly have in our cap table? The one who isn't even here any longer.

We all know this, and yet for generations, we've built cap tables loaded with "absentee landlords" who provide no ongoing value but reap all the benefit of those that continue to drive the ship. Until recently the notion of "dead equity" has been just accepted and rarely challenged, leaving those that still work for the company to carry those that don't.

I'd like to poke a giant, trident-sized hole in this argument once and for all. And for my fellow Founders who are dealing with this issue at present, or soon will be, I want to provide you with some ammunition toward what will invariably be a tough and painful conversation.

In Ca...

ArticleStartup Culture is a Reflection of its Founders

Startup Culture is a Reflection of its Founders

Our startup's culture can all be mapped back to one person — us.

We are the cultural North Star of our startup, and everything we do, and how we act, puts our ship on a course for good things, and if we allow it, really bad ones. Our challenge is that we often don't recognize how even our simplest actions broadcast across the entire organization and poison the actions of everyone else. Our worst behaviors, even those that we think are positive, become the virus that infects everyone.

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ArticleWhy Co-Founders Often Don't Last

Why Co-Founders Often Don't Last

It's a little-known secret — many Co-Founders typically quit in the first year.

We don't hear these stories because, by the time a startup becomes successful, they are long since written out of the annals of the company's history. If we're a first-time Founder, we don't realize that there's a massive delta between the commitments we make when we start a company and those that we have to maintain as the grind continues.

The problem becomes real when we realize we just gave our "forever committed partner" 50% of the company for what amounted to 5% of the long-term effort required to make it successful. If we had known Co-Founders don't last, we'd have prepared accordingly.

So why don't Co-Founders stick around?

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How do I...

ArticleThe Case for Growing Slowly

The Case for Growing Slowly

Growing slowly is the fastest way to build a sustainable startup.

From the outset that sounds like a contradiction, right? How could "growing slowly" and scaling possibly be congruent? They are if we take the time to understand that scaling is only possible once we've identified the assumptions in our business that are actually true.

As it happens, most Founders don't realize that "growing slowly" isn't about the long-term growth curve of a startup, it's about the near-term growth curve, the part where we are still trying to figure out exactly how this thing works.

Amplifying Mistakes With Acceleration

The case for acceleration is that we'll get to where we need to be faster. But that rests on one (often) broken assumption — that we're acc...

ArticleDon't Rush into Your Second Act

Don't Rush into Your Second Act

Have you ever noticed how musicians who have a breakout album almost always follow up with a shitty second album?

Founders are the same way. Typically our first startup success, which took our entire lives to evolve, is quickly followed up by a terrible second startup idea. It's not because we're "less of a Founder" than we were the first time, any more than that band knows less about music than they did on our first album. It's because rushing a creative process is the fastest way to ensure the outcome totally sucks.

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How do We Tell Our Staff We’re About to Run Out of Money? The...

ArticleIt's Not What We Own, It's Whether It's Liquid

It's Not What We Own, It's Whether It's Liquid

Owning 100% of an asset is the same as owning 0% if it's never liquid.

Too often we get hung up on what percentage of a company we own, only to overlook the fact that our equity actually doesn't matter at all unless it's liquidated at some point.

In this case, we're specifically talking about ownership that requires a sale to have value, not two gals in a room splitting annual profits 50/50 (that percentage does matter in that case!).

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