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Bright & Early on Smash Notes

Bright & Early podcast.

December 28, 2019

A podcast for people building early-stage startups. Join me each week as I talk to entrepreneurs, product people, designers, and marketing pros about their experiences during the early days of their startup.



Episodes with Smash Notes

= Remote Work Series #9 =

This episode is part of a series on Remote Work. I'm talking to leaders of remote companies about the pros and cons of working remotely, the most common challenges that remote-first teams face and how to overcome them. Issues like communication, hiring, loneliness and isolation, figuring out timezones, et cetera.

= Remote Work Series #8 =

This episode is part of a series on Remote Work. I'm talking to leaders of remote companies about the pros and cons of working remotely, the most common challenges that remote-first teams face and how to overcome them. Issues like communication, hiring, loneliness and isolation, figuring out timezones, et cetera.

= Remote Work Series #7 =

This episode is part of a series on Remote Work. I'm talking to leaders of remote companies about the pros and cons of working remotely, the most common challenges that remote-first teams face and how to overcome them. Issues like communication, hiring, loneliness and isolation, figuring out timezones, et cetera.

= Remote Work Series #6 =

Joel is the founder and CEO of Buffer, a platform to help build your brand on social media.

This week I'm speaking to Tammy Bjelland. Tammy is the Founder and CEO of Workplaceless, a training company helping remote professionals, and the organizations that lead them, learn to thrive.

This week I'm speaking to Morgan Legge. Morgan is a remote work evangelist at Convert.com, a personalization and A/B testing tool for enterprises.

This episode is part of a series on Remote Work. I'm talking to leaders of remote companies about the pros and cons of working remotely, the most common challenges that remote-first teams face and how to overcome them. Issues like communication, hiring, loneliness and isolation, figuring out timezones, et cetera.

This episode is part of a series on Remote Work. I'm talking to leaders of remote companies about the pros and cons of working remotely, the most common challenges that remote-first teams face and how to overcome them. Issues like communication, hiring, loneliness and isolation, figuring out timezones, et cetera.

Today I'm talking to Josh Ho, the founder and CEO of Referral Rock, a referral marketing SaaS company for every type of business, not just e-commerce.

Josh began bootstrapping the company as a side project in 2014 and has since grown Referral Rock to a remote-first team of 13 doing over $70k/mo in MRR.

This episode is part of a series on Remote Work. I'm talking to leaders of remote companies about the pros and cons of working remotely, the most common challenges that remote-first teams face and how to overcome them. Issues like communication, hiring, loneliness and isolation, figuring out timezones, et cetera.

Today I talk to Schöneck Shoaf, the COO and co-founder of 1 Second Everyday, a mobile app that lets you record one second every day and then edits those seconds together to create a single spell-binding movie of your life.

I talk with Ben Orenstein of Tuple and co-host of the Art of Product Podcast about building a SaaS for a niche market with high standards.

I'm joined by the cofounder of Endcrawl, John "Pliny" Eremic. We talk about the unconventional approaches they've taken to bootstrapping their niche business, which automates end credits for TV and film producers.

My guest this week is April Dunford. April is the author of "Obviously Awesome". She’s a positioning consultant, entrepreneur, board member, angel investor, and advisor. April was an executive at 7 successful tech startups and 3 global tech giants where she launched 16 products along the way.

Michele is the co-founder of Geocodio, a bootstrapped SaaS that offers hassle-free geocoding for thousands of customers including the Associated Press, Amazon, Expedia, and more. We talk about their approach to delivering a great customer experience even when your product is an API.

Anne-Laure is a founder, writer, and speaker. She studies neuroscience at King’s College London and also spends her time building products and writing about wellness, creativity, and culture at Ness Labs.

Sofia and I chat about the origins of EnjoyHQ and the challenges she's overcome along the way.

Listen in as Ryan Singer and I chat about his new book, “Shape Up”.

Rob and I talk about common mistakes people make when conducting customers interviews and how to avoid them.

Jack McDade is the designer, developer, and creator of Statamic.

Tyler is the founder and General Partner at Earnest Capital, where he makes seed-stage investments in bootstrappers, indie hackers, makers, and real businesses.

Natalie is the co-founder and CEO of Wildbit, the 18-year old bootstrapped software company behind Beanstalk, Postmark, and Conveyor. With 30 employees, 100,000+ customers, and millions in revenue, Natalie’s focus at the company is on culture and team happiness.

Can the lessons learned through improv and stand-up help you convert more of your visitors to customers?

Laura's journey from social media training coach to CEO of a multi-million dollar SaaS.

I'm joined by Marie and Ben of Oki Doki. We chat about the pros and cons of Services and SaaS, the lessons they've learned building each kind of business model, and how to know which one might be right for you.

I'll be back with more interviews next week, so this week's episode is an interview I did with Chad McAllister on his show The Everyday Innovator.

I'm taking a couple of weeks off, so I've got a bonus episode for you today. Earlier in the year, I spoke with Dominic Lawson on his podcast, "The Startup Life." We talked JTBD, work-life balance, and mentorship.

Laura is an entrepreneur and designer. She’s the founder of Client Portal, a product that helps creative agencies manage the client onboarding process. She also runs designacademy.io which helps developers conquer their fear of design.

Alli is an expert in copywriting and onboarding optimization for SaaS products. She helps her clients understand why some users bail on their trial and others upgrade. If you’re struggling with high churn or low activation rates, Alli has some wisdom you’ll want to hear.

Join me as I chat with fellow art-major-turned-technologist Asia Matos about how the Empathy Gap and how to dig into your SaaS product to find ways to close the gap and get your first 100 customers.

Andrea Hill is a UX Researcher and Product Strategist. She has lead Innovation efforts at companies like LexisNexis, ReadyTalk, and through her own consultancy, Frameplay. Next up for her is a fellowship with Code for Canada, where she’ll be embedded within a division of the government of Canada for 10 months.

If you’ve got a complex problem in need of an elegant solution, Andrea is someone you ought to listen to.

Val is the good kind of email marketer :) She helps companies write emails that people actually want to read and respond to.

If email onboarding is an important part of your business, you don't want to miss this episode.

Listen along as we tackle these questions:

“How do I make people care about my company?”

"How should I be thinking about brand and branding from day 1?"

"Are there any companies or founders who you think are doing this really well?"

"How do you advise us to emulate the good examples without copying and being unauthentic?"

Join Georgiana Laudi and I as we discuss the nuances of "product-market fit", her early days at Unbounce where she helped grow the marketing team from 1 to 35, and how you should be investing your time and money to get the most out of your early-stage marketing campaigns.

Janelle and I talk about her killer email marketing process, improving your copy by knowing your customers, and the importance of setting a good hook.

Today I'm talking to Margaret Kelsey about Content Marketing in the early stages of your startup. Margaret heads up the Brand and Content team at Appcues where she helped to triple blog traffic in 9 months. She has also worked for InVision in Content Marketing and Community Management.

Claire shares her insights on how you can create more effective marketing campaigns, design better products, and increase revenue by spending more time getting to know your customers.

Claire is a SaaS marketing & growth advisor, loves helping teams get out of the "echo chamber" and inside their best customers' heads.

Today I'm speaking with Jane Portman. Jane is a UI/UX consultant in web application design, host of the very popular UI Breakfast Podcast, and co-founder of Userlist, a behavior-based email automation tool for Saas companies.

We tackle a couple of interesting topics around UI design for early-stage startups: How good is "good enough" for launch? Can you get value from an off-the-shelf UI kit? And what can Gall's Law teach you about designing an MVP ... or better yet, a Minimum Loveable Product?