Photo by Jake Sloop on Unsplash

Less than 10 years ago one of the first steps in launching your web or mobile app was buying and setting up your own dedicated hardware in a back room or remote server farm.

Actual physical boxes you had to order, unpack, plugin, network and monitor in a rack you had to keep dust and moisture free.

The “cloud” existed, but it was still in its relative infancy, with Amazon Web Services launching in 2006.

When Instagram launched in 2010 they had a single, dedicated machine “with less computing power than a Macbook Pro” installed in a data center in…

Especially those who can least afford it.

Photo by Crawford Ifland on Unsplash

For most companies their expense policy is an afterthought.

It starts off informally.

“Spend as if it’s your own money”.

“Use your best judgement”.

“Check with me first”.

But over time things get more complicated. The team grows. The business gets more sophisticated. The cracks start to appear.

1. Different rules start apply to different people.

When you don’t have a formal expense policy it’s really easy to make one off exceptions.

Someone from the sales team asks if the company will pay for their personal mobile phone since they use it constantly to work with customers.

During the recruitment process a candidate reveals that their current company…

Claudell, the face of QuickBooks Live.

With QuickBooks recent testing of an integrated bookkeeping service many accountants & bookkeepers have raised valid concerns about whether the platform they promote is about to compete with them.

For me this is a case of history repeating. In 2015 I joined GoDaddy as Director of Product working to help our web developer and designer community successful. We faced all of these same issues as we tried to balance the needs of our professional services community, with the needs of the customer, and the insatiable appetite of the public markets.

After mentioning the parallels to Intuit’s announcement of their Live product, Blake Oliver + David Leary from the Cloud Accounting Podcast suggested I write up some of these hard-earned lessons.

In 2015 GoDaddy had 13m SMB customers and their…

Today I’m excited to launch Spritz: the world’s most refreshing corporate card.

Every company in the world has expenses but no one likes doing them. We’re here to change that.

The Spritz corporate card is available to everyone in your company, from your intern to your CEO. It allows everyone to buy what they need to get their job done, while giving fine-grained spending controls to finance teams.

No longer treat your employees like a line of credit, especially those who can least afford it. …

It’s easy to think all the good startup problems in B2B SAAS have already been solved.

In almost any category you can find dozens of companies fighting it out over a (generally) fixed set of customers. There is likely an established market leader with the lions share of the customer logos, deep pockets and deeper moats.

So what’s an entrepreneur to do to find fertile, unsalted ground to sift through?

One counter-intuitive approach is to view large and competitive markets as ripe with opportunity, the more fragmented the better.

For one, the market size has already been proven out

Talking to customers is a critical factor in building a successful company.

It’s never more important than when you’re just getting started and still pre-product/market fit.

All of the secondary research in the world won’t tell you how people actually think, how they rank their pain points in comparison to others, or what they’ll pay for a given solution in time or money.

There’s been plenty written about how to conduct customer interviews — I’m personally a fan of most of Sachin Rekhi’s posts on the subject — but less written about how to practically setup enough of these interviews…

Alec Baldwin & Jerry Seinfeld

In the latest season of Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, Alec Baldwin talks about the Show Business Commission.

The Show Business Commission is a shadowy organization that identifies people with “enormous talent and tremendous potential” and yet “don’t really know what do to with it”.

They’re shadowy in that they’re able to find people with no profile, no public work, and yet identify their talents and pluck them from obscurity. You could be sitting at home watching television one minute, and the next you’re called up to appear on the big screen.

Of course the Show Business Commission is a…

Kanye West @ the BET Awards in 2016

In late 2009 Kanye West set himself up in a mansion in Hawaii to record one of the greatest albums of all times: My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy.

With artists flying in from around the world ranging from Elton John and Rihanna, to Drake and Justin Vernon of Bon Iver, the album’s budget quickly blew out to over $3m.

I love reading behind the scenes stories of the creation of these works of art. Whether it’s a recording artist, an engineer or a chef. …

“Can I call you back?” — me, circa 1987

Since I was a little kid I’ve always looked for ways to make a buck.

In primary school I remember selling lollypops for 50 cents each from a bag of 50 that cost me a few bucks.

The day I could legally take a job delivering newspapers at 12 I had my application in with the local rag. I fudged my birthday “accidentally” to get my first hourly wage job so I could start pushing shopping trolleys a couple of months before I turned 14…

I was hungry.

The number and breadth of jobs I’ve had is a source of…

In 1998 the largest financial services firm in the world came into existence with the merger of Goliaths of the industry Citicorp and Travellers Group, with a valuation of $140bn and assets under management of $700bn.

Today, despite the financial crisis of 2008, the firm has assets of $1.7 trillion.

This was Citigroup, with the consumer division known as Citibank.

With the merger came the need for a new brand for the combined entity, that encapsulated the diverse range of financial products the company now provided.

Enter Paula Scher and her ground breaking NYC design agency Pentagram.

Paula Scher, founder of Pentagram

After a brief…

Ned Dwyer

Australian in SF. Product manager & entrepreneur. Running & reading.

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