Coffee Shop Interviews

3 Strategies For Understanding Your Customer So Well That Your Product Will Sell Itself

By | Marketing, Startups, Strategy | 4 Comments

There’s a great quote from the brilliant management consultant, Peter Drucker, which really summarizes what I’d like to teach you today:

“The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well the product or service fits him and sells itself.” ~ Peter Drucker

If you have 100 customers, there are probably only 10 who are actually amazing – your ideal customers.

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founders dinner

Using The Power of Breaking Bread To Build New Business Relationships

By | Events, Leadership, Startups, Strategy | 7 Comments

About 10 years ago I started organizing Founder Dinners after reading a book called, Never Eat Alone written by an amazing individual, Keith Ferrazzi.

This book set my life on a different path.

Since then, I’ve organized over 300 meals, bringing together close to 1000 entrepreneurs and CEO’s, both at home and everywhere that I’ve traveled.

The power of bringing people together to break bread and have great conversation…
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Header - Dave McClurre - Dan Martell - Sonia - Vancouver

15 Suggestions for Doing a Startup Outside of Silicon Valley

By | Life Hacks, Productivity, Startups | 28 Comments

I originally wrote this in 2010 but wanted to revisit, fix and re-publish for others to read.

If I wasn’t doing my startup in San Francisco, here’s some random thoughts on how I would do it in another city – most likely in my home town of Moncton, NB. (which I ended up doing with Clarity!)

1. Start.  Build something. Launch. #JFDI

2. Ping friends on Skype and ask them to full screen share and do ad-hoc user testing.
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Photo Dan Brayack

The Struggle: What It Means When You Hit a Wall

By | Life Hacks, Motivation, Startups | 4 Comments

“Life’s not about how hard of a hit you can give… it’s about how many you can take, and still keep moving forward.”
― Sylvester Stallone, Rocky Balboa

Most people don’t realize how hard it’s going to be when they start a business.

What matters most is if you are willing to continue during the struggle, when there’s nothing clear that says it’s going to get better, or that it’s going to work at all.

That is the essence of entrepreneurship and building a business.

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3 Strategies To Building a Marketplace Startup

By | Marketing, Startups, Strategy | 20 Comments

Building a two-sided market is probably the hardest thing you can build as an entrepreneur.

It’s so hard that a few weeks ago, I organized a Marketplace Founders Dinner because I felt like there needed to be an “AA type meeting” for providing support to those founders :).

I don’t know if you know what a marketplace is, but it’s like an Etsy, Ebay or Clarity (my startup).

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dan martell - jevon macdonald - photy by kk

What I Look For When Investing In Startups

By | Startups, Strategy | 43 Comments

Updated Jan 23rd: Please don’t email me your pitch. I’m not looking for new investments outside my personal network. If you’d like you can follow me on Angel List to get notified of my new investments. Thank you.


I’ve always found “angel investing” to be such a funny term. It almost comes across as being some kind of religious business saviour when it’s really just people who’d rather take risk and make a bet on a person who’s got the audacity to change the world.

Regardless, that is what we’re called and I personally wish there were more.

I am hoping this blog will inspire others to invest and get involved helping amazing entrepreneurs in your community.

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How To Launch a Company In The Press

By | Marketing, Startups, Strategy | 4 Comments

Launching your startup is probably one of the most important things to get right so you get as much momentum going in the beginning and have as many people as possible show up to use your product or service.

I have been starting companies now for 15 years, and one of the things that I’ve really tried to figure out is – how do you launch? And what does launch really mean?

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