Positioning Your Startup to Conquer Your Archenemy: The Ultimate Branding Exercise

I was recently advising a client in an incredibly competitive industry – think hundreds of millions raised, huge players in every major market, multi-billion dollar valuations… Suffice it to say, it’s a pretty crowded space they’re trying to break into. To make matters worse, they weren’t all that differentiated… their USP was weak. Which was...

The Halloween Costume Strategy for Company Branding

Trick or treat. It’s Dia de los Muertos. Amidst costumes and candy, you’re focused on building your business. Can’t blame ya. If you aren’t, no one else will. And today’s the perfect day to talk branding. It’s a day branded like none other where the strange and supernatural reign. But it’s also a day of...

How to Build Impact Businesses that also Make Money

Founders can change the world and still profit in the process There’s a growing trend in startups to actually give a shit, to make something that unlike the next photosharing app, actually makes the world a better place. Call this milleniallism, call this common sense… whatever it is, it’s a good thing. Whether it’s TOMS,...

Facebook: The King of Communication

We are entering an era of unparalleled tech dominance. Companies like Google, Amazon, Facebook, and Apple control more and more of our everyday lives, owning our data and everything around it. The inherent network effects and flywheels these companies built are unprecedented both in their scope and ability to stave off competition. This is the 3rd...

Don’t Mine for Business Gold When You Can Sell Startup Shovels

Get rich or die trying — that’s a common mantra among entrepreneurs, gangsters and drug dealers. I know that was my mindset. How can I hustle my way to a million bucks? That was the question I asked myself every day, and night. Looking back, this was the wrong question to ask. But as Kanye says: “Money...

Uber is Going to Zero and Benchmark Knows It!

“Moving first is a tactic, not a goal….It’s much better to be a last mover.” — Peter Thiel On the surface this seems contrarian. When is being last better than being first? Steve Jobs understood this. Apple didn’t make the 1st MP3 player or the 1st smartphone. Yet in consumer tech, Apple is synonymous with both. That was no accident....

Ecommerce is Broken and Here’s What its Future Looks Like

If you haven’t heard, Amazon won ecommerce. Bezos’ juggernaut is the most powerful marketplace and brand the Western world has ever seen (get my analysis here as an ex 7 figure Amazon seller). But it isn’t the only game in town. Every year new startups appear, looking to compete and grab their piece of the...