“The problem with abstractions (like reports and documents) is that they create illusions of agreement. A hundred people can read the same words, but in their heads, they’re imagining a hundred different things.”

- Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson – Rework

How much time are we spending on planning for great work instead of actually doing great work?

We’re in love with the chase, the big vision at the end of that proverbial rainbow where higher purpose, a healthy bottom line, an enviable internal culture and a pack of ravenous, ultra-engaged customers all melt together in a pot of perfect. Read More…


Risk is the characteristic that distinguishes a startup from any other type of business. Imagine the experience of quitting a stable, secure job to venture into the unknown. It’s terrifying, and if you’re reading this blog post, you know how terrifying this experience is — because you’ve probably done it.

That’s why Eric Ries wrote The Lean Startup — to help companies navigate and minimize these risks through minimum viable products (MVPs), rigorous experimentation, and a commitment to learning.

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Last year, I launched a social marketing automation app. To give you a sense of scale, it actively generated millions of impressions and hundreds of thousands of engagement events (follows, retweets) across Twitter for users in 41 different countries.

Because impressions drive conversions much like a more traditional ad network, this also means it’s spinning off a large amount of data on social engagement and follower interactions. So far I’ve just been letting the data build up, until this past weekend when I decided to dust off my rusty SQL skills and have a look around.

Here are five new things I learned looking at a random data slice of 100,000 Twitter follows.

First, some stats about our overall sample of followers:

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Content Marketing

You’ve heard it time and time again — content is the future of marketing. And being the smart, savvy entrepreneur that you are, you respond tactically by writing blog posts, authoring whitepapers, and maybe even commissioning a few infographics.

You watch your analytics like a hawk, realizing something scary. Nothing is happening. After pouring out your heart and soul on Medium — or your company blog — your web traffic is still flatlining. You’re pissed off.

You’re also not alone.

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Broken Heart

Editor’s Note: This post originally appeared on and has been re-published with permission. Love what you’re reading? Be sure to check out Brad Feld’s upcoming Clarity Live talk about the ‘Power of Startup Communities’ on Wednesday, July 9th. We’ll be opening up the waiting list, so stay tuned!

Recently, I wrote a post titled After Your First Big Success, What’s Next? The comment thread was powerful and fascinating, as was the direct email feedback I got, including the following note: Read More…

Couple Holding Hands

Founders are a rare breed. We’re sales machines, relentless hustlers, and wholeheartedly dedicated to making an impact in the world. At the end of the day, however, we’re human— not superhuman. We have finite hours in the day and often find ourselves walking a tightrope between our emotionally charged days and our equally demanding personal relationships.

Entrepreneurship is all consuming — we’re often tired and distracted. We’re perpetually in our own heads — which makes us terrible lovers. But with any ‘problem,’ there is a clear solution. Read More…

Shoemoney 2

Hi, my name is Jeremy Schoemaker. Although you might know me better by my online moniker, ShoeMoney, or maybe you’ve visited my blog

  • In 2007 I started a company called AuctionAds built around the eBay affiliate program. 3 months after launch the company had over 25,000 publishers producing over 2M/month in revenue. The company sold to MediaWhiz only 4 months after launch.
  • In 2010 I was named Fast Company’s most influential person on the internet.
  • In 2010 I launched my own online video training series called the ShoeMoney System. To date, the product has sold over 10M in revenue and now runs on autopilot on Udemy, Clickbank and other 3rd party outlets.

But where I have done really well is selling other people’s stuff.

To date I have sold over 50 million in gross product sales of other people’s products and services as an affiliate.

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Top Startups

It’s hard to believe that some of today’s most valuable public companies began as scrappy, garage ventures. As big as we dream, founders rarely expect their companies to rank among the Fortune 500. Yet the Googles and the Apples of the world have done it.

What do today’s biggest tech ventures share in common?

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This post was originally published on by Chloe Mason Gray and has been republished with permission. 

Recently, I was tasked with designing a marketing strategy for the launch of a new version of a product. Our main goal for the early stages of the launch was to get as many user signups as possible.

Looking for a little inspiration, I researched how other tech companies tackle user acquisition during product launches. I wanted to know: How do companies get users to share their products, either pre-launch, during beta or at the beginning of a public launch? Read More…

Looking into the Sun

Nobody becomes an entrepreneur because it’s easy. What these business leaders share in common is that they’re driven by an unstoppable dream. It’s a life calling, not a career. We hold ourselves to relentlessly high standards, and when we fall, we fall hard.

Luckily, so many others have been there before.

In honor of Global Entrepreneurship Week, here are 23 lessons learned from some of Clarity’s top entrepreneurs.
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