Digging in to the Open Startups List

I’m super honored and excited to see my business alongside six other incredible startups that have embraced financial transparency, and completely opened up their financial metrics on the Baremetrics Open Startups List. I’ve written before here about why I think financial transparency is a huge asset, particularly when paired with a transparent blog or any kind of business advice. This list of open dashboards, which I’m sure will be growing rapidly soon, is a huge assets for current and aspiring entrepreneurs. It’s a ton of data and I thought it would be fun to dive deep and see what we can learn. Introduction to the Open Startups First I’ll do a terrible and cursory introduction to this illustrious list for background. Buffer is an app for finding shareable content and queuing that conte…

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The best networking is not networking

My first job was at a research consultancy. I was learning and writing about the booming wind energy industry. A big part of my job, that of and many of my colleagues, was to attend an ever increasing number of industry conferences. The goal was to be part salesperson, convincing potential customers that the analysts at our firm were smart people with interesting things to say, and to play journalist, getting nuggets of data and an informal consensus on topics for which we lacked data. The fact that I reverse engineered the financial model for a complicated financing structure almost entirely from buying beers for CFOs and managing directors at conferences was probably the only reason anyone in the industry thought I had anything valuable to say for the first few years. These conferences w…

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Technical skills for non-technical people in tech

Tech is one of the few growing bright spots in the job market and understandably a lot of folks want to figure out how to get a job at tech startups. When I quit my job and started getting into tech/software/startup things I was “not technical” — meaning specifically that I didn’t know how to write software. I’ve had lot of conversations with people trying to break into the market who are also not technical, didn’t grow up hacking, didn’t get a computer science degree and can’t write a line of code. I taught myself to code so a lot of the conversations start there: “Should I learn to code?” While I was technically non-technical in startup parlance, I am in fact a pretty technical person and spent a good part of my pre-startup career mastering nerdy things like Excel Macros so it made sen…

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How travel can help you live forever

When you first go off to college, everyone your parents’ age reminds you to cherish the time there, take advantage of every opportunity because it’s going to be the best time of your life and then after that life blows by. This terrified me. It still does. The risk that some point time will start speeding up and suddenly without realizing I’ll be old, with my best days behind me. I’ve thought about this a lot, why did it happen and how could I stop it. Most of the people telling me this at the time were baby boomers. Most of them had started a career shortly after college. Then they worked the same job, in the same city, more or less for the next 30 years. This must be what caused the acceleration. Without unique new experiences, daily life becomes one long run-on sentence. My theory is th…

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Why you can believe in climate change and be anti-GMO

Liberals. They will beat you over the head with The Facts that 97% of scientists agree that humans are causing climate change. But you offer them one upgraded-by-Monsanto™ banana, reminding them of The Facts that nearly the same level of consensus exists within the scientific community that genetically modified foods are safe to eat, and they still say, “Yeah, but I have a right to know so I want a label.” I’ve seen these two juxtaposed often enough as prima facie proof that liberals employ double-think when it comes to believing scientists. Even though I don’t have a strong opinion on GMOs, I’m going to wade in here a little bit. What I would like to do is lay out the argument that it is possible to both believe in climate change and be anti-GMO. More specifically it’s important to take…

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