Showing by category: Personal Thoughts

The Hardest Skill To Master – Empathy
Any growing venture is hard. My last three years have been at an incredible pace with days blurring into weeks and months. It does not have to be a startup, it could be a lifestyle business, it could be a mid-size business. The faster the growth, the more extreme are the swings and tensions. It is way too easy to lose sight of what matters, end up with agenda, and kill your relationship. So how do we survive and thrive? It all starts with empathy. The more the person you should be supporting is different, the harder it is for you to relate and understand where the other person stands. You are ineffective without the empathy. So you must try to gain understanding about what is affecting[more]
Case For Not Taking Small Investments and Why Early Employees Are Unsung Heroes of Startups
It does not come as a surprise to anyone who knows me that I am not a stranger to getting into occasional passionate discussion. This weekend I made a statement which caused such discussion. Unfortunately, Twitter is the worst place to have a discussion. Arguments in 140 character format make people extremely susceptible to interpretation and overreaction to the meaning of individual words. Does not help that often people, who were never part of the original conversation, end up getting involved half way without understanding original context. Unlikely a constructive or valuable conversation. So what the heck did I say? "Apparently in Boston you are an angel investor if you wrote measl[more]
On Being a New Father and the Struggles, Biases, Lessons Learned While Building a Business
For the past decade and a half, I have read countless articles on how it is impossible to build a successful company and be a good parent at the same time. I call bullshit! Yes, I know, I now owe money to the swear jar, but I’m happy to pay. Here is the TL;DR for those of you with short attention spans - being a great parent AND running/building a company are complementary to each other. The "hustle" needed to run a successful startup multiples many fold when you have a little human depending on you to win. I had NO IDEA what focus, drive, and effectiveness were until I became a new parent. When you have a little child running at you with arms stretched out and big smile on his/her fac[more]
New Father, New Team, New Opportunities – Boston, Watch Out!
The past few months have been the most eventful ones in my adult life. Most importantly, I became a father! I have been in startups my entire career, but this new "startup," my beautiful daughter Greta, has tested my planning, troubleshooting, and iterating abilities while providing me with an incredible amount of "fire", clarity, focus, and zen-like calm. So, it is probably not surprising that this huge event has also served as a strong catalyst for several other changes.  I took two months off to be new dad and supportive partner (a luxury in the US) and also decided to leave Pixability for the next venture to scale. My exciting news is that I am joining the One Mighty Roar digital exp[more]
Poor Managers Kill Companies – 5 Ways to Improve Your Management Style and Skills
I’ve spent the last several months preparing for the birth of my first child and thinking very hard about the value of my every waking minute. If I am going to spend time away from my child, my work better be making one hell of an impact. So, I have been digging deep and thinking about what I have learned throughout my career and what I want to focus on and further improve. Managing and developing people is that highest ROI skill which you can always work to enhance. Why should you care? Well, unless you are running company of one (you), management skills and style are paramount with the consequences of hitting the viability of the company where it hurts the most - profitability. Endles[more]
If you aren’t scared, you’re either going too slow or you’re a reckless moron!
I have reached my point of saturation seeing all these quotes lately in the startup community about being faster and faster without fear and finally have to say something. Fear is good! Fear is an indicator you know the consequence of your actions, which is a sign of mental maturity. It is when we fail to heed the signs and work WITH our/business/life/etc limits that we cause massive disasters. Walter Röhrl is an auto racing legend I highly admire, because he has mastered some of the most dangerous types of auto racing and is still alive. In response to a couple of tragedies in the racing world, I recall him saying: "If you aren't scared, you're either going too slow or you're a reckles[more]
Leadership Lessons I Learned at My Father’s Funeral
As I am getting ready for my daughter to be born any day now, I have been thinking a lot about my late father and the impact he had on me. He was an incredible role model and shaped my views on being a father, leader, businessman, and an active community member. As I am preparing for one of the happiest days of my life, I wanted to share a story with you about a very sad, yet inspirational, day in my life. While I was a wide-eyed teenager, eagerly soaking up my dad’s business advice, my father always used to say that the best indication of how well you have done in your life and people’s lives you have touched is by how many people pay their respects at your funeral. Sadly, several yea[more]
Lessons from Sun Tzu’s Art of War for Business Leadership
One of my favorite books is Sun Tzu's Art of War. I have read it several times and is one of my top 5 favorite books. Although the teachings are very old (6th century BC), there is much that can be applied to the modern day hyper-competitive business environment. Here are some of the lessons I have learned: An individual contribution (or lack of it) can make the difference between a startup growing or becoming another fire sale. Everyone must be on deck and stand in the heat of the kitchen; if they can't - show them the door. Even startups flush with cash can't afford slackers. If directions are not being followed, management is failing to communicate. Clear messages don’[more]
3 Startup Offers You Shouldn’t Accept – How Compensation Shortcuts Hurt You
I love these hot and tumultuous times for emerging companies. Contrary to what some politicians and the media would love to have you believe, with every iteration the whole ecosystem is getting stronger, better, and more agile. But as more companies start up (or expand), there is a desperate rush to snap up the talented individuals needed to grow these businesses. This haste often leads to poor decisions and/or shortcut-taking, which results in compensation packages/offers that are one-sided, unfair, and detrimental to both sides. In this article I want to take care of my readers who are looking to move to another startup or join their first emerging company. Here are the three top startu[more]
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