Keith Rabois famously quipped, “I don’t know of a single successful CEO or entrepreneur who blogs regularly.”
That was five months ago, and people are still talking about it. And agreeing.
Sure the usual exceptions are trotted out — Rand Fishkin, Joel Gascoigne, etc.. But the examples outweigh the exceptions 100-to-1.
Much easier is listing those who used to blog a lot, but trailed off as their companies grew — Joel Spolsky (who essentially stopped blogging after raising money for StackExchange), Dharmesh Shah (who trailed off substantially when HubSpot took off), and even Evan Williams — the co-founder of the publishing platforms Blogger, Twitter, and Medium — went quiet Medium launched.
And, if you grant my indulgent inclusion in that pantheon, I did the same as WP Engine took off, with a noticeable decrease in early 2012 and relatively little in the past twelve months.
Why? Because my daily experiences are unsharable.
My daily life consists of (a) setting the strategy and rationale of the Engineering & Innovation department, based on a mixture of vision, data, and the needs of the rest of the company, (b) participate in doing the same for the whole company, (c) hire, (d) manage the managers whose teams execute the real work. As the CTO of a 130-person company that’s still growing along every dimension at a prodigious rate, that’s the appropriate job description.
But I can’t share anything about it.
Not only can I not share the company’s strategy, I can’t share our thought processes, our rationale, how we think about the market, how we’ve analyzed it, about customers, about metrics, about competitors, about the future. In fact, the process and data are much more precious than the conclusions.
The stories of growing a team, then teams of teams, of the personal dynamics, the changes in processes and demands, the shifts in roles and goals of everyone including myself, how that’s navigated, the trials and tribulations there — all these stories are invaluable and instructive but they are not mine to share. To share them would be to violate the privacy of others.
The unique technology we’ve built, that we’ve prototyped, that we’re contemplating, is fascinating and valuable. Some of it is algorithmic. Some come from lessons you can only learn in the field with 2000+ servers and 100,000+ installations of an application. Some are huge ideas that carry huge risk but could be transformative in our market, that will take us years to realize.
But, of course, the folks who would most benefit from those revelations are our competitors. I’m not paranoid, but I’m not going to post trade secrets on the Internet.
Even in other departments, there’s instructive lessons I can’t talk about. The journey of our successful Series C fundraising. How we’ve designed and started to scale the sales team. How we think about the many facets of marketing: branding, positioning, events, advertising, and special projects we haven’t announced yet.
All that said, I do have more to share. I have a backlog of posts in various states of completion. Which brings up the final point.
Keep that RSS reader enabled. Writing is cathartic, and sharing is fulfilling, so I have selfish reasons to continue. Just not every week.
20 responses to “The public invisibility of running mid-stage successful companies”
A curious question. Do you consider affiliate bloggers entrepreneurs? If so, then there are multitudes of successful ‘entrepreneur’ bloggers who blog regularly. Or is the question only relegated to a specific slice of CEOs/entrepreneurs?
That’s not the spirit of the comment, no.
Of course I agree with you that anyone making their own money rather than holding a “normal job” is an entrepreneur! But the context of that original comment is of a CEO/founder who is running a company that is scaling or at scale with regard to employees and hopefully also revenue.
Jason – I think there’s a distinction between blogging about running a start-up vs. blogging about your industry for thought-leadership. I continued to blog regularly at Convio all the way post IPO to our eventual acquisition, and regularly blog and contribute articles to media pubs today at TrustRadius to support our thought leadership efforts- although we are early on our journey. I would contend that Dharmesh is still a prolific blogger – but they’ve also built an amazing content team at Hubspot.
Co-founder & CEO, TrustRadius
Founding CEO and CSO, Convio – IPO 2010, $325m acquisition 2012
That’s a good point, thanks. I think you’d agree that almost no public CEOs follow suit, however. From my experience, it’s due in part to insane schedules and in part from the fact of liability — not only legal liability but the modern fact that any public mis-step is amplified.
Still, isn’t it true that we should be striving against those excuses of busyness and fear rather than capitulating.
Thanks for the kind words on the HubSpot content team. They are indeed awesome.
And, I LOVE that you have the actual *outcome* of what you’ve done in your signature. It’s nice to know when people have actually done things. :)
Thanks Dharmesh. I’ll try to do that more often!
Jason..interesting correlation to success and blogging.. and understandable… but as a CEO myself that has gotten funding for two companies… I make sure I at least blog about stuff that can help others, and not trade secrets in my particular markets… btw..congratulations on all of your success..
Jason – keep on blogging! Love your posts.
I understand your reservations, and as an investor in WPEngine, I’ll be the last to tell you to give away trade secrets. But, I do miss your writing.
You know what we need? A smaller, private group of non-competitive tech founders. But the issue is that it’s nowhere near as fun writing for a small group vs. the thrill and excitement of writing for the Internet. :)
article! Found this very interesting: Kimberly-Clark to increase investments in
Thailand. Read it here http://bit.ly/1f8eKaN
Love it, thanks for the down to earth share, and making sense of the quiet. It makes sense, there becomes less contextual things to easily share about.
I’ve found it increasingly difficult, and I had a gap in my blogging recently (I’ve hit almost 2 months of weekly blogging again now).
I found that what I was working on in the company was becoming less interesting to founders starting out (what I consider the largest audience).
I reflected a while ago and came up with 2 solutions for myself:
1. Keep blogging about what I’m currently working on and the challenges I’m facing. It’s still interesting for people. Our value of transparency helps a lot here, there’s almost nothing I can’t blog about thanks to this.
2. I try to meet early stage founders regularly, and I take notes after each meeting so that I can recall the challenges and topics we talked about. That often becomes great blog content.
There’s a transformation that happens to most founders as they stick with startups for a few years. It happened to me, and I see it happening to friends as well. The naive optimism transforms into a grim determinedness. Once those early lessons are internalized, it’s hard to remember that the obvious lessons weren’t so obvious in the beginning.
“2. I try to meet early stage founders regularly, and I take notes after each meeting so that I can recall the challenges and topics we talked about. That often becomes great blog content.”
Agreed, Joel. This techniques works for me to jump back to the beginner’s mindset as well. I also find it’s easier to write blog posts with an audience of one in mind, so if I sit down and basically write a recap for that person, I can crank out new content pretty fast.
I would have assumed the biggest barrier would be a lack of time for blogging!
That said, if you are willing to share, even “off the record”, I’d love to interview you because I think too little is written or understood about the challenges of mid-sized businesses. A recent study of mid-sized companies in Canada found that their numbers were shrinking, as they either succeeded and got acquired or didn’t succeed and shrunk back to small companies or folded.
If you (and anyone else reading this who’s in a mid-sized company) would like to talk about your experiences, I can be reached at [email protected]. Thanks!
Heel sandals, flats, wedges, flip flops, and much more.Elie Tahari Bianca WedgeIt is also usual for micropayment systems to accumulate several payments and then charge it in one regular payment.I believe the sell-off from the earnings miss could take the stock down to support around $80 per share.Programable gain control’s278.The mood in which a person certainly determines what they get to wear at the end of the day.Anaheim Alcalde pide investigaciThese many options are what allow Junsado to be so responsive and versatile.Buttler and Gutierrez also state that students who are explicitly and implicitly supported and encouraged to maintain their heritage language, in this case Spanish, and culture demonstrate pride in these aspects through their actions and words.
While using the large method plus thousands of beads classy on an annual basis, only a small percentage of the bright delights might grow to be a penalty pellet worth your prestige regarding developing the idea directly into okay black pearls.Action plans preventbusiness gaffs, keep everyone on task and help smooth out operations.With a rather bohemian look, this kind of style is considered retro, but it is also something that a lot of people go for.These are all referred as gastrointestinal medical conditions, which in the case of pregnant women is a reaction on the fluctuations of their hormones.Now consider what challenges or decisions you’re facing right now.
Something else to make note of is the fact you will discover deal activities relating to every countrywide holiday.One of the hotel’s unique attributes is its magnificent rooftop design, featuring a traditional “golden palace”.Consensus estimates for Mattel’s EPS forecast that it will grow by 8.Do Trail Shoes Make A DifferenceIt is well-known that Nike Company has gained international fame in recent yeas because of its high-quality products.Back to me questioning Tom’s decision.Nevertheless, business market is still inevitable to associate this action with the phenomenon that domestic manufacturing labor costs rises sharply, recruitment is difficult.
Magnetic beaded jewellery is used all over the world to cure diseases like arthritis, muscle pains and joint pains.The head/valve cover was S If so, I haven’t those.As for me, the shoes highly change my life span.As you might see there are not so many people wearing nfl jerseys in the streets, the primary reason is the general appearance of the jerseys.’This action has no benefit, will not acquire any kind of compassion and injures fans, the various other groups, their companions and guests, the city of San Francisco and all our stakeholders too,’ Barclay continued.It has improved greatly, especially recently.They have their main weapon for Asiaao Ming.
This diet was good preparation for me for eating the Paleo Diet because I had already eliminated sugars, unhealthy starches like white flour, white rice, corn, and what she calls bad combo foods.vement changer pour objet l’adhsion.For this steel toe shoes or boots, the components are inclined to be light-weighted, even if there are steel inserts.Intended for boots: important system whilst in the hay, fabric-covered heel bone, leather-based sandals resorts in jamaica.Pond to find the woman to take collaboration right Pre Order Grape 5S Online?Protecting the fragile feet would be one of them.Receiving an affirmation, he asks if Nurse Garland’s fianc , (Professor Jeff Carlson), has arrived to communicate with the Martians.
They wouldn’t let him out of recovery until it stabilised and, when it wouldn’t, they had to put him out again and shock him to ‘bump start’ his heart back to normal.The film production companies and the drama serial production companies are equally important as the celebrities, so interesting news related to production houses and companies are also highlighted in these websites.Nevertheless, you can develop a core group of suppliers you can trust.Meanwhile, a new novel, “The Dead Republic” by Roddy Doyle, tells a parallel story about filming “The Quiet Man.Vasconcelos explic que fue posible air jordan 1 for sale introducir un programa diferente por sus buenos contenidos.
DO NOT USE FLOWERS.It looks like a camp, silver palace now, but they still like it.Our HP0-768 test and labs are composed by current and active Information Technology experts, who use their experience in preparing you for your future in IT.You will be able to see how the Romans influenced Jordan with a tour in Jerash.Next, remember the road train drivers mentioned above?That said, I guarantee Lin will not continue this run at this level.I mean, being afraid of spiders is pretty common amongst folks, but in the UK it’s not a particularly useful response – is this appropriate?You probably didn’t know or maybe you heard it some place that its hard to find a company that’s not age specific one that cover pets as young as 6 weeks old to older pets over 10 years old.
It is a darker, richer, hoppier version of a porter.In spring of 2014 I will be getting an iPhone 5S.So, keep it away from the main air jordan 5 for sale wedding area, where bride and groom would be present.I am now in service to assist your spiritual journey.Obviously, the longer your hair, the longer it will take to get rid of every bit of conditioner.How do you find a psychiatrist anyway?Dress plays an important role in describing your mood.If I seize something, I have to do it in good faith.More and more employees are working remotely, thanks to computers, smartphones, email, instant messaging and video-conferencing.
No, don dive into an abstract concept without anchoring it on concrete jordan 6 for sale examples.Perhaps one reason for the continuing popularity of these black rubber bracelets rests in their easy availability.You know exactly where you stand with the Stan.To fulfill these requirements, casual style footwear is essential.It reflects your personality.So no wonder everyone desires to get their hands on it.Due to their relatively high cost, these total alarm systems are only found on homes that clearly could afford such.Since then, she has learned to speak to herself positively.It is quite natural to forget whatever they have learned
Y pese a todas las teor ese destino no se debe a la muerte de Osama bin Laden en la madrugada del lunes en Pakist Pese a que corrieron conjeturas de que la operaci militar estadounidense para encontrar al fundador de al-Qaida motiv la jordan 14 for sale decisi de Guillermo y su esposa Kate Middleton de quedarse en Gran Breta tras sus esponsales del viernes, un vocero de palacio dijo que la decisi fue adoptada “hace semanas”.El pr volvi al trabajo pocos d despu de su boda. Middleton, ahora duquesa de Cambridge, hac
Specifically for facial diversity I recommend finding a basic method for drawing faces that works for you, gather diverse references-and you’ll have to actively seek them out because a google image search for “human face” is very telling (hint it’s nearly all white people and there’s a white person in special effects makeup before search returns on poc soooo that’s the general hell world we’re dealing with when looking through media for references) I’ll show you my face drawing process and point
Football is among the popular sports that are played around the world. The number of people following football today is increasing day by day. Football fans not just spend thousands of dollars to buy tickets to watch the matches live but they also love to collect autographed caps, balls and shirts too.The salomon shoes sale 25-minute performance covered some of the biggest hits of the legendary band including Who Wants to Live Forever, Fat Bottom Girls, Bohemian Rhapsody and Another One Bites the Dust.”I can’t wait for #IHeartRadio tonight to sing with @QueenWillRock!” tweeted Adam Lambert only hours before the show on Friday.
“One of the more notable uses of this color is the Zoom Kobe V” Ink “, which is set to release next month. This particular of Jordan Flight SC-1 uses a much more subtle use of the color.Air Jordan 29 NFL Black discount huge, low profit we gain, original package, full size, buy Nike Air Jordan 29 NFL soon, good value for money!You’ll get specific and practical advice from the following famous entrepreneurs:Evan Carmichael helps entrepreneurs. At 19, he built then sold a biotech software company.Deserto, sublime deserto. Grand Canyon – Arizona USA – Uma viagem ao Oeste americano – Introducao USA salomon shoes 2014 – Arizona, Utah e Nevada – Uma road-trip pelo Oeste americano India – As faces e os lugares do Rajastao INDIA – Fatehpur Sikri e a Era Akbar INDIA – Agra, alem do Taj Mahal INDIA – Tres rodas, um cavalo INDIA – Agra. O Taj Mahal do amor eterno INDIA.