The Flywheel

Let me tell you a story…

Once upon a time, a small handful of bloggers decided to combine forces and launch a blog together. They’d already known each other for years, each having his or her own blog on the subject, and all getting to know each other from commenting on each other’s blogs.

They launched their little blog project together in 2011. Seven years later, they have over 200 people writing for them and publish over 300 stories a month. Those writers all enjoy a simple, yet generous profit-sharing program.

I knew this site was special within a minute of seeing it. Everything mattered. Everyone cared.

And everyone benefits.

Anyone who truly cares enough to step up and add value can do so. And so that small handful of bloggers built a flywheel and set it in motion. As it grows and spins ever faster, it brings new opportunities to light.

People in their industry see the community they’ve built and they feel the genuine excitement around the work being done by that community. And they ask how they can become a part of it, themselves.

It’s a success story in every sense of the word. And it’s a PRINT business.

A customer at work just made my day week.

Work-life parallel, folks.


Reflections on SaaS Day at Startup Week 2018 at Galvanize

One of the perks of being based in a coworking space is sometimes the cool events come to you.

This was Startup Week at Galvanize. There were presentations and workshops going on all over campus all week. I passed on most, and there were a couple sessions I had to miss because of scheduling conflicts, but the ones I got to were time well spent.

Reflecting on SaaS Day at Phoenix Startup Week 2018.

Todd Davis, Lifelock Founder and former CEO: What I wish I knew when LifeLock was a startup

  • Starting a business could be the hardest thing you ever do.
  • You better be audacious, with a truly big idea you really, truly believe in.
  • So your passion and excitement for what you’re doing will help you sell it.
  • Know the 2-3 things you need to do this year to succeed—work on them daily.
  • Hire people smarter than you. Listen to them.
  • Do what you SHOULD—not what you can.
  • And remember these are the good old days. Document the memories.

Justin Gray, Founder & CEO of LeadMD & Six Bricks: SaaS Metrics that Matter

This was the first time I saw my former boss presenting information. Wow. It was like a year of SaaStr podcast episodes finally clicked beyond my understanding a few definitions.

If you want to talk about unit economics, leading/lagging metrics, CAC:LTV (Customer Acquisition Cost to Lifetime Value) optimization, customer vs. dollar churn, and how customer success plays into all that, let me know. We can do that here from time to time, but I’m thinking it’s not quite the core audience.

Suffice to say it was useful information for me, building the future of Gearbox Magazine.

Chrisy Woll, VP of Customer Success at Campus Logic: 4 Foundations for Every CS Team

Chrisy was a real treat. Not only was she very entertaining, I loved how she began her presentation with her own Customer Success journey.

She was an Enrollment Counselor at GCU at the same time I was working with Finance Counselor new hire training curriculum at Apollo Group. She sort of stumbled into a SaaS company where everyone was excited to be there and believed in the mission. And when things weren’t working out, they moved her into this new, Customer Success role they needed. Then she was headhunted to a VP role.

Had I known Customer Success was a thing more than 18 months ago, I might have got a bit more of a jump on the work-life parallel thing—but I probably wouldn’t have been ready for it.

I don’t know that I’ve gone into to much detail about what I do in my Customer Success role, but here it is for those who’ve never heard of it. Customer Success are the people who get involved with customers to make sure they get what they paid for.

Overall, this was a damn good day. Smart people sharing knowledge and inspiring ideas.