The ‘ify’ naming fad: Did Spotify start it?

Back in 2011, The Name Inspector wrote a post about the proliferation of startup names that make creative use of the suffix -ify, such as Spotify. At the time, he deemed the trend “disturbifying,” identifying about a dozen and a half examples. Those were simpler times. If The Name Inspector had realized, in all his innocence, just how… Read More


How youth sports made me a better startup founder

A few recent conversations have turned towards youth sports participation and the valuable life lessons they provide.  One in particular stood out to me – youth sports participation is one of the best training grounds for a startup founder. How would I know?  I was a competitive athlete pretty much since the time I could… Read More


The Xbox 180: Why designing the business matters

The big story in June was Microsoft’s Xbox One announcement, and their abrupt about-face on used games and online connectivity. In an attempt to enable new scenarios based on online services linked to physical discs, they angered gaming enthusiasts by changing the rules of the business. It’s an all-too-common phenomenon, where high-profile companies make business… Read More


HealthCheck: Software monitoring inside out

When we release software to customers, we immediately begin to consider how to monitor it. The goal is to find problems as early as possible, and always before our customers. We start with the basics: disk, memory, CPU load. Still, because of the complexity of the products we develop, there are countless examples of things… Read More


5 years of Apple’s app store: Software and Seattle’s bright future

This week marked a diverse set of technology milestones: Apple’s app store turned five; Microsoft announced that it’s reorganizing and Amazon’s stock crossed $300 per share. For those of us who’ve grown up in the software industry, it’s been a week underscoring the fact that software is eating the world. Maybe you haven’t been paying attention…… Read More

Rand Fishkin. (Erynn Rose photo)

Rand Fishkin’s 6 ingredients for great marketing

Rand Fishkin wrapped up Mozcon 2013 in style by outlining his principles for great marketing and leading a discussion on the problems with Internet marketing today. Here are the six ingredients that he laid out in his talk. Fishkin said that the common and cheap tactics which most Internet marketers employ are holding the field of… Read More


5 bootstrap dos and dont’s to cement and grow your business

You may be familiar with bootstrapping, an economic circumstance in which intrepid entrepreneurs launch and operate a business with little more than their ingenuity and chutzpah. Usually, bootstrap capital is sourced from savings accounts, credit card lines and, when possible, a supportive network of friends and family. Such capital is scarcely sufficient to launch the… Read More

Photo via Keith Cooper

A dozen things I’ve learned about venture capital (in 999 words)

Editor’s note: This post is part of a series by Tren Griffin, a senior director at Microsoft who previously worked at Craig McCaw’s Eagle River. Other posts include “A dozen things I’ve learned about business” and “A dozen things I’ve learned about investing.” 1.  “The problem is that extraordinary performance comes only from correct non-consensus… Read More


Book excerpt: Start on Purpose: Everything you need to know and do to startup with strength

Editor’s note: Despite high IQs, 80 hour work weeks, and technical achievements, the majority of startup entrepreneurs will fail to live out their entrepreneurial dreams.  Several years ago, author, business consultant and entrepreneurial coach Susan Schreter set out to uncover the pivotal mistakes and regrets of struggling entrepreneurs and bankrupt business owners, especially during the critical… Read More


Top 5 reasons why startups are wasted on the young

Okay, I admit it.  In my entire life, nothing has made me feel older than pitching to VCs on Sand Hill Road.  Maybe because they all look like they are barely out of high school (at least the ones I was allowed to meet with initially, for the most part). Maybe it’s because I am… Read More


Commentary: Tough love and less purity for impact entrepreneurs

One reason I love getting to know social impact entrepreneurs is that they are among the most sincerely passionate folks you’ll ever meet.  They’re not just enthusiastic and driven. Social impact entrepreneurs care deeply and passionately, about their projects in a very personal way.  And their missions are often so profound and inspiring that I… Read More

Photo via Keith Cooper

Tips: How to ask strangers for large sums of money

Seattle is a hotbed of business happy hours — those awkward events designed for introducing people whose only known shared interest is that they’d rather be home watching Downton Abbey. It’s hard to find meaningful connection in a room teeming with stunted introductions and feigned interest. But one noted exception are the events hosted by Zealyst,… Read More


A two-time Googler reviews ‘The Internship’: Hey, this movie is … kinda spot-on!

[Editor's Note: There are some mild spoilers in this review of "The Internship" by GeekWire chairman and two-time Googler Jonathan Sposato. Consider yourself forewarned!] Until now, I’d never worked anywhere that became the subject of a movie. Back in the day, ABC’s ‘20/20’ came to Microsoft to do a news segment on our youthful corporate culture… Read More


Commentary: Keep it simple, startup

I was recently asked to judge a Shark Tank style competition hosted by the entrepreneur club at the College of Holy Cross (my alma mater), probably one similar to the elevator pitch events hosted by GeekWire and other organizations in our startup community. Budding young entrepreneurs – two individuals and three teams – pitched their… Read More


Stop being a founder, and start being a CEO

A lot of founders don’t make it as a CEO. Not that they can’t, but they don’t. None more glorious that Andrew Mason and his middle finger salute to the capital markets. “Just kidding – I was fired today.” ~ Andrew Mason (Former CEO of Groupon) So why don’t they make it? Well, it’s complicated…. Read More


3 questions every job seeker should ask about culture

We come across a cornucopia of articles, white papers and blog posts on workplace culture, with inspiring examples from companies like Zappos, Facebook and Google as well as innovative ideas from fast growing start-ups. Some articles focus on the artifacts of culture like free food, foosball, pets at work, bring your mom (or dad) to… Read More


Community Building 101

It’s commonly understood that people spend their time with people they know — both offline and online. People spend their money with companies and individuals they know and trust (if possible). People donate to causes run by organizations and people they know and trust. That’s human nature. Community building also is the lifeblood of any… Read More

Photo via Scott Campbell

Commentary: 5 startup lessons I learned in 5 months

After months of research, a lean development cycle, and a beta program, TINYpulse launched publicly last November. In April, I was recapping for my advisors what I learned in the first five months since launch, and thought I’d create a condensed version to share publicly with fellow entrepreneurs. 1. Simple first. When we were developing… Read More


Startup lesson #3: Don’t make up a brand, be yourself

[Editor's note: Seattle entrepreneurs Barry Chu and Dave Cotter share some of their startup lessons in starting the new mobile app SquareHub. The three-part series is running this week on GeekWire, starting Tuesday with their thoughts about minimum viable products. In part two, they talked about figuring out key product features. Part three, running here today, covers startup... Read More