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Ecosystem (noun): a system, or a group of interconnected elements, formed by the interaction of a community of organisms with their environment.

Over the last several years, the phrase “building a partner ecosystem” has become synonymous with growth. I.e., a network of partners, vendors, and affiliates that bolster a company’s core technologies, product offerings, and channels of acquisition. There’s been a significant shift in strategic thinking in why a technology company should either join an ecosystem or build their own.

This isn’t a novel idea. Microsoft, Apple, IBM, Salesforce, Twitter, Facebook, and many others have been developing partner ecosystems —…

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It’s no secret that negotiating is hard.

Each party in a negotiation has their own agendas, pretences, goals, worries, anxieties, and fears. And when entering a negotiation it’s easy to forget that it is, in fact, a negotiation in which both parties have a desired outcome in mind.

Take, for example, the last time you negotiated for a promotion or raise. You likely prepared a list of valid reasons why you deserved your request. But when your manager came back with a number or title that wasn’t what you expected, how did you feel? Angry, frustrated, resentful?

As challenging as…

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Not One, But Many Choices

Financial well-being, similar to physical well-being, is made up of thousands of seemingly innocuous daily decisions. Save a few bucks here, buy a coffee there.

However, the smallness of those decisions accumulate over days and months and years, eventually making a significant impact throughout the course of a lifetime.

As Shane Parrish writes, “today’s choices become tomorrow’s reality.”

Again, similar to physical health, positive financial inputs today (saving money and investing) result in exponentially positive outputs in the long run (cash flow and returns).

This is real, down-to-earth financial advice I wish I would have known earlier in my life…

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The Backstory

I once met a fellow who graduated at the top of his MBA from the University of Michigan, had a stellar career at one of the world’s leading consulting firms, and is now a managing partner at a private VC firm in Wisconsin.

While chatting with him over a glass of wine one evening, I asked him what it’s like to interview top applicants from schools like Harvard, Booth, and Kellogg when they apply for a position at his firm.

“They’re smart,” he said, “hard-working, ambitious, and at the start of what will most likely be exciting and successful careers.”

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Source — Techvibes —

“Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.” — Seneca

Big, Fun, Exciting News

After three wonderful years at Buffer, I am excited to share that I’ll be joining the strategic partnerships team at Shopify starting in April!

Stationed out of Shopify’s San Fransisco office, I’ll be working alongside several super talented folks to help strengthen relationships with key platform partners and developers, as well as forge new relationships and opportunities.

During my time at Buffer, I’ve come to discover a deep passion for partnerships and product and this new position at Shopify offers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to deepen those skills. …

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Great things are not accomplished by those who yield to trends and fads and popular opinion. — Jack Kerouac

The Challenge of Creating Something New

Creativity is defined as “the ability to transcend traditional ideas, rules, patterns, relationships, or the like, and to create meaningful new ideas, forms, methods, interpretations, etc.; originality, progressiveness, or imagination.”

Many of the greatest business and technological innovations in modern history have come from creative thinkers and iconoclastic leaders.

If Steve Jobs copied IBM, we wouldn’t have Apple. If Reed Hastings copied Blockbuster, we wouldn’t have Netflix. If Emily Weiss copied any number of cosmetic retailers, we wouldn’t have Glossier. …

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“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” — Eleanor Roosevelt.

Working at a startup has always been a dream of mine.

Fast-paced environment. Close-knit teams. Uncertainty of what each day will bring. Unlimited vacation!

In the 3 years (and some change) that I’ve been with Buffer, it has been everything I imagined and more. With only one thing taking me by surprise — I didn’t realize is how quickly I would change both personally and professionally.

Everything that happens on a day-to-day basis in a larger company happens on a macro-scale at a startup. …

Nearly two years ago, in an article on how I approach TOFU marketing at Buffer, I postulated:

“One of the most exciting things about working at a startup or small company is that every employee wears multiple hats.”

At the time, I didn’t fully understand how relevant that statement was and would be to this day.

Each one of my teammates at Buffer still wears multiple hats. Things still move lightning fast. I’m still learning and failing and succeeding all at the same time.

My most recent role comes in the form of strategic partnerships manager.

Essentially SPM means that…

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I recently stumbled across a TED Talk by Simon Sinek on How Great Leaders Inspire Action and it suddenly dawned on me why TED Talks are so powerful.

Sure, they have a lot of great information. And they’re super inspiring. But those aren’t the only reasons why.

TED Talks get us thinking in a way that is completely unfamiliar to our minds.

They challenge our views of the world. They open up passage ways into places we didn’t even know existed. …

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The view from Harder Kulm (Interlaken, Switzerland)

I’m a big believer in practicing what I preach.

Up until recently, I openly admit that I wasn’t living up to my own preaching in one specific area: vacation.

Readers of my newsletter, Thinker, know that the US workforce leaves an unbelievable amount of vacation time on the table every year (though evidence suggests that vacationing makes employees both happier and more successful).

I was no exception to the rule, which is precisely why my wife, Katelyn, and I decided to take a full two weeks off — totally disconnected — to travel across the beautiful mountains of Italy and…

Brian G. Peters

Ecosystem Partnerships Lead at Shopify | Outdoorist | Husband to Superwoman | Dad to Dierks | |

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