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What is the SimpleBits Show ?

Dan Cedarholm, the co-founder of Dribbble, will be sharing what he has learned over the last couple of decades from designing, creating things, and running a business. He will also be interviewing other people about their experiences.

What are the key ingredients of starting a business?

A founder needs the right market with the right distribution channels. And, a good product for that market must be developed. These three areas are crucial. Don't invest years and years into something when one of these pieces is missing. Wait as needed. It will feel natural once the fit is right.

What are some strategies for making gains in SEO?

In certain markets, having good affiliates can be very helpful. Also, sharing an interesting journey in a transparent and vulnerable way resonates with people. This makes them want to share your story and be a part of it.

What are key marketing strategies for new businesses to understand and invest in?

Search engine optimization (SEO) needs to be first priority for businesses. Word of mouth is also necessary. But, the emotional connection that founders can build with their followers can also be pivotal. Be open to sharing the journey and the struggles.

What are some recommendations for finding a market that is healthy for one's business?

A business cannot be based on what people might do or what they say that might do. It must be based on what people are doing right now or what they have done in the past.

What are key advantages of learning from other people?

When learning on your own, there is very limited perspective. When reading a book, listening to a podcast, etc., you learn about different ways to do things. This helps improve one's craft.

What was the inspiration for pursuing podcast hosting ?

The podcast hosting market has momentum. There is an uptick in people wanting to publish shows and the creator/maker movement lends itself naturally to podcasting. Corporations are also taking note of podcasts.

What is Transistor.fm?

Transistor.fm is a podcast hosting. When someone listens to a podcast through apps such as Apple, Google, etc., the files stream from a central platform, much like websites. Transistor is place to publish these files and to get basic including analytics about their downloads.

How to talk about your product features during a sales call?

This is a good time to explain why your product or service are the best choice for the customer. First, do your homework and really understand your customer and what they need. Then, explain how you are going to get them there. This is the only time you might want to talk about the features and the results, but focus on what your client is going to get, not how you are getting there.

How to compare your company to your competitors?

Don't talk negative about your competition, but instead flip it around and show what you and your company can do.

Always assume that you are not the only person your prospect is talking to, and help them understand why you, and no one else is able to do the work.

Educate your prospects and help them understand the questions they should know to compare you with your competition, where your answers would come on top.

Your attitude, your personality, the way that you do business, is what is going to sell them first.

What does a sales person have to understand about their prospects?

Know your market, your product offering, and your customer.

You should not be selling contracts meant for a 100k-people company to a 1k-company. Your budget and your sales techniques should match with the customer and their needs.

Rick Jordan, for example, only sells to 20+ people company because those are his best customer. They already understand the pain his product is curing. If he tried to sell to a smaller company that has never seen the need, it would just waste a lot of time for both.

How can I improve my morning routine and diet?

Kevin often finds himself switching in between brewing his own coffee and tea in the morning. Because of how fasting can decrease your chance of cancer and have other health benefits, Kevin has taken up the health trend of intermittent fasting, which involves not eating for 13 to 16 hours every day. Kevin also made an app to help thousands of others adopt the trend.

What role do spouses play in startups?

Often times, spouses act as therapists during the development of a new company. Whenever founders offload onto their spouses, the entrepreneur may feel better but the spouse internalizes the problem and finds themselves unable to help, which leads to them feeling useless and depressed.

What is there to be excited about in the Portland area?

Uber and Slacker are finally going public, and Kevin is interested in many health and fitness companies such as Aura and Jour. Portland itself gives Kevin a lot more space and room to breathe than the bustling Bay Area, so taking the 1.5 hour flight there can give him time to rest and reflect.

Would you say that being an entrepreneur in necessary for a good investor?

It certainly has helped Kevin. Having conversations with people that have gone through similar situations is always easier than talking with someone who has little experience. Kevin prefers being the investor that sits on the sidelines most of the time

Is it accurate to say that failure in a great informer for entrepreneurs?

In terms of his professional career, Kevin’s investments have been his most successful ventures. By trusting his gut and his connections, Kevin has managed to invest in companies as successful as Facebook and Twitter.

How can failures help one advise other companies?

Because Kevin has experienced multiple layoffs, painful decisions, and incredibly successful periods of growth, he now has the expertise to help companies during nearly every part of their development.

What is an issue that plagues new entrepreneurs?

Many unsuccessful business founders get bogged down in their own failures and fail to see the silver lining that comes with failure. Often times a bad news cycle or little outside support can prevent the head of a company that recently sold for pennies on the dollar from trying to start again.

What’s a specific experience that molded you but wouldn’t show up in your bio?

After Dig, Kevin overcorrected his past mistakes and tried to dominate every aspect of his next venture. It wasn’t until Google that Kevin understood the value of a well-recruited employee. Kevin also realized the positive aspect of failure and how failure is one of the best ways to move forward.

How was your time at Google Ventures?

Kevin adored his time there because the organization was well-run and he got to angel invest in a variety of different startups. Although he wanted to spend more time there, Kevin yearned to build products of his own again after a few years in the program.

How does Google differ from other companies?

Google often focuses on hiring engineers and doesn’t bring in as many creative employees as other companies. This results in sophisticated and slick programs that can support billions of users but lacks an interesting and practical central concept.

What are some other specific moments that have shaped you?

Kevin’s first few days at Google shocked him because of how effective and efficient every member of the staff was, and immediately recognized how much less time he had put into finding new talent than Google had. He also realized how much Google focused on copying and then improving on the ideas of competitors like Facebook.

How can I recognize a failing business?

During a Dig board meeting that occurred after the company raised 35 million dollars in venture capital, one of the company’s members brought up the idea of having more mainstream news on the front page to promote general publicity on the site. Kevin’s had a negative gut reaction to the idea because he loved the unique news that made Dig unique, but the idea went through anyway. A combination of other issues like tech issues, the war with Reddit, and a change in media direction all took a toll on Dig.

How devastated were you about Dig’s failure?

Kevin never had a serious breakdown over how Dig failed, mostly because Reddit, Dig’s greatest competitor, didn’t beat Dig at its own game. Dig managed to hold its own as a democratic algorithm-based content website, but Reddit overtook it by focusing on smaller communities run by individual moderators.

How do you feel looking back at your younger years?

When he looks back, Kevin finds himself blaming other people for his failure when everything crumbles from underneath him. However, Kevin is grateful in part for his failure because it allowed him to mature as a person and eventually grow into the composed man that he is today.

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