Ada Chen Rekhi

Essays on marketing and a meaningful life

Ada Chen Rekhi

7 Things No One Tells You About Being a Startup Founder

When I founded my first company Connected back in 2011, I was really surprised by the intensity of the emotional rollercoaster. By then I’d already worked everywhere from large corporate Microsoft to tiny new startup and felt prepared. I was dead wrong. I remember describing it to a friend as, “After I started a company, everything became 10x more intense. The highs and lows filled with terror, sometimes all in the same hour. Everything else I’d done in my professional career fades in comparison.”

Marketers: Hone Your Customer Intuition

It is tempting to fully embrace data-driven decision making and demand all marketing efforts are backed with data and ROI. While this sounds reasonable initially, marketing is both an art and science, and great marketers should also spend time honing their customer intuition to be successful in their craft.

What’s Surprised Me About Parenthood

Two and a half years in, I wanted to reflect on some of my top surprises of parenthood. TLDR highs are higher and lows are lower than expected.

Finding Meaningful Work with “Designing Your Life”

Designing Your Life: How to Build a Well-Lived, Joyful Life

With all of the talk of The Great Resignation, it doesn’t come as a surprise that many people are asking the question, what do I really want to do?

Many people follow a guiding star throughout their early career. Their career transitions are based on what their parents or peers expected, what their peers did, where there was the highest status, or even taking what they were good at to its natural extreme. Later on, what they begin to question is whether that work is meaningful or significant to them.

The Leadership Chasm

Why transitioning to management is hard: The Leadership Chasm

When I coach founders and execs, I often encounter them in a point of transition. Reaching the point in your career where you transition from individual contributor to a people leader is often a story of struggle. Here’s why it’s so difficult to rise to the new challenge: The Leadership Chasm.

✨I’m an executive coach✨

Exciting news to share— I’ve started a part-time exec coaching practice for founders and executives looking to scale themselves as they scale their teams. 🚀

Good Marketer / Bad Marketer

Inspired by a recent conversation that reminded me of Ben Horowitz’s Good Product Manager/Bad Product Manager post, I wanted to share a cleaned up version of a similar talk I prepped for a subset of my team at SurveyMonkey on what a world class marketer looks like.

Freemium and Free Trial Conversion Benchmarks

Inquiring minds want to know… What is the average free to paid conversion rate from a free trial or freemium? What is a “good” conversion rate from free trial to paid?

How to Make Your First Marketing Hire

Just about every startup has to cross this bridge at some point: making their first marketing hire. I often get asked about this topic and after several conversations, I was inspired to put together a guide on how to scope, evaluate and hire a strong first marketer for your team.

Phil Knight’s Shoe Dog and the slippery slope of founder ethics

Thanks to all of the end of year book lists, my current reading list is swelling with newfound gems and Shoe Dog is one of my new favorites. I devoured it in a single day.

Shoe Dog is the memoir of Phil Knight, founder and CEO of Nike and details the company from its early start through their 1980 IPO. There are several good reviews of the overall book (here, here, and here), but it surprises me that so few have discussed the ethical quandaries that Knight faces as he builds Nike.

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