Winning with Data Available on Audible

In June, Frank Bien and I published our book, Winning with Data. It describes through case studies how some of the most successful startups use data to create sustainable competitive advantage. Since then, we’ve sold thousands of copies. Today, we’re releasing an Audible version of the book. I have 8 free copies to give away to readers. If you’d like to throw your hat in the ring for one of the codes, please answer a one question survey about SaaS startups. I’ll select 8 respondents at random and send out the codes next week. Just a reminder that you’ll need an Audible account to claim the code. It’s been wonderful to see the reactions to the book. Thanks to everybody who’s supported the effort.

Wondering whether you should work hard or smart? You won’t like the answer.

Why you have to work hard AND smart, and how to do both. The timing seemed perfect. It was a Sunday evening, my son had finally fallen asleep, and I sat down to dig through the latest batch of reader questions for our Friday Q&A series. There it was: I don’t usually work on Sundays, but ever since my son was born, I’ve had to take the opportunity to work whenever I could get it. And thinking about this question on a weekend, I could only come up with one response: “If you’re wondering whether you should work hard or smart, you’re not going to like the answer.” And while I stand by it, I also realize that it’s not a particularly helpful answer. So today, I want to dive into why I think that working hard and smart are both absolutely critical to achieving what you want out
Continue reading "Wondering whether you should work hard or smart? You won’t like the answer."

Wondering whether you should work hard or smart? You won’t like the answer.

Why you have to work hard AND smart, and how to do both. The timing seemed perfect. It was a Sunday evening, my son had finally fallen asleep, and I sat down to dig through the latest batch of reader questions for our Friday Q&A series. There it was: I don’t usually work on Sundays, but ever since my son was born, I’ve had to take the opportunity to work whenever I could get it. And thinking about this question on a weekend, I could only come up with one response: “If you’re wondering whether you should work hard or smart, you’re not going to like the answer.” And while I stand by it, I also realize that it’s not a particularly helpful answer. So today, I want to dive into why I think that working hard and smart are both absolutely critical to achieving what you want out
Continue reading "Wondering whether you should work hard or smart? You won’t like the answer."

The Top Way to Accelerate Your Career Growth

Everyone of us that are hyper-driven wants to grow our careers faster. We’re impatient. We want to learn, grow, manage more, earlier.

Let me share my best hack. My uber-learning:

  • Find the best boss you can; and
  • Take on every initiative, project, task and endeavor you possibly can for her.

The best career accelerator I ever got was working for a few great bosses. And doing the things they pushed me to do that I didn’t really want to do.

I had one great boss that pushed me to manage an HR team. The last thing I wanted to do was manage HR, something I knew very little about. But … he knew I had very little management experience, and this would accelerate my skills here.

At first, I declined. I said it wasn’t interested in HR. He said he understood. Then, I woke up the next morning, said I was Continue reading "The Top Way to Accelerate Your Career Growth"

How & Why You Should Hire Sales Professionals Based on Potential Rather than Experience

“Having spent 30 years evaluating and tracking executives and studying the factors in their performance, I now consider potential to be the most important predictor of success at all levels.”
– Claudio Fernández-Aráoz, Harvard Business Review
As a Talent Specialist at OpenView, it’s my job to work with our portfolio companies to source and hire the best sales and marketing talent out there. Prior to OpenView, I led a team of recruiters that specialized in scaling revenue-generating teams for growing software companies. Over the course of this work – recruiting for and advising tech companies from pre-series A to IPO – I’ve come to understand that finding that so-called perfect candidate often has a lot more to do with future potential than past experience. In fact, I think it’s time for more companies to embrace this mentality when hiring.

Typical Requirements for Sales Candidates

When looking to hire
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CEO forgot to call me back to discuss job opening, how should I respond?

Always send a CEO at least one follow-up email. One. The reality is most CEO (and VCs) are pretty bad at managing their own calendars, and especially, their in-boxes. Most CEOs get 100s of emails a day, 1000s a week, and can barely keep up with the top priorities. If you were a top, critical hire, at the very top of the CEO’s list for that day … then yes, she would have emailed you back already. But for anything other than a Top 5 Priority of the Day … most CEOs fall way behind, and the emails are never followed up on. So email once more, if she was genuinely interested. Ideally, something simple, with one more great fact about you. If after that you don’t hear back … Then move on. But not before. < div class="qtext_image_wrapper"> I always appreciate a second email if we made some sort of genuine connection. Continue reading "CEO forgot to call me back to discuss job opening, how should I respond?"

Does Jason Lemkin agree or disagree that the first marketing hire should be a product marketer?

Disagree. Generally, the CEO or another founder will hack being both the head of product, and head of product marketing, at least until $1m-$2m in ARR, often longer. You definitely need senior product experience as you scale beyond that, definitely by the $4m-$5m ARR range. Because you need the help in Product and Product Marketing generally once things get complicated. But … you need a VP of Demand Gen at $20k in MRR. That’s far, far, far earlier. You need help in Demand Gen as soon as you have even a tiny stream of growing customers. And the hire should be almost immediately accretive. More here: I Hired My VP of Marketing at $20k MRR. It Wasn’t a Week Too Early. View original question on quora