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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 | 19 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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How To Stimulate a Growth Economy

By | Community, Leadership, Startups, Strategy | 24 Comments

Over the last 25 years, almost all of the private sector jobs have been created by businesses less than 5 years old.

It’s because of this fact, that I believe most economic development strategies are broken. They focus on convincing bigger, established companies from outside of the region to open up new, remote offices, and focus less on fostering new growth opportunities by startups, building disruptive technologies.

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