5 Startup Founders on How to Find Startup Success

When I interviewed my favorite founders for my book, Startup Series, to gain better insight into their road to success, I got some honest, inspiring, and even harsh answers.

Speaking with the founders of reddit, Indiegogo, AngelList, and Kissmetrics, just to name a few, about their biggest accomplishments and hardest lessons has been eye-opening. What’s been most surprising and reassuring is that these founders are just like us. Hard work and heartache got them to where they are today — and the journey for the rest of us will not be much different.

From hundreds of answers, here are my five favorite tips from founders that will inspire and guide you along your own entrepreneurial path.

Continue Reading

A Non-Developer’s Guide to Understanding Software Developers: On Coders and Climbers

I am not a developer, and until I started with iDoneThis as its Chief Happiness Officer, I’m pretty sure I didn’t know any.

It’s taken me some time to understand how to relate to developers. It’s part of my job — I work with them, I’m immersed in the tech world, and many iDoneThis teams are developers. I need to be able to relate in order to understand their pain points, what makes them happy in their work, and what they need from a tool like iDoneThis.

image
Trying to relate to startup developers through the prism of my earlier profession as a former lawyer didn’t really work. The startup world couldn’t be further from Wall Street law firms and junior attorneys.

So here’s what finally did work. I found the connection through my greatest love, a hobby-turned-obsession: climbing. And coding, I’ve realized, is a lot like climbing.

Continue Reading

Treat Yourself Like a Role Model

image

In December I completed my first 200-hour yoga instructor certification. With New Year’s resolutions in full gear and Q1 initiatives in motion, I’m often reminded of an idea I explored during my certification and has guided me since, in both my personal life and in all of my work at Zirtual.

The idea is simple yet stunningly important: You are exactly where you’re supposed to be.

Our society has an intense quest for productivity and endless improvement. We look at our past with a dissecting eye and zoom in on what we didn’t accomplish. We set goals and record what we did, day in and day out.

But how do we use this data? Is it to celebrate each accomplishment? Hardly! We usually use what we have done to highlight what we haven’t, and everything starts to center around what’s next. “Tomorrow I’ll get through this,” we say. Or “next quarter I’m finally going to tackle that.”

Continue Reading

4 Ways Your Community Will Help You Get Stuff Done

A community is a group of people who have gathered around a shared idea, value, concept, or interest. What people sometimes forget is how a community is also an ecosystem of supportive productivity in which people connect to help each other solve a problem or accomplish goals.

Your community can help you get stuff done. This stands true whether you’re thinking of community as part of your personal life or in relation to your company.

Our recent work with CollaborativeConsumption.com to strengthen their leadership in the “sharing economy” (or “collcon” space) is just one example of how the care, passion, and dedication of a community can enable and inspire its members to create value together.

In converting their highly-trafficked blog into an international media site with 30 global contributors, we found that community members can actually produce on behalf of the company. By creating a structured content strategy, style guide, and contributor onboarding process, CollaborativeConsumption.com increased user-generated content submissions by 650%.

Not only did this make its community more self-sufficient and scalable, their participation helped create high-quality content to educate the audience-at-large on collcons, the ultimate goal. Lauren Anderson, Chief Knowledge Officer at Collaborative Lab, explains, “We recognize collcons is a global movement and we wanted to empower local people to share stories of their region and build their profile as local leaders in the space.”

Whether your community is a book club or a B2B business coalition, whether it meets on an online platform or at in-person events, there are opportunities to increase productivity and move projects forward.

Here are a few ways you can leverage your community to get stuff done.

Continue Reading

The Best 20 iDoneThis Blog Posts of 2013

The Best 20 iDoneThis Blog Posts of 2013

‘Tis the season of end-of-the-year lists!

We dug into the iDoneThis blog archives to bring you a collection of our most popular and favorite pieces from 2013 to enjoy amidst the hustle of holiday festivities and some much deserved, hot cocoa-fueled relaxation.

There are also handy save-to-read-later options to jumpstart your reading in 2014. Here are the best 20 iDoneThis blog posts of 2013, broken down by category.

Continue Reading

The Win-Win Secret to Earning Recurring Revenue with Your Side Project

When his post on how iDoneThis reached $1,000 in recurring revenue struck a chord with readers, Walter thought it would be enlightening to talk with other entrepreneurs about their own such journeys. One of the most interesting stories he heard was from Adam Rotman, creator of Share As ImageYou can watch Walter’s full interview with Adam here, and today we offer some key takeaways from their conversation.

image

 

Continue Reading

3 Entrepreneurial Lessons Learned on the Path from Intern to CEO

Khalil Fuller is the CEO of Learn Fresh, which makes NBA Math Hoops, a basketball board game and mobile app that uses math problems and real-world NBA and WNBA statistics to improve students’ math literacy and engagement. He’s also a college senior, studying education and social entrepreneurship at Brown University.

Khalil Fuller of NBA Math Hoops Growing up L.A., Khalil saw his friends become increasingly disengaged from school, especially math class. “I started tutoring kids and realized there was nothing fun to make math really relevant to them, so they didn’t make the connection between math class and the rest of the world. And they didn’t want to do their homework — they wanted to go outside and play basketball.”

At Brown, Khalil met Bill Daugherty, an entrepreneur and former NBA executive who’d teamed up with Tim Scheidt, veteran math educator and inventor of a prototype math board game. “For the earliest versions, it wasn’t Kobe and LeBron,” Khalil recounts, “it was Johnny SlamDunk and Andrew ThreePointer. Bill and I said, ‘if this is somewhat fun and the kids like it, it could be much more powerful if it had real NBA players.’”

When it was clear that the kids did like it through some early testing and incubation with Big Picture Learning, they brought the game to the NBA to see about those real-life players. “The NBA really liked the fact that we had a purely social mission,” Khalil reports. “They actually gave us a royalty-free license for the first time in their history.”

NBA Math Hoops board game

Continue Reading

Your Only Sustainable Competitive Advantage: One Vital Lesson for Success from 99U Pop-Up School

imageIt’s hard not to feel like the White Rabbit from Alice in Wonderland these days, perpetually anxious and reaching into your pocket to look at your gadget and fretting, I’m late, I’m missing out, I need to catch up.

This anxiety only intensifies when you’re trying to get a project, your business, or even yourself off the ground. It’s tempting to always look outwards as you try to launch, because that seems like a smart, finger-on-the-pulse competitive approach. “Am I getting further than them? Am I catching up to them?” you wonder while looking into your telescope.

But all this fretting and fussing can be as much of a distraction as the always-receiving-information, always-working, and always-have-to-be-doing-something-itis that’s afflicting our culture. And when you pay too dearly for these distractions with your time and energy, you never get to really soar.

Then how do you take flight? These days, “self-awareness is the only sustainable competitive advantage.”

Continue Reading

How Share As Image Got to $1,000 Recurring Revenue

When Walter saw how his recent post on how iDoneThis reached $1,000 in recurring revenue struck a chord among readers, he thought it would be illuminating to talk with other entrepreneurs about their journey to $1,000 recurring revenue.

Here’s Walter’s interview with Adam Rotman, creator of Share As Image, a tool that helps people turn quotes into images.

Continue Reading

More Energy at Work! The Best of the Internet

Before your relaxing weekend, check out some of the best of what we shared on the interwebs this week:

One snippety tool that companies like Foursquare, Buzzfeed, and Shopify use

How crafting media empire Annie’s uses iDoneThis

De-stress in 15 minutes

How to REST YO’ SELF for more energy at work.

imageDundee’s Tips of the Week:  Did you miss our exclusive content in the iDoneThis weekly newsletter? Sign up here!