CategoryRescueTime

PR for Startups

My startup (RescueTime) has enjoyed some pretty ridiculously good PR (online, print, and video). It’s not a surprise that the most common questions that we get from other founders are about PR. How do you get press and the blogosphere talking about your product? When you research this topic, you’ll see lots of technical and how-to articles that talk about how to build relationships...

Startups with Something to Believe In

I went to an informal Seattle startup CEO dinner a while back and it was an awesome opportunity to talk candidly about the problems that early stage products face. Someone remarked to me afterwards that a lot of people in that room had already “made it” (financially speaking). That’s one of the cool things about being a startup founder. There were plenty of folks in the room who...

A Newbie’s Guide to Startup Compensation (or “Stock Options will Make Me Rich!”)

My first experience with stock options was at the ripe age of 34 years old, when I was selling Jobby (retired) to Jobster (Gah, make the Web 2.0 names STOP!). Before that, I’d been running my own business for close to a decade– with good success, but there really wasn’t any sense in setting up an options plan. So when selling our company and getting presented with a cash/stock...

Value or Viral?

I can’t help but think that the startup world is a bit drunk on the concept of viral distribution. Distribution is a huge problem for startups, so I suppose that I can’t blame them. First of all, I want to point out that I think viral distribution freakin’ rocks. It’s amazing. It’s awe-inspiring. If you can build virality into your app, do it– and do it early...

RescueTime Improves… A little bit, and over and over again!

One of the frustrating things about iterative software development is that you never get to do a heroic launch (a la Steve Jobs). Your software starts off to be barely good enough for someone to endure. The next week it’s better. Rinse, repeat. If you’re good, someday you wake up and you’ve built great software. We’ve got a long road before this day, but we think...

Come See me Speak at the Churchill Club

This Wednesday, I’ll be participating in a really interesting panel discussion entitled “Silicon Valley Fights Back Against the (Information) Monster it Created”. The panel is moderated by Matt Richtel (New York Times Correspondent). Here’s the description: Intel launched no email Fridays. So did US Cellular. Some managers at Genentech urge employees to check email only...

Half-assed Startup – How to Start your Company and Keep Your Day Job

Someone posted an interesting “Ask YC”, asking: “How to start becoming an entrepreneur while still being an employee?” Having done this twice (started a company that eventually turned into a full-time startup), I settled in to reply. Before long, it was clear that my response was long enough to justify a blog post. I’ve done two part-time-to-full-time startups (one...

Zeno & Software

Everyone with a fine liberal arts education should be familiar with Zeno’s Dichotomy Paradox (props to Steve Leroux for helping me remember his damn name). “Suppose Homer wants to catch a stationary bus. Before he can get there, he must get halfway there. Before he can get halfway there, he must get a quarter of the way there. Before traveling a quarter, he must travel one-eighth;...