16 Startup Metrics

Originally posted on Andreessen Horowitz:

We have the privilege of meeting with thousands of entrepreneurs every year, and in the course of those discussions are presented with all kinds of numbers, measures, and metrics that illustrate the promise and health of a particular company. Sometimes, however, the metrics may not be the best gauge of what’s actually happening in the business, or people may use different definitions of the same metric in a way that makes it hard to understand the health of the business.

So, while some of this may be obvious to many of you who live and breathe these metrics all day long, we compiled a list of the most common or confusing ones. Where appropriate, we tried to add some notes on why investors focus on those metrics. Ultimately, though, good metrics aren’t about raising money from VCs — they’re about running the business in a way where founders know how…

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Three Hiring Steps You Should Take to Transform Your Marketing Team

The recent proliferation in new channels (digital TV, native video, mobile messaging apps) 
and new technologies like marketing automation, retargeting, custom audiences have made it more challenging than ever to strategize and deliver a consistent, inspired customer experience.

Modern marketers look at things like working dollars vs. non-working dollars. Conversions, leads and churn rate. Likes, comments, and shares. Retweets, reblogs, and reposts. CRM, CPM, CPA, and CPC.

The Modern Marketer is a Unicorn.

Ben Richards of Ogilvy entertained the crowd at the recent Percolate Client Summit with his comparison of the mythical creatures to today’s marketer, and when you think about it, he’s absolutely right.

The modern marketer is a unicorn because so much more is being demanded of human capital, but budgets rarely are enough to support advanced hires in every position. This means that it’s just not enough to specialize in one core area of marketing (ex. SEO, Social Media or Field Marketing) because every marketer needs to be as multi-skilled as the best utility infielder on the best MLB team. Problem is, it’s a lot harder to hire and keep these unicorns than it sounds.

There will always be a need for advanced positions, but there is clearly a new baseline for modern marketers.

Anyone working in a marketing role today needs to step it up. And companies need to hold themselves to a higher standard when it comes to the people they bring in to fill those roles.

So how do you identify, hire and keep talented modern marketers in your company? Here are three suggestions.

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Three Tips to Master the Art of Following Up

art-of-following-up

We’re all in this together.

You know what I mean, that deluge of communication that happens across any and every platform we maintain a presence on today.

We get emails, texts, and snapchats.

We get tweets, Facebook messages, and IMs.

And we send just as many, if not more, than we receive.

As we use the internet and social media to grow our networks, we gain the ability to meet many more people than previously possible. But good networking is not just about who we can meet and make that first contact with, it’s about who we can build lasting connections and develop trust with.

One of the easiest ways to build that trust comes from following up.

No matter if you’re interviewing for a new job, working a new lead from a conference, or just looking to further a conversation, following up is a key skill that can often trip people up.

Now I know it can feel somewhat awkward, and you don’t want to be annoying or too eager, but if you haven’t made an attempt to follow up, the connection can’t mean that much to you, and you can never expect to build anything.

So how can you approach the art of following up and break through the noise to develop lasting relationships? Here are a few tips that I’ve found seem to work for me.

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a16z Podcast: Coding as a Literacy

Originally posted on Andreessen Horowitz:

Tracy Chou from Pinterest, and Chris Granger and Jamie Brandon from Eve, discuss whether coding is a literacy (or as Granger puts it, a “superpower” ). But as software infuses every industry and much of our lives, do we all really need to start writing code? Or is a less hands-on approach — educating ourselves about what software can (and can’t) do, and the basic architecture behind its creation — the most useful way to gain software literacy for most people?

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The Top 10 Viral Brand Videos of 2014

The term “viral video” is one that evokes both excitement and groans when mentioned around people within the marketing world.

After all what’s viral? It means something to everyone.

Is it share-worthy? Do the masses relate?

Definitions aside, more and more videos like Shit Girls Say, or this News Anchor dancing to Where They At Doe are blowing up online and it has become natural to share these things online between friends, coworkers, and on social networks at-large.

With video projected to take up over 90 percent of the online content within the next decade, brands want in on this action.

But traditional commercials don’t cut it, which is why brands look to create these “viral” or shareable videos to achieve that same level of enjoyment to the viewer, standing out from their competitors while aligning themselves with the qualities or messages in the video.

This year more and more brands got involved with video online, be it on Youtube, Facebook, or shorter form with Vine and Instagram. Video consumption is taking off with advances in technology and availability of content.

Looking to 2015, we can only expect the number of branded videos to increase as platforms continue to mature and new ones emerge.

Below are our top 10 Branded Viral Videos from 2014, in no particular order. We tried to shy away from TV-first as much as possible and looked at their significance to the industry on the whole.

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Rethinking Work-Life Balance

Originally posted on TechCrunch:

[tc_dropcap]We all know that having a healthy work-life balance is critical for startup employees – and have read the cautionary tales of how dangerous it can be to have no work-life balance. It’s something we should all strive to achieve. [/tc_dropcap]

It’s also a worthless concept as it’s typically presented.

Everything I’ve read on the subject isn’t helpful for entrepreneurs and startup employees because it starts with the assumption that you have an evil boss forcing you to work unreasonable hours.

Usually, that’s not the case if you’re at a startup. You may not have a boss – and most of us love our jobs. Personally, I want to do mine 24/7 and I hate that that’s impossible.

Furthermore, (and this is likely exacerbated if you’re a founder and/or CEO), I experience intense guilt when I do anything that isn’t work-related. Many people (investors, team members, etc.) have put their faith in me to…

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Why the Sony hack is unlikely to be the work of North Korea.

Originally posted on Marc's Security Ramblings:

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Everyone seems to be eager to pin the blame for the Sony hack on North Korea. However, I think it’s unlikely. Here’s why:1. The broken English looks deliberately bad and doesn’t exhibit any of the classic comprehension mistakes you actually expect to see in “Konglish”. i.e it reads to me like an English speaker pretending to be bad at writing English.

2. The fact that the code was written on a PC with Korean locale & language actually makes it less likely to be North Korea. Not least because they don’t speak traditional “Korean” in North Korea, they speak their own dialect and traditional Korean is forbidden. This is one of the key things that has made communication with North Korean refugees difficult. I would find the presence of Chinese far more plausible.See here – http://www.nytimes.com/2006/08/30/world/asia/30iht-dialect.2644361.html?_r=0

here – http://www.nknews.org/2014/08/north-korean-dialect-as-a-soviet-russian-translation/

and here – http://www.voanews.com/content/a-13-2009-03-16-voa49-68727402/409810.html

This change in language is also most…

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