Travelogue: Japan

Last week, my co-founder, Adam, and I, traveled to Japan. The official reason was being invited to the b-dash camp conference in Osaka by our Japanese investor, Tak Miyata of Scrum Ventures, and we piggy-backed on the opportunity to visit a country we both wanted to go to for a long time.

My history with Japan

I’ve been a fan of Japanese culture and entertainment for quite some time now. Japanese society has a lot of rules and preconceived notions, but once they break through that, they have no limit on their imagination.
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Nobody cares what “Growth Hacking” means to marketers

Everybody and their grandma is now a “Growth Hacker”, a term originally coined to describe marketers who use unconventional approaches and measure their effectiveness with analytics instead of gut feelings. In fact, apparently everyone who uses multiple marketing channels is now a “growth hacker”.

As someone who is on the other side of the table, looking to hire someone to drive growth to his business, I have a newsflash for you – nobody cares about the exact classification and semantics of your title.

What Growth Hacking Means To Startups

Startups are designed for growth. Not every company needs to grow fast – most businesses don’t. Startups use technology to achieve scale rapidly – that is the most common definition of what a startup is. Startups usually try to build websites that not only look great, but also help them increase sales. Check out https://sceptermarketing.com/ for digital marketing specialists who can develop a functional and efficient site for your business.

As such, traditional marketing – while very important and required, is typically not enough. That means that in order for a startup to achieve its goals, a different distribution approach is often required. Enter, Growth Hacking.

As such, growth hacking is not

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4 days charge on an Android? Yes.

Most people are used to their smartphone lasting less than a full day. They plug it in at night and disconnect it in the morning. It might seem like a technical limitation of current batteries, but as it turns out, software plays a huge part.

I use a Samsung Galaxy S2 T989 (T-mobile version). It’s almost 2 years old, but can last over 4 days on one charge. Here’s how I did it:

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Founder’s perspective on AngelList syndicates

AngelList recently launched a new feature called syndicates. In simple terms, it allows investors to get behind other investors and invest together as a group (termed a syndicate). The investor who facilitated the deal takes a carry of 15% (interest over a positive return – such as an exit or IPO) – not unlike VCs. In fact, this structure effectively turns angels into fund managers.

Many investors already chimed in, such as Jason Calacanis (The great venture capital rotation), as a syndicate “leader”, and Hunter Walk (Angel vs. Angel), Fred Wilson (Leading vs. Following) and Mark Suster (Is it a big deal?) as VCs. But what does it mean for startup founders?

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An Accent Can Be An Advantage

A recent interview with Ycombintator’s Paul Graham on Inc. created somewhat of a backlash online for his comments on using startup founders’ accent as a filtering criteria for future success.

(You should click over to the original tweet to see the long discussion thread that ensued)

The original quote was:

One quality that’s a really bad indication is a CEO with a strong foreign accent. I’m not sure why. It could be that there are a bunch of subtle things entrepreneurs have to communicate and can’t if you have a strong accent. Or, it could be that anyone with half a brain would realize you’re going to be more successful if you speak idiomatic English, so they must just be clueless if they haven’t gotten rid of their strong accent. I just know it’s a strong pattern we’ve seen.

(Emphasis mine)

Paul makes two points:
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