• 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.

  • Anatomy of a Marketing Organization

    One of the areas I often advise startups on are questions around how to structure a marketing organization or make their initial marketing hires. I noticed there isn’t a lot of information out there about the different types of marketers, so I wanted to share some of the key functions that make up a marketing organization and thoughts on how to build and structure your team.

  • Uncovering the secrets of happiness

    The holidays are one of my favorite times of year. As the sparkling lights and decorations go up, the holidays are a reminder and invitation to reflect, spend time with loved ones, and take stock on the learnings from the prior year. I thought this would be an ideal time to post a reflection on building and sustaining happiness in life. During my sabbatical over the last 4 months I prioritized sustainable health and happiness because it’s one of the areas that often gets shortchanged due to lack of time and too many things going on.

  • Three keys to building a strong technology brand

    Brand is a hot topic for tech companies lately. It’s unsurprising, because tech companies are currently dominating the top brand charts. In the 2016 Interbrand survey, technology companies occupy fully half of the top 24 global brands with Apple and Google 1st and 2nd, and Facebook and Amazon the top growing brands in their report.

  • Building Effective Marketing + Product Partnership

    Product and marketing are key players in ensuring the success of a product. However, often these two functions struggle to work effectively together.

  • What Is Product Marketing?

    The role of product marketing in technology companies is a fascinating topic in part because it is so poorly defined and inconsistent. I’ve managed product marketing now at LinkedIn, SurveyMonkey and various early-stage startups and in each case the expectations for the role were different from team to team and company to company. It’s a chameleon role that is often defined by circumstance, such as the first hire of a marketer to support the product development teams. Often, this first hire creates a precedent on product marketing’s role and contribution within the organization which results in wildly different roles from company to company. What then do product marketers do?

  • Four unSEXY Startup Lessons


    Last Friday I attended the unSEXY conference, a one-day conference hosted by 500 Startups focused on the unsexy topics of distribution and money makin’ for startups. You can see the conference slides here.

  • When Does Paid Acquisition Work for SaaS Startups?

    A quick repost of my guest post for Andrew Chen’s blog yesterday.


    After recently moving on from adventures building a consumer gaming portal at Mochi Media (acquired last year for $80 MM), I’m now working on a new startup called Connected, which is a SaaS contact management solution for professionals. I decided to blog some of my thoughts based on my experience thus far with deciding on the right user acquisition channels to focus on.