Jack’s Journal 001


  1. Wise companies have begun engaging with entrepreneurs and startup studios to innovate properly, quickly, and efficiently, leveraging their R&D and Corporate Venture Capital dollars to become more profitable and resilient on the other side of COVID by building new startups from scratch.
  2. When startups launch on their own without corporate support, fewer than 10% succeed. When enterprises partner with entrepreneurs and take a structured approach to building and investing in startups, the success rate jumps to 67%.
  3. Entrepreneurs and corporations have always spoken different languages due to size, culture, and speed, so it is crucial for this gap to be…

TL;DR: Hiccups and failures are inevitable with the growth of any asset class. My goal for this post is to help emerging studio directors learn from the past mistakes of others so they can find their footing in less than one year.

  1. Lack of portfolio focus
  2. Lack of studio focus
  3. “Idea-first” vs. “human-first”
  4. Undercapitalized
  5. Overlooking the importance of marketing

Over the last year, startup studios have been one of the hottest trends in the startup world. When we founded the Global Startup Studio Network in 2018, we identified roughly 100 studios around the world. …

We’re on a mission to help launch a studio in every tech community around the globe by 2025. Here’s why.

Learn more at www.parallel.fyi

Welcome to Parallel, where we’re on a mission to launch a startup studio in every startup community around the globe by 2025. Here’s why:

We’re living in an era where humanity is standing face-to-face with problems that carry extraordinary, unprecedented weight.

Food shortages, climate change, overpopulation, mass violence, and space exploration are just a couple worth naming.

Looking back over the last 10–20 years, innovators and investors went bonkers over businesses that took advantage of the growth of the sharing economy, direct-to-consumer models, and the easy creation/distribution of content.

This was a vibrant time for technology, to say the least…

I founded 3 startups. Here’s how to tell if your idea is a good one by only spending $600.

Download the full 80-slide playbook

One common reason that many startup ideas stink is that founders focus too much on the idea and not the problem that they are solving.

I founded 3 startups, ran a creative agency for startups where we worked with 85+ clients, and then I worked at a startup studio as the VP of Branding for two years. The vast majority of these ideas stunk.

Over time, though, we learned how to validate that what we were building mattered.

These days, quality is everything. It’s never been harder to launch a quality beta product. …

How we decided to kill our startup while following the Stage Gate Framework

“Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.” -Norman Vincent Peale


  1. After working on Evryday TV for seven months, we decided to fold the project before launching it to the public.
  2. We approached Evryday with the Stage Gate Framework. After significant market research, validation, and building (and a $70k investment), it did not pass enough tests to move onto the next stage.

I learned about the Stage Gate Framework while I was the VP of Branding at Boulder Bits, a startup studio based out of Boulder, Colorado. Before taking a medical leave of absence, our CEO, Jesse Lawrence, taught us how to be “idea assassins”.

Jesse’s philosophy was simple; kill every…

Growing up in the nineties, in the morning while everyone was getting ready for work and for school, eating breakfast and getting dressed, my parents would have the TV turned on to the morning shows. They would get their news for the day before leaving the house, trusting that they were adequately prepared to face whatever was going on that day in the world.

Today, our needs are the same: many of us hold jobs that require a current awareness of global affairs. We want to be engaged in politics, business, and society. …

Advice from 11 Seasoned Creatives

I remember that it hurt.

I’ll never forget the first time that I heard a client tear apart my work.

I was 19 years old, had just begun freelancing, and spent close to 100 hours designing her a Wix website. I poured my heart, soul and years of artistic training into that project, and the pain of hearing her tear it apart felt as if she stabbed a hole through the canvas of one of my paintings.

That moment was when I realized that art and advertising are very different.

In the world of startups, they must remain different.


Last Sunday, I decided to challenge myself to document my life on Instagram Stories for one week, kind of like a “day in the life” series. Until then, I was a faithful Snapchat user, but when I started to notice that my usual 150 views on each Snapchat story had quickly decreased to 50–60 views, I accepted that my friends were moving over to Instagram.

Cool. Sorry Snapchat.

As a creative entrepreneur with a hectic work schedule, a lot of my friends have been asking me about my work life since graduating from CU Boulder two months ago. I figured…

Dan Hurwitz, my dad and a person I admire, has been a sales leader in the media and martech space for over 30 years and has had a handful of notable wins under his belt.

Having successfully hired and lead teams of Millennials, he regularly shares best and worst practices with me in an effort to help me improve my game. What follows is a list of several of them that are quite logical in nature but are often neglected. I couldn’t help but publishing…

  1. Carry yourself like a champ: Stand tall, look confident, make eye contact, be positive.
  2. Always…

We’ve been receiving a lot of really good questions lately from students taking our online entrepreneurship course, Startup Vault.

I’m sure this goes without saying, but I absolutely love talking with our students.

Tonight we got asked a great, common question that I felt eager to share with the rest of the world.

Q: Any tips on the best way to find a mentor when you don’t have credibility in terms of experience or qualifications? How do you make it valuable to them?

A: (From Mark Whitaker): Mentorship is a two way street. It may not be apparent how you can help right away but be open and available to anything. Many mentors know that a mentee cannot help them right away. Being a mentor is a #Givefirst mentality. The…

Jake Hurwitz

Building for the future of work at Jack Spades Startup Studio. Former Co-Founder at Global Startup Studio Network. Former VP of Branding at Boulder Bits.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store