Constraints are a good thing for creativity

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A lot of times in business, people see constraints (time and money) as a negative thing. They should really see constraints as something positive because they force you to be more creative. Restrictions force you to come up with innovative ways to tackle hard problems and force you to think outside of the box while stuck inside the box.

Being stuck inside constraints means that you are forced to challenge yourself. You’re forced to challenge yourself because you have certain rules and boundaries that you have to recognize. These boundaries drive you to experiment, and ultimately make unexpected discoveries. The unexpected discoveries made within the constraints you were given often end up being some of your greatest work.

Growing your business by finding obstacles to conquer

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People are often scared of stumbling upon obstacles when finding ways to advance their businesses, when in reality they should find coming across an obstacle to be one of the most exciting times for their ventures. This may sound counterintuitive, but when you take some time to think about what an obstacle is, it’s really just a ripe opportunity for you to conquer a business pain in a creative way. When you’re forced to stand in front of an obstacle, you have no choice but to be more focused, imaginative, and adventurous. It’s the perfect combination of characteristics to come up with big ideas to grow your business and differentiate yourself from competition. Instead of seeing an obstacle as a crisis, see it as an opportunity.

Obstacles are awesome business opportunities.

Video: Be data informed, not data driven (Facebook)

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I just stumbled on this talk that Adam Mosseri gave at UX Week 2010 and thought it was really interesting and worth sharing. Adam highlights the importance of being data informed, rather than data driven, and discusses three ways that Facebook uses quantitative data to:

  1. Set high level success metrics for large projects.
  2. Find pain points in existing flows.
  3. Optimize small, but important, interactions.

Persistence is critical when building a business

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After helping organize two Startup Weekend early this year, I’ve come to notice one reoccurring characteristic that all of the successful teams seem to posses: persistence. Persistence is undoubtedly a fundamental characteristic that an entrepreneur needs to have to be successful. Persistence has the ability to make a business blossom because it means that you wont give up on your goals and dreams. When you’re heavily vested in the idea that your goals are going to be achieved, you find ways to gain traction and build better products.

When faced with a potential disastrous situation, a persistent entrepreneur remains hopeful and optimistic, but is willing to alter their course to drive an idea forward. A persistent entrepreneur needs to be more than just determined, but also mature, self-confident, and smart enough to know when something isn’t working and pivot. When a pivot occurs, the persistent entrepreneur steps back, figures out what went wrong, and then once again goes full speed ahead towards their ultimate goal.

Organizing Startup Weekend and watching other teams build businesses helped remind me the importance of not being discouraged when you’re turned down or things don’t go as planned. You simply need to work hard and persevere to achieve your goals.

Get your startups first 2,000 signups

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When you launch a startup, one of the hardest things to do is acquire new customers. How to you spread the word? How to you get people interested? How to you turn awareness and interest into a conversion (registration)? It’s difficult to pinpoint an exact way to lock down a big group of initial and beta signups, but this great slideshow that outlines how Front App was able to use creative methods to get users fast is a great guide to help you kickstart your online business.

Making Customers Loyal in the Information Age

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The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania recently published a great article on their Knowledge @ Wharton website about how the digital marketing landscape is rapidly changing. The rules of marketing are changing and, according to a panel of experts at a recent Wharton Marketing Conference, need to focus on creating personal connections rather than sending out random tweets and Facebook posts. Read More

7 Great Marketing Ideas from David Ogilvy

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Marketing Tips from David Ogilvy

David Ogilvy was an advertising wizard. He moved from Great Britain to New York City to become the King of Madison Avenue. He became the King by creating some of the most iconic, and in turn, successful advertising campaigns of all time. What’s arguably just as impressive is that his marketing strategies, which he crafted from the ’60s through the ’80s, were so thought-provoking that they can still be applied to products and services today.

We found and dissected a handful of great quotes from Ogilvy to help ignite your marketing mind: Read More