This editorial is a continuation of a piece I wrote last year titled, Product/Market Fit as a Service.
In the first few weeks of the stay at home orders across the country, I spoke with a number of co-founders and executives who decided to make a pivot to solve very unique problems during the pandemic. Each proposed solution sounded very viable and each leader had big visions of what solving the problem would mean for their business and for humanity.
My conversations were a microcosm of what much of the startup world was experiencing. A survey conducted in April 2020…
Climate change has increased the frequency and intensity of wildfires in recent years. With the increased threat of wildfires, firefighters and other first responders need improved or new tools to better understand the extent and behavior of wildfires so that they may plan their response accordingly. This year, CrowdAI was selected as the exclusive technology partner with California Air National Guard and Joint Artificial Intelligence Center (JAIC — a division of the US Department of Defense) to build a custom solution to help stop the spread of wildfires.
Before CrowdAI, analysts would manually comb over hours of video and point-and-click…
Hurricane Dorian formed on August 24, 2019, wreaking havoc on hundreds of thousands of people — from the Caribbean all the way to Canada. The Bahamas experienced catastrophic damage when Dorian made landfall as a CAT 5. By the time Dorian reached landfall in Cape Hatteras, NC it was downgraded to a CAT 1. However, even at a lower strength, significant damage was still done, especially to a 12-mile stretch of Ocracoke, NC. Storm surge reached seven feet, flooding roads and buildings. …
The past two months I’ve been on a journey to choose my next venture facilitated by interviews with numerous CEOs and co-founders at pre-Series A startups and have been struck by a few recurring themes in all of them.
1. First time CEO
3. Minimal to zero sales experience
These leaders all sought consultation from investors and advisors on operations and product but not one had a trusted sales advisor or anyone on their executive team with sales prowess. …
What if you could get so good at validating or in-validating product/market fit that it becomes a repeatable, sellable service?
What if you could create a new role that can be duplicated at every early-stage startup specifically designed around product market fit the same way that the modern Enterprise Software Account Executive was created?
“The number one problem I’ve seen for startups, is they don’t actually have product/market fit, when they think they do.” — a16z article “12 Things about Product Market Fit”
The way I define Product/Market Fit (PMF):
Much of modern life is built around conformity. People are hesitant to venture into the unknown. People don’t take time to question why the status quo exists and/or how it could be better. Recently I’ve had feelings of isolation and otherness. Feelings that I could not relate to the people or the world around me because my ideas and my lifestyle were contrary to the status quo. During this time, a former colleague recommended a booked called the “Originals: How Non-Conformists Rule the World”. …
This past summer I experienced my first sensory deprivation chamber. The urge was sparked because I felt like I was being burned out by work. Thought I needed something to take my mind off of it.
It was a jolt of creativity and relaxation.
The chamber is meant to meditative, but there were times during the 60 minutes when my mind kept wandering. I tried to think of family, relationships, etc, but my mind kept going to work. And now that I think of it… I don’t know if that’s a bad thing. …
Reflecting on how each of the “The Four” (Amazon, Facebook, Google, Apple) have a global impact. This past year I traveled to Brazil and Western Europe. People in those two destinations were on Facebook platforms (FB, Instagram, Whatsapp), using Google products (search, Android, etc), and using Apple products.
What I could not find was anyone buying from Amazon.
Apple needed to expand globally in challenging markets like China to reach a $1T market cap.
Amazon reached a $1T market cap with a narrow focus on North America.
What does this mean for Amazon’s future growth potential? …
“We firmly believe that the success of our business and our product will be determined by our ability to recruit and retain a high-performing team that is diverse at all levels of the company. We do not look like other Silicon Valley companies, many of whom pay lip service to diversity; for us, diversity is a key strategic advantage for our business.
There is a lot riding on Hustle’s success — more than just the outcome of a single company, Hustle is out to prove that one can build a highly successful business that is truly diverse, civically engaged, mission-driven…
It was my 8th day in Brazil and my first day in Sao Paulo. On this day I reached peak exhaustion and peak frustration. Five days of Carnaval in Rio and two days of Carnaval in Salvador. The day before I got pink eye in both eyes, I was malnourished, and lost my credit card.
Based on the suggestion from a local, I found my way to Impact Hub, Sao Paulo. My Americanism was on full display because I arrived unannounced and without speaking Portuguese. A woman by the name of Luciana came to greet me. She spoke good enough…
Passion for new ideas and even more passion for the execution.