The public invisibility of running mid-stage successful companies

So says Keith Rabois, and the Internet generally: “I don’t know of a single successful CEO or entrepreneur who blogs regularly.”

If true, why?

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Smart Bear Live 8: Edwin from MeetingKing.com

Listen to this episode if you want to hear about a founder who has a product and users and paying customers … and is trying to figure out how to take his company to the next level and grow faster.

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Come visit @asmartbear and the @wpengine gang at SxSW in our new office space!

If you’re in Austin for SxSW, come say hello between 10:00 and 2:00 on Saturday, March 8. We’ll have an open lounge with food and coffee at our World Headquarters.

It’s an easy 5 blocks from the convention center, so there’s no reason not to hang out with us for a while, an oasis amidst the craziness.

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Raising money & selling companies at the end of the year

People say the end of the year is a terrible time to raise money or sell a company, because “everyone’s only thinking about the holidays” and “people with money are away skiing in Aspen.”

Except, my previous company Smart Bear was sold on Dec 20, 2007. And we completed our Series C round here at WP Engine on Dec 23, 2013. And no fewer then three other companies I was previously an investor in also raised a round that closed in December of 2013.

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Visualizing the Interactions Between CAC, Churn and LTV

You may have seen these metrics defined before, but this is the best visualization of their effect that I’ve ever seen.

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LARGE x RARE == DIFFERENT: Why scaling companies is harder than it looks

Scale causes rare events to become regular. Things happen with 1000 servers that you literally never once saw with 50 servers, and things which used to happen once in a blue moon, where a shrug and a manual reboot every six months was in fact an appropriate “process,” now happen every week, or even every day.

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More money if you do, more money if you don’t

A business always takes more money than you expect, even when you take this fact into account.

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Stop chopping yourself to pieces

Given that all of these are selfishly useful — concerning your happiness and productivity — it’s amazing how we persistently ignore these facts as we navigate our daily lives.

The conclusions are simple, and obvious.

One task at a time. Don’t allow arbitrary people on email and twitter dictate your attention or use of time, because they’ll demand it all. Be mindful of the present moment. Use regular downtime and rest to stay healthy and happy.

Does that paragraph describe your life?

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Ho Rudolph

Maybe you and the other reindeer should have THOUGHT ABOUT THAT while you were calling me Pinocchio for the past 18 years. Maybe you should have THOUGHT ABOUT THAT while excluding me from every game of kick-ball and Parcheesi and Cards Against Caribou.

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The Code is your Enemy

You’re a builder, a creator — whether a back-end programmer, a Linux hacker, a Javascript ninja, a UX magician, a designer. You make stuff.

That’s great of course, because in a new startup everyone needs to be either making stuff or selling stuff — there’s no room for managers and executives and strategists. But this also produces a natural weakness, and when I look at what made me a successful entrepreneur — not just a great coder — it’s that I acknowledged and overcame that weakness.

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Imbalanced People

There’s a saying that a great developer is 10x more productive than a mediocre one.

That’s not true.

They’re better than an infinite number.

You can’t put 100 average designers on a committee and get a fabulous design, right?

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A programmer commiserates with journalists

I feel for the journalist, because I see in them the same geekery that inhabits my fellow software developers.

We developers should revel in what we have.

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Why I don’t like the LTV metric

A metric summarizes lots of data and processes into a single number. But it’s a two-edged sword.

It’s powerful because it lets you reason about the performance of a complex system, especially how it’s trending. It helps you focus on what’s important at a macro level.

But it’s dangerous when it combines so many disparate and disjoint processes and effects that the number loses precision. Because then you think you understand something that you don’t. That’s how bad decisions are made with confidence.

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