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Onward Upward

Each episode will have special guests who are thought leaders or entrepreneurs in the tech industry. The Untangl podcast can be a catalyst for those who are looking to make a difference through building their own venture.

Today’s guest is a successful serial entrepreneur, proven CEO, and worldwide motivational speaker, Jeff Hoffman. He has been the founder of multiple startups, the CEO of both public and private companies, and has served as a senior executive in many capacities. Jeff has been part of a number of well-known companies, including Priceline.com. uBid.com, ColorJar, and many more.

Topics we spoke of in this episode include:

Key principles on how to successfully build a two-sided marketplace model

Guidance on overcoming adversity for startups

Insights and strategic advice for startups that aspire to raise capital

Biggest takeaways from being part of the founding team at Priceline.com

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Today’s guest is Co-Founder and President of RokoLabs, Amy Kadomatsu! She’s an entrepreneur with multiple successful startups exits and senior positions at a Fortune 500 firm. Amy is a dynamic executive and general manager with expertise in business development, product strategy, and developing new businesses. Her passion for customer experience and building companies have been key components to her success.

Topics we spoke of in this episode include:

Advice on validating a product before development

Lessons on prioritizing team decisions and actions

Marketing methods used to gain early stage traction

Healthy habits for startup entrepreneurs

I present to you, the woman herself… Amy Kadomatsu!

 

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Today’s guest is the CEO & Founder of x.ai, Dennis Mortensen. He’s a pioneer and expert in leveraging Data and a serial entrepreneur who has successfully delivered a number of company exits on that theme. Dennis’s long term vision of killing the inbox triggered the formation of x.ai and the creation of an artificial intelligence personal assistant to schedule meetings. He’s an accredited Associate Analytics Instructor at the University of British Columbia, the Author of Data Driven Insights from Wiley and a frequent speaker on the subject of AI, intelligent agents, and the future of work. A native of Denmark, Mortensen currently calls New York City his home.

Topics we spoke of in this episode include:

The difference between deep learning and machine learning

Adjusting to customer feedback during the product development process

Approaches to reaching out to initial customers

Strategic advice on building relationships with investors

I present to you, the man himself… Dennis Mortensen!

 

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Today’s guest is Samuel Hulick, the founder and user onboard champion at UserOnboard.com. Originally a web developer, Samuel is passionate about putting users first and creating amazing users experiences. He started his blog, UserOnboard.com to showcase different onboarding experiences as it’s often the most overlooked aspect of the overall user experience. He joins us to share his insights as an entrepreneur, blogger, and usability consultant.

Topics we spoke of in this episode include:

How to use Customer Development to validate your User Onboarding process

What makes a good Onboarding experience for a customer

The importance of focusing on User Onboarding versus any other element of an application

Differences in creating a customer Onboarding process for distinct business models

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Today’s guest is the CEO & Founder of Lean Stack, Ash Maurya. He is author of both International best-selling ‘Running Lean’ and as of more recent, ‘Scaling Lean’ and the creator of the one-page business modeling tool, the Lean Canvas. His posts and advice have been featured in Inc., Forbes, and Fortune. He regularly hosts sold out workshops around the world and serves as a mentor to several accelerators including TechStars, MaRS, and Capital Factory. He serves on the advisory board of a number of startups and has consulted to new and established companies.

Some of the topics we spoke of in this episode include:

  • The different types of values that are worth evaluating pre-revenue
  • The 5 major macro metrics to gauge as your startup grows
  • How to tap into your creative influence
  • The difference between macro and micro metrics and how they apply to your startup

I present to you, the man himself… Ash Maurya!

Questions asked throughout the episode:

0:36 – Tell us a little about your background and accomplishments for those who might not know who you are yet.

1:59 – Where do you get your creative influence from?

3:31 – In Scaling Lean, you had mentioned, “Blindly optimizing a single part of your business model, even if it was once the weakest link, will eventually lead to waste.” For the startups listening, can you elaborate on what you meant by ‘the weakest link’ and how it will eventually lead to waste?

6:26 – Other than monetization, are there any other different types of values that are worth evaluating when you are pre-revenue?

9:39 – Do you have any examples of well-known companies that have been able to add massive value before being able to monetize?

14:01 – Could you tell us about Effectuation and walk us through the Entrepreneurial Method?

18:24 – Can you explain the difference between macro metrics and micro metrics and how teams should evaluate each and what they can actually do with either two of the data?

23:21 – What are the main differences between the Lean Canvas and the Business Model Canvas and what were the steps you took in validating the usage of the Lean Canvas by startups?

28:30 – What is business models are seemingly trending these days that people were considering hard nuts to crack two years ago?

30:12 – What’s the one thing you do in the morning that sets the tone for the day?

More on Ash can be found via the links below:

Twitter: @ashmaurya

Website: ashmaurya.com

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Today’s guest is the Co-Founder / COO at Reelio, a venture backed media-tech company helping Brands and YouTube video Creators work together. Ben is an Entrepreneur and Technologist, specializing in IT, Energy, and Aerospace. He’s worked with large organizations (Lockheed Martin and the U.S. Navy) as well as founded and led smaller startups.

 

Some of the topics we spoke of in this episode include:

  • The correlation between a company thriving and the culture maintained within the organization.

  • The difference between sales and product culture.

  • Attributes to look for when hiring individuals to add to your startup team

  • How to build trust within your organization starting on day one.

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Today’s guest is Laura Roeder, Founder and CEO of MeetEdgar.com. Social media management system Meet Edgar allows you to track and schedule updates so your tweets and likes never disappear again! Throughout her career, Laura worked as a marketing aficionado creating online courses, trainings and consulting in the online marketing space.

Some of the topics we spoke of in this episode include:

Key components that contributed towards rapid growth at MeetEdgar.

Roadblocks experienced while validating a product/market fit.

Marketing tactics for startups looking to build an audience before they launch their product.

Struggles encountered while building the product from the ground up.

I present to you, the woman herself… Laura Roeder!

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