Best Ideas for Entrepreneurs >> List of Must-Know Resources

Lean Startup – Eric Ries.

Customer Development course on Udacity from Steve Blank

Lincoln Murphy’s Blog

Patio Kalzumeus http://www.kalzumeus.com/2015/10/30/developing-in-stockfighter-with-no-trading-experience/

Both Sides of the Table

Startup School Podcast by Seth Godin

the Dip by Set Godin

How to Win Friends and Influence People

Brand you 50 by Tom Peters

Passion Meets Momentum .com << videos from Hack Forward

Business Model Canvas

Blog from Groove HQ

Books written by Brad Feld.

CopyHackers -> Startup Differentiation

Ideas from Delivering Happiness

10 Day MBA Program by ESCP Europe

Fabrica de Antreprenori

HubSpot’s ebooks on Inbound Marketing

The investor from HubSpot who had some really good books written on how to do marketing automation

https://www.youtube.com/user/HowToWebConf/videos

GrowthHacker .tv

https://www.youtube.com/user/thenextweb/videos

MicroConf

https://vimeo.com/user12790628

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCxIJaCMEptJjxmmQgGFsnCg

https://www.youtube.com/user/stanfordbusiness

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCcefcZRL2oaA_uBNeo5UOWg/videos

https://www.youtube.com/user/500startups/videos

https://www.youtube.com/user/Techsylvania/videos

The MicroConf Blog Posts

Product Launch Formula

Startup Plays / Guides.co

The employees of an Ecommerce company created a new word they’re using for inside jobs

So, I’ve seen this review recently and got really excited:

Squirrlyized Products are Moving Up in the Rank

So far we really like the Squirrly interface. Our employees have been “squirrlyizing”(This is what our employees call it.) our products for a few weeks. We enjoy checking everyday to see who has been the most successful in getting their products to the highest rank on google. Thanks for the great product and keep up the good work.

Jeff Chambliss
https://www.stickertalk.com

HiHi, we’ve been together for 3 Years.

Screenshot 2016-02-10 02.04.36

I’m very lucky to be the CEO of Squirrly. This thing I’ve helped build keep amazing me with all the great people who are a part of our Journey.

Danut, from the email above, has been an amazing customer since 16 February 2013. Right now, it’s almost 3 Years Later !!!

He is one of our first customers ever.

I love the fact that we real mean a lot to so many people. It’s what makes everything worth-while.

Need to Find Someone’s Valid Email Address? Keep These Tips in Mind

When you need to get in touch with somebody you don’t know, whether it is for business-related or personal reasons, finding a valid email address will most likely be your firs step. Now, you might start thinking finding email addresses is all about complicated hacking methods. Nonsense! With today’s high-end technology and user-friendly browsers finding someone’s valid email address has never been easier. The information you so desperately need can be literally just a few clicks away.

When you have to send someone an email filled with important information you have to be sure you’ll get a response. Being able to find the valid email address of someone you don’t know will definitely help you in the long run, especially when it comes to applying for jobs or seeking media coverage for a story you wrote on your blog. All you have to do is make sure to follow reliable guides and keep useful tips in mind. Otherwise you risk hitting a wall in your search for valuable information. Here’s some useful pointers that should help you on your road to success:

Basic Google searches come first

Sometimes finding a valid email address can be as simple as typing into your search browser. Start your hunt with some basic search queries for the name of the person you need to get in contact with. If the name is more unique, like Guy McGuyson the IIIrd, then you should get instant results. Otherwise you will need to add certain modifiers. Try typing in these things to narrow down your search:

  • The person’s name, followed by the words ’email address’ or ‘valid email’.
  • The person’s name, followed by the words ‘contact information’ or ‘contact details’.
  • Try typing in the person’s name, followed by the name of their hometown or the company they work for if the previous methods yielded no results.

The valid email address you need is just a few keys away.                                 [ Photo Credits: Amarand Agasi’s flickr ]

Try a company email network to find a valid email address

This can be extremely useful, especially if you are looking for someone’s contact details in regard to a job interview, media coverage or link outreach. If you don’t know where the person in question works and need additional information LinkedIn and ZoomInfo are your best friends. You can choose to either run searches on the websites’ internal engines or try your luck with Google by typing in the person’s name, followed by the name of one of the previously mentioned websites.

If you manage to find the name of the business they work for, your next step should be looking up the company on Google. Once you find the company website try running internal searches with the person’s name, followed by the words ‘valid email’ and ‘contact’. You might just find some indexed documents containing the information you need. If you still don’t find any useful results. then you need to get more creative with Google’s search engine operators. Type ‘site:companywebsite.com’ followed by the person’s name and the words ’email’ or ‘contact’. This is a nifty trick that tells Google to retrieve more accurate information from a specific site or domain.

If the results are still unsatisfactory try typing in the previously mentioned search engine operator followed by variations of the person’s name. Make sure to add underlines and the @ symbol. A standard search query should look like this: site:companywebsite.com + variation of person’s name + @ + companyname.com. The information will most likely be bolded in the meta tags text snippets.

Use websites that can help you

There are various websites you can use to locate a valid email address. You can try your luck with a Whois search for the domain registration of the email you want to find. This method is very effective and oftentimes yields great results. Alternatively, you can try websites like Data, which hold a lot of useful information. Keep in mind that signing up is free, but you will have limited credit to search for email addresses.

You can also try more accurate and user-friendly search engines, like Snapbird. This article explains how Snapbird can be used to single out any instances of people sharing their valid email address on Twitter.

Use social networking to your advantage

You would be surprised how many people actually give out a lot of their personal information on social media websites, whether it is accidental or intended. Luckily for you there is a myriad of options you can choose from when it comes to getting information from social websites. Again, you will use the basic form of the search query on Google. Just type in the person’s name, followed by the name of a popular social website and you should soon find a valid email address.

Get more personal

It might sound like a bad idea at first, but if you play your cards right you will definitely get the information you need. Try contacting someone that you know is a mutual friend of your ‘target’. There is nothing wrong with doing this as long as you play it cool. Ask for an introduction and you have your opener. Alternatively, you can try messaging the person you are interested in on LinkedIn. Just make sure you act friendly and professional. Never contact the person and directly ask them for a valid email address, since it will only put them off.

If all else fails you can try calling

This might not sound like a pleasant idea, but it can actually get you pretty great results. Already know where the person you are interested in works? Great! You can try phoning the company and talking to the receptionist. It might sound scary, but it doesn’t have to be. It’s ultimately the receptionist’s job to give you the information you need. Just tell the receptionist you need to send the person in question urgent and important information. Specify that you lost their contact information. You will most likely be provided with a valid email address. Make sure you keep calm so you don’t sound shady.

 

Neil Patel said this cool thing about Squirrly WordPress SEO and I was all like

wordpress seo neil patel plugin

Spot On!

I’m happy to see that we managed to on-board Neil Patel the right way. I mean he first learnt of Squirrly somewhere around December 2014 and wrote about it.

Then, he saw some cooler features in it around May 2015.

But right now he’s using it every single time, which is amazing. I’ve seen Neil at the Growth Hackers conference in London, Oct 2014. He is a great guy. No wonder so many media outlets place him in the TOP 10 Digital Marketing Influencers group.

Our Squirrly SEO WordPress product seems to be spot on, if he actually uses it so often himself.

Here’s what he said in “10 Time-Saving Blogging Tools You Need To Use”

wordpress seo neil patel

the Jobs of a CEO

this is not original. this is just a great piece of text that any startup CEO should read.

And then come back to re-read it.

Needless to say: here’s the link to the original.

The awesomeness starts here.

Earlier I mentioned that the only universal job description of the CEO is to make sure the company wins. Although that’s true, I wanted to talk a little more specifically about how a CEO should spend his or her time.

Screenshot 2015-11-07 19.17.54

A CEO has to:

1) set the vision and strategy for the company,

2) evangelize the company to everyone,

3) hire and manage the team, especially in areas where you yourself have gaps

4) raise money and make sure the company does not run out of money, and

5) set the execution quality bar.

In addition to these, find whatever parts of the business you love the most, and stay engaged there.

As I mentioned at the beginning, it’s an intense job. If you are successful, it will take over your life to a degree you cannot imagine >> ”the company will be on your mind all the time. Extreme focus and extreme intensity means it’s not the best choice for work-life balance.

You can have one other big things in your life ”your family, doing lots of triathlons, whatever” but probably not much more than that. You have to always be on, and there are a lot of decisions only you can make, no matter how good you get at delegation.

You should aim to:

be super responsive to your team and the outside world

always be clear on the strategy and priorities

show up to everything important

and execute quickly (especially when it comes to making decisions others are blocked on.)

You should also adopt a “do whatever it takes ” attitude >> there will be plenty of unpleasant schleps. If the team sees you doing these things, they will do them too.

Managing your own psychology is both really hard and really important.

It’s become cliche at this point, but it’s really true :

”the emotional highs and lows are very intense, and if you don’t figure out how to stay somewhat level through them, you’re going to struggle. ”

Being a CEO is lonely. It’s important to have relationships with other CEOs you can call when everything is melting down (one of the important accidental discoveries of YC was a way for founders to have peers.)

A successful startup takes a very long time, certainly much longer than most founders think at the outset.

You cannot treat it as an all-nighter.

You have to eat well, sleep well, and exercise.

You have to spend time with your family and friends.

You also need to work in an area you’re actually passionate about.

Nothing else will sustain you for ten years.

Everything will feel broken all the time. The diversity and magnitude of the disasters will surprise you.

Your job is to fix them with a smile on your face and reassure your team that it’ll all be ok.

Usually things aren’t as bad as they seem, but sometimes they are in fact really bad. In any case, just keep going. Keep growing.

The CEO doesn’t get to make excuses.

Lots of bad and unfair things are going to happen. But don’t let yourself say, and certainly not to the team, ” if only we had more money ”  or ” if only we had another engineer “.

Either figure out a way to make that happen, or figure out what to do without it.

People who let themselves make a lot of excuses usually fail in general, and startup CEOs who do it almost always fail.

Let yourself feel upset at the injustice for 1 minute, and then realize that it’s up to you to figure out a solution. Strive for people to say “X just somehow always gets things done” when talking about you.

No first-time founder knows what he or she is doing.

To the degree you understand that, and ask for help, you’ll be better off.

It’s worth the time investment to learn to become a good leader and manager. The best way to do this is to find a mentor.

Reading books doesn’t seem to work as well.

A surprising amount of our advice at YC is of the form “just ask them” or “just do it”.

First-time founders think there must be some secret for when you need something from someone or you want to do some new thing.

But again, startups are where tricks stop working. Just be direct, be willing to ask for what you want, and don’t be a jerk.

It’s important that you distort reality for others but not yourself.

You have to convince other people that your company is primed to be the most important startup of the decade, but you yourself should be paranoid about everything that could go wrong.

Be persistent. Most founders give up too quickly or move on to the next product too quickly. If things generally aren’t going well, figure out what the root cause of the problem is and make sure you address that.

A huge part of being a successful startup CEO is not giving up (although you don’t want to be obstinate beyond all reason either. This is another apparent contradiction, and a hard judgment call to make.)

Be optimistic. Although it’s possible that there is a great pessimistic CEO somewhere out in the world, I haven’t met him or her yet.

A belief that the future will be better, and that the company will play an important role in making the future better, is important for the CEO to have and to infect the rest of the company with.

This is easy in theory and hard in the practical reality of short-term challenges. Don’t lose sight of the long-term vision, and trust that the day-to-day challenges will someday be forgotten and replaced by memories of the year-to-year progress.

Among your most important jobs are defining the mission and defining the values. This can feel a little hokey, but it’s worth doing early on.

Whatever you set at the beginning will usually still be in force years later, and as you grow, each new person needs to first buy in and then sell others on the mission and values of the company. So write your cultural values and mission down early.

Another cliche that I think is worth repeating: Building a company is somewhat like building a religion.

If people don’t connect what they’re doing day-to-day with a higher purpose they care about, they will not do a great job. I think Airbnb has done the best job at this in the YC network, and I highly recommend taking a look at their cultural values.

One mistake that CEOs often make is to innovate in well-trodden areas of business instead of innovating in new products and solutions. For example, many founders think that they should spend their time discovering new ways to do HR, marketing, sales, financing, PR, etc. This is nearly always bad.

Do what works in the well-established areas, and focus your creative energies on the product or service you’re building.