#94 Todd Gardner, Building Your Brand

Summary
Todd Gardner, founder of TrackJS talks about building its and his own brands, speaking, and growing a company.

Details
Who he is, what he does, pub conf. What TrackJS is. Why having a good product is not enough, talk about it as much as building it, present at conferences. How he sold to the big companies like Google, StackOverflow and Microsoft, hiring sales people. Moving from developer to running the company. Todd's brand and the TrackJS brand. How to build a brand, minimum viable personality. Pitfalls as a company grows, don't start at web scale, don't focus on the tech. What Todd likes most about running a business. NDC conference Minnesota and pub conf are coming to Minnesota.

Links
Traction - book Todd recommends.

Download mp3 of podcast

#93 Ben Cull, From Developer to Startup Founder

Summary
Ben Cull tells be about his move from being a developer to the founder of a starup, why he decided to make the change and the success and failures along the way.

Details
Who he is, what he does. Starting a product, knowing what to build. How to transition away from the day job, become a free lancer, when did does the startup start paying. Finding the market fit for your product, target a small market, find advocates among your customers, figuring out your cash flow. Treating your dependencies as relationships, it's all about people.

Links
Ben's twitter

Ben's Youtube

Pinch Payments

Download mp3 of podcast

#62 Samantha Stone, Tech Product Launches

Summary
Samantha Stone, author and CMO of the Marketing Advisory Network talks me about tech product launches, marketing and sales.

Details
Who she is, what she does; her book; complex sales process, what it is and how it differs from a simple process; launching and positioning a tech product, going to market, don't build for the largest audience; engineers might not have the skills needed to target a product; how to prioritize the right product for development; focus on differentiation but pick the right ones, four steps; differences between sales and marketing, when to hire those roles, pivoting is not always a good thing, marketing comes before sales.

Book

Unleash Possible

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#41 Ken Finnegan, What Ireland Offers the Tech World

Summary
Ken Finnegan, chief technologist of the Industrial Development Agency of Ireland tells me about what Ireland has to offer the tech industry.

Details
Who he is, what the Industrial Development Agency does, sales and marketing for Ireland; why should companies invest in Ireland, 1,200 foreign companies, favorable tax rate, higher level education; proximity to other European cities; home grown companies; university incubators, Nova startup incubation at UCD; successful Irish tech companies, Decawave smallest location sensor, S3 Group smallest analog to digital converter; Web Summit; access to venture capital; IoT in Ireland - a technological horizontal, sensors, communications networks, cloud storage in Ireland, deriving value for the data; what happens to Ireland in the next recession, dot-com bust hit hard, lessons learned - investing in fundamental research and commercialization of products, heavy investment for foreign companies and harder to walk away from; Ken invites you to visit.

Download mp3 of podcast

#34 Trevor Stricker, Indie Games

Summary
Trevor Stricker of Disco Pixel tells me all about indie game development.

Details
Who he is and what he does; what is an indie game developer; skills needed to be an indie dev; protecting your work; platforms to develop on, naming your child Unity, learning about Unity, technical limitations; importance of partnerships as a game developer, corporate and developer partnerships; learning non games skills to scale your game; making money; book recommendations, Creativity, Inc.

Book Recommendations
Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration

Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap...And Others Don't

The Mythical Man-Month: Essays on Software Engineering, Anniversary Edition (2nd Edition)

#33 Justin Mills, Yesware


Summary
Justin Mills, software engineer at Yesware tells me about their flat organizational structure and development practices.

Details
Little about Justin and Yesware; team structure, no test team, no defined team leads; no cohesive architecture; shared infrastructure, hierarchy might be needed; getting approval to reduce technical debt; assigning teams to tasks, trying open allocation, ending open allocation; no titles in engineering but other departments have titles; no one in a position to make a tough decision; struggling with agile, speed of development is the goal.
**extended interview** SDLC, frequent releases probably break often,
Justin's hopes for the company's future.

Extended Interview

#31 Jason MacInnes, Draft Kings


Summary
Jason MacInnes, CTO of Draft Kings tells me about their architecture and scaling demands.

Details
A little about Jason; what Draft Kings is, why it's not gambling, how Draft Kings started; controlling growth, SDLC, Agile growing pains, aligning skills; software stack (MySql, RabbitMq, MassTransit), choice of ASP.NET; scaling the system; transitioning to micro-services, dev ops; service level agreements, dealing with unpredictable events; where the statistics and data come from, customer privacy, future work.

#13 Christopher Marston, consulting and startups

Summary
Christopher Marston is the founder and CEO of Exemplar Companies, Inc, we discuss the legal aspects of going out as a consultant and getting a startup running.

Details
Christopher and I discuss what Exemplar Law does, fixed pricing; going out as a consultant, protecting against personal liability, LLC’s, SCorp, CCorp; startups, vesting, roles and responsibilities; equity in startups, dilution, removing a member of the team; protecting intellectual property while promoting yourself; patents vs trade secret; raising capital, business plans and other paperwork; growth of venture capital firms in Boston; shutting down a startup, common reasons for failure, under-capitalization, founder disputes, lawsuits; closing down a business.

Christopher’s page on Exemplar.

Book recommendations
First, Break All the Rules: What the World’s Greatest Managers Do Differently

Winning

The Firm of the Future: A Guide for Accountants, Lawyers, and Other Professional Services

#11 Sean Blanchfield, Page Fair part 1

This is part one of a two part interview with Sean Blanchfield, part two will be published on October 27th.

Discussion with Sean Blanchfield of Page Fair; Demonware, multiplayer networking layer; Scalefront startup incubator, cycling through startup ideas; Page Fair beginnings; innovation life cycle, finding the good idea, determining the size of the market, Sean and I are old!; Destructoid and going viral during a bachelor party(!), popularity of adblockers, popularity by site type, by age; YouTube preroll ads and the spread of blocking, Google ads white listed; non intrusive ads, Page Fair ads can be turned off, click through rates, discrete ads; better ads from Page Fair, competition; The Innovator’s Dilemma, disruptive technology, big companies can’t change, culture in companies; ad blocking on mobile, FireFox on Android supports adblock, adblock browsers are on the way, Adblock Plus app removed from App Store, Disconnect tracker and ad blocking for mobile and desktop; supporting free content through ads, publishers reaction to ad blockers.

Part two goes into the technical workings of Page Fair.

I’ll include Sean’s book recommendations in the post for part two.