Learning from Everyone

The great thing about learning is that is can happen anywhere, with lessons taught by anyone, in some cases without a common language. The question is, do you have your eyes open and your mind open to learning and improving. People in the strangest and least likely places have taught me the most important lessons […]

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Show Your Work

Sometimes we want the end result, the perfectly prepared dish at a restaurant. The amazing experience, the plane just booked and taken care of. Other times we want to know how it happened and get more emotionally involved. If I tell you the opening offer was rejected and I’ve spent so much time and effort […]

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Don’t Believe the Hype

I was speaking to someone yesterday who was lamenting that they had read about XYZ person who had everything figured out. The view that is presented in magazine, is great… for the people in the magazines.   People can win popularity contests by cheating easily. All it often ends with is that person becoming more […]

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The Tradeoff

We all face a constant trade off between: Cheap Fast Good In any transaction, we can pick 2 not 3. If you feel like you are getting all 3, check again and understand which is being traded, because I have never found a time where one isn’t being traded. Here are a few examples of […]

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Focus: The Unfair Advantage

When I first started a company at 12, as a DJ, or as friends called me, baby DJ Matt Mandell, I did everything. Wrote what was a wholly inadequate contract, fixed any sound or lighting equipment that was broken, designed and made marketing materials and the list goes on and on. That was largely how […]

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Where’s November 8

The truth is, I wrote a post and was ready to publish, then a developer got in my way. They were doing work on the site and made an error on the DB so I couldn’t upload this post on time and that meant, I wrote one, but as I publish a post back dating […]

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Building an Enjoyable Process

I hear a lot of talk about processes these days, perhaps it is the machine learning algorithm we live in, or the circles in which I run, but a lot of process sucks. People (including myself) don’t want to feel like we are being processed. That said, when process works, it is the most amazing […]

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Growth or Efficiency

As the process / optimization / efficiency guy to many people, I am often asked, show we focus on growth or efficiency. I think this is something best made as a conscious decision. If it isn’t a conscious decision, it will be made anyway as not making a decision is making a decision. Inherently there […]

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Asymmetry of Importance

Recently, my son (under 4 years old)  got upset and I wasn’t sure why. I asked and his response was because I ripped a piece of a plastic bag. In that moment a ton of ideas became clear to me about what’s important, engagement and the world as a whole. From my perspective, I was […]

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Blog Challenge

I’ve been saying I will update this blog for years. Usually I think about it, draft posts and save them as drafts and then they usually get ignored. Here and there I have paid writers to clean up my work, in some cases enhancing and in some cases ruining my ideas. There has been a […]

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When Freemium Becomes Worthless

I have been a huge fan and supporter of Evernote since long before I met and was a co presenter with Evernote’s founder and former CEO, Phil Libin in Silicon Valley. Since then I’ve recommended to friends family and many others I interact with since I felt it was the best note taking app. I […]

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Cracking the Mystery of Sales

What makes a good salesperson? Charisma? Charm? An aptitude for reading other people? What about the ability to crunch data? Culturally, we’ve romanticized the idea of the gifted salesperson as a smooth talker who could charm just about anyone into buying just about anything. While there might be some benefit to having a talented talker […]

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How to Decrease Attrition (The Right Way)

We’ve all heard the horror stories from Comcast cancellations: customers spending hours on the phone with sales-conscious reps giving them the runaround and refusing to accept cancellation. The system was so bad that a cottage industry sprang up around paying other people to go through the hassle of canceling your service for you. That said, […]

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How is the Other End of the Phone?

I used to work with someone who sucked at phone conversations.   Sure, personal calls to her family were one thing. But she could get enraged on the line with customer service reps or government employees, and when she would cold call leads, the calls went nowhere.   One day she was on hold with […]

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