Category: Start Ups


Open Letter to First-time CEOs of Startups

Dear First-time CEO of a Startup, I know it’s intoxicating. Take a breath. Maybe you’re 26 with a killer idea that melts Facebook- and Yelp-like functionality into a travel app. Or you’re 40ish and finally – after shelling out a fortune for that MBA with the promise of a career catapult – getting the chance …more

Why Startups Should Get the Storytelling Religion

  Every startup shares one common trait – They’re trying to disrupt the status quo. It’s hard. Legacy competitors in the space – in some cases huge companies with massive resources and years of operation – dominate. Their longevity begets MMM, market muscle memory, which adds to the challenge. It’s easy to fall into the …more

Correlating PR with the Valuation of a Startup

Many variables go into determining the price point of acquiring a startup venture. Does a startup’s public profile play a role in determining valuation? One would think greater awareness generates more buyers which can bring an auction-like dynamic to the proceedings and drive up the price. On the intangible side, the buzz that comes from …more

Amazon Recognizes the Journey in Building Its Brand

We’ve devoted a fair amount of real estate to branding and the big companies who trip over their brand narratives in spite of massive resources. Hello United. Money doesn’t guarantee brand utopia. But what about the companies who get it right? Inevitably, they understand there’s a journey to building a great brand. Amazon offers a …more

Fortune Journalist Cuts to the Core of Storytelling in Business

In a time of gnat-like attention spans, few publications still practice long-form journalism. Fortune is one exception, and Patricia Sellers is one exceptional storyteller. If you recognize the name, it’s likely because Sellers took Fortune’s annual feature, “The Most Powerful Women in Business,” and transformed it into franchise with its own brand cachet. The Stanford …more

Top Five Reasons To Work With Startups On The PR Front

There’s no getting around that, to some extent, every startup makes it up as it goes along. It’s a high wire act. Inevitably, reality doesn’t match up with the theory, which in turn causes changes or even chaos. Yes, this dynamic can also wreak havoc with the budget. But there are many benefits from supporting …more

Rationale Behind Sending A Check For $4,865 To A Client

Thanks to cloud computing, social media, the app ecosystem and 3-D printing to name a few, the barriers to bring new consumer products to market keep getting lower and lower. For the most part, democratizing the act of inventing and allowing more ideas to see the light of day is a good thing. I think …more

Storytelling Can’t Help A Bad Product

The Korean newspaper Electronic Times asked me to write a series of columns that looked at business issues through the lens of Silicon Valley. One column emphasized that a successful product launch starts by doing your homework: Foreign tech companies often don’t take the time to do their homework and figure out how their product …more