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Accelerating startups through - I help early-stage founders launch better, grow faster, and raise smarter. Published Author & Speaker.

Hundreds of pitches later, I have some tough news for you.

Back in October I wrote an article (more of a rant than an article tbh) about Quibi raising $1.8B in capital and then shutting down — it really struck a chord with people.

As a result, I’ve received hundreds of messages and emails from early-stage founders who are looking to raise capital and get their shot at startup success. It was clear many founders resonated with my frustration at the way capital is currently distributed.

It’s really hard to get business people to think like startup founders.

Or not, I’m not here to judge. (img cred:

On the surface, business owners usually want to reach beyond the “Small Business” revenue levels, but the sacrifices required to push through to scalable growth are hard to accept.

Because I work with tons of scalable startups through Navigate, an early-stage accelerator, I fully understand why investors always say that they invest in the founder and not the product or idea.

I originally posted this as a twitter thread to itemize the most misunderstood issues that I encounter on a regular…

So Quibi is shutting down after raising ~$1.8B in funding.

Anna Kendrick almost got me to sign up for this.

I’m not privy to the details of this fiasco, but the massive red flag for me was bringing on the former CEO of HP.

When will boards & investors learn that you need startup people to run startups?

Don’t get me wrong, Meg Whitman might be amazing at business.

However, a startup is not a business.

Startups don’t pay $1M for each 10-minute episode when you don’t have the subscribers to…

Whether you’ve been running your E-comm store for 6 months or 6 years, this free 7-week program will leave you with practical tips to improve your online sales.

NOTE: The deadline for applications is very soon — May 22nd. Please act quickly if you want to be considered for this free ecommerce bootcamp. Apply Now

Does anyone else spend way too long trying to find a cover photo for their content just to end up with something that you’re only half-happy with? 📸 Bench

While retail is getting decimated during the global Coronavirus pandemic, this is a great time to be in ecommerce. According to Bluecore’s Covid-19 Retail Trends report, online purchases have increased between 44–80% across all business models.

While we’re all navigating this new WFH life, here are 5 local startups that are working to make your time at home more pleasurable.

Don’t pretend this isn’t what your desk looks like now that you’re working form home… Photo credit Dillon Shook

Building a startup is hard. Add global crisis to your list of things to deal with and it’s enough to make you want to throw in the towel completely.

Luckily great startup founders are often very resilient — and even if resiliency doesn’t come naturally — Nassim Taleb has been preparing us for uncertain times for the past 10 years. Smart startups are built to be anti-fragile.

So when the coronavirus started changing the way we live and work, I was excited to see many of the startups I work with at WeWork Labs spring into action. Pivoting, reorganizing, and shifting priorities to deliver on their vision within our new shared reality.

Here are five of the companies (in no particular order) that have shifted their focus to help…

The dirty little secret that’s driving up your Cost-Per-Click rates.

Me throwing money at Google every month.

It seems like Cost-Per-Click (CPC) rates are constantly on the rise and achieving a positive Return on Investment (ROI) on Pay-Per-Click (PPC) ads gets harder every year. Usually you chalk it up to competition and/or market saturation.

Google Ads Recommendations.

I wrote about Google’s decision to start auto-applying their recommendations to your Adwords campaigns back in October 2017.

It started with small suggestions and tweaks to your account, but now they are full-on creating new ads for you and auto-applying them if you’re not paying attention.

This is…

Let’s start this out by saying I am a self-taught developer. To many formally educated programmers/developers/engineers, I do lots of things wrong.

I’m a hacker of the #2 variety:

Short answer: Magical code stuff. (📷by Markus Spiske)

Project Maia is the world’s first robo-advisor for marketing strategy. Our system advises business owners and marketers on what they should be doing online to grow their business. We get a lot of questions about our technology and how we use data to create our social media calendars.

Usually, the nature of these questions varies depending on who’s asking.

  • Programmers are interested in what technologies we’re using.
  • Marketers want to compare our methodology with what they’re using now.
  • Business owners want to determine why what we’re telling them will actually work.

The truth is that it’s not rocket science (yet)…

3 Ways Set-it-and-Forget-it Social Media Management Might be Hurting You

Actual photo of my face when a client tells me they want to schedule all their posts for the next 5 weeks. 📷

Countless businesses schedule their social media posts in advance — but as some of the most viral social media campaigns have proven — it’s best to “stay in the moment.”

I’m not saying you should never schedule anything — but spending one hour at the beginning of each month scheduling all your posts through Hootsuite is not the most effective social media strategy.

Social media is about engagement.

Whether you’re engaging with fans, current events, competitors, influencers (this list could go on…) the point is that you should be responding and creating conversations, not just…

Yes, there’s a real person behind all those company updates… 📷 by Samuel Zeller

Facebook — and social media in general — can feel a little cold sometimes. It’s natural to want to communicate in a more personal way with the people that have chosen to follow and engage with your business page.

The good news is that you can post as yourself on your business page pretty easily. Just selecting your name from the drop down in the upper right corner:

Pedro Sostre

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