Breaking into Tech, Building a Brand, and BD with Alex Taub

by Scott

I’m pumped to announce I’m starting a new interview show. I’m aiming to interview people who’ve done really cool things in order to expose their knowledge to others.

My first interview is with Biz Dev pro Alex Taub. In our interview he reveals:

How he “broke into tech”
The most important thing he’s done for building his person brand
One major reason he left to join Dwolla
What BD means at Dwolla (for him)
The one thing he wish he knew when he started out in the tech space

This interview also reveals how excessively I move my eyebrows when I talk. Geez. Going to work on that for next time.


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My next interview will be with “America’s Youngest VC” Alex Banayan. Subscribe here or follow me on …
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Things Startup Founders Should Understand About Channel Partnerships

by Scott

Many startup founders are deathly afraid of building their own sales team. They default to channel partnerships to try and get distribution. Sigh.



For those unfamiliar with the term, a channel partnership is when a person or organization sells products on behalf of another company. An example of this is how Duda Mobile uses as a channel partner. Customers of can mobile optimize their website through a partnership DudaMobile. benefits from the partnership by filling out their offering to prospective customers and DudaMobile benefits from the distribution to customers.

Partnerships like this can be great for both parties. But they also can also barely move the needle and be extremely time-consuming to develop.

Here are a few things startup …
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Building A Minimum Viable Audience

by Scott

I’ve soft-launched two startups in the past year…and I’m the only one that knows about it.


Many aspiring founders build a minimum viable product without a minimum viable audience. This is bad.

In order to truly understand market demand, there needs to be a feedback loop. For consumer web products, that feedback loop is people or an audience. Without one, it’s nearly impossible to test a product in the market…maybe that’s why we see people spend months building before they realize no one wants their product. There’s probably a group of lean startup disciples doing a golf clap somewhere.

The audience I used to test one of my “MVPs” was my blog’s readership.

For people that have read this blog over the past year, …
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Good BD At An Early Stage Startup

by Scott

How do you if know a business development person is “good” at an early stage startup?

I think one mark of a great BD person is that they’re able to get that initial deal with a meaningful party. Generally speaking, they’re able to convince someone worthwhile to take a chance on them.

If I’m a successful company why should they take a meeting with a lowly startup? Why should I trust you can execute what you say you can? Why should I potentially risk time, energy, and resources on something that’s largely unproven?

A great BD person can answer all these questions. But it takes much more than answers to get these type of deals done. It takes a meaningful relationship to get …
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BD: Identifying and Partnering with Arms Dealers

by Scott

In business development or sales, the biggest fish in your prospect pond are often what I like to call “arms dealers.” Arms dealers provide a related product or service to a group of fragmented targets. By selling to or partnering with an arms dealer, you can reach this group of targets in one fell swoop versus approaching individually. Hence, it’s typically far more efficient doing business with an arms dealer.


An Example of Partnering with an Arms Dealer:

Say my company provides a commenting platform for professional bloggers. One approach is to go to every major blogger on a popular platform and try to convince them why they should utilize my solution. This would require many instances of repetitive labor. Alternatively, I …
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Unique Cultural Traditions and Why They’re Important

by Scott

One thing I love hearing about is unique cultural traditions within companies. They provide a window into the actual “company” beyond just the product. This is usually pretty opaque and far more interesting to me. Building a good product is cool, but building a company that people love to work at  is way cooler. Ideally you want both.

It’s easy to lump cultural traditions as a gimmick to make work seem more fun or interesting. But I think they’re so much more than that.

One aspect that separates one company from another are the people and the things that you do together. When you do fun, rewarding things as a company, it’s awesome. And when those things feel unique to your company, I think they’re …
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Why I Stopped Learning To Code

by Scott

Frequently I’ve felt my inability to code has hampered my ability to do many things. I’ve had so many ideas I’d love to test. IF ONLY I COULD CODE.


Fueled by frustration, 8 months ago I started teach myself PHP. I wanted to be able to rapidly prototype ideas and have a better grasp of what was going on underneath the hood of my project Sfter.

Bogged down by other obligations, I stopped after 2 months. Albeit short, my quest was not a total failure. I left with a better understanding of technology and high level development concepts. Still, I was bummed I never reached …
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The Humble Brag Economy

by Scott

As Will Dean so insightfully highlighted two evenings ago, the newest luxury goods are experiences.

The dominant conditions surrounding society have made it so. Generally we have less free time which assigns a higher value to anything devote our time to. We also have incrementally more channels to document and share our experiences (facebook, twitter, foursquare, etc).

The humbling result: many people, including myself, actively seek out experiences that provide “humble brag” opportunities.


Immediate examples that come to mind from my life in my quest to become…the most interesting man in the world:

Krav Maga Classes – Will I realistically use any of this? No, …
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