Nov 22, 2016 On Our Blog

WMD ’16: Post-Conference Q&A with Brian Balfour

Guest blogger – Brian Balfour, Founder & CEO, Reforge The below article is comprised of audience questions asked to Brian Balfour during his presentation at Weapons of Mass Distribution 2016. Brian took the time to answer the questions in detail post-conference.   “How do you determine your platform?” One of the most powerful things I’ve done in my career is to build my blog. The blog acts as a platform for me to distribute my work, thoughts, and creations. The reason having this is so powerful today is because I believe we are moving towards a world where credentials matter far less, and it is more about your actual work/output. My blog is the way I do that but with …


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Oct 20, 2016 Growth Hacking and Distribution

The Yin & Yang of Marketing and Innovation

Guest Blogger – Jascha Kaykas-Wolff, Chief Marketing Officer Mozilla  “Business has only two functions—marketing and innovation.” I have heard this quotation attributed to Peter Drucker, a.k.a. “the father of business consulting” (talk about a guy with some dubious children), as well as Czech novelistMilan Kundera. Citations for Drucker usually extend the quotation, adding, “All the rest are costs.” Kundera. Drucker. Novelist. Consultant. Marketing. Innovation. The Circular Interplay There’s a wonderful, circular nature to the relationship between marketing and innovation. First, I should say I do believe everything other than innovation and marketing in business is a cost—a necessary cost, usually. But the only thing that produces business profit is innovation and the discovery of a market need for that innovation—or, …


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Oct 4, 2016 Growth Hacking and Distribution

Hooks: An Intro on How to Manufacture Desire

Guest Blogger – Nir Eyal, Author “Hooked: How yo Build Habit-Forming Products” Type the name of almost any successful consumer web company into your search bar and add the word “addict” after it. Go ahead, I’ll wait. Try “Facebook addict” or “Twitter addict” or even “Pinterest addict” and you’ll soon get a slew of results from hooked users and observers deriding the narcotic-like properties of these web sites. How is it that these companies, producing little more than bits of code displayed on a screen, can seemingly control users’ minds? Why are these sites so addictive and what does their power mean for the future of the web? We’re on the precipice of a new era of the web. As infinite distractions …


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Sep 29, 2016 On Our Blog

The 4 Components of a Winning Direct Mail Campaign

Direct mail is part science, part art—there is no single best solution. Innovative technologies allow us to customize mail in new ways, and the USPS continually changes rates (usually raising them) and rules. However, a couple of things stay constant: Any direct mail campaign will include the four key components of list, offer, creative, and delivery. And at every stage, consistently A/B testing what you send and who you send it to will improve recipient response and lower your costs. Let’s take a closer look at the four main components of direct mail: The list: You need to mail the right audience, who are interested in your product. The offer: You need to provide the right offer to motivate them …


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Sep 27, 2016 On Our Blog

10 Ways to Make Your Video Go Viral

Guest Blogger -Karen X Cheng, Founder/CEO Karen X LLC. I almost didn’t write this post. Because I wanted to keep the magic behind my viral video to myself. Because of my ego. Because I would have loved to brag that I just sat back and it took off on its own. But that’s not what happened. I did a ton of marketing, and it started long before the video was released. Going viral was not an accident — it was work. I tried a lot of things. This is what worked for me. 1. Don’t be “too good” for marketing I almost didn’t put together a marketing plan. Because what if I did all this marketing, and then the video still flopped? …


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Aug 17, 2016 On Our Blog

How to Use PR + Thought Leadership to Grow Your Startup

So your business doesn’t have an announcement but you’d still like some media coverage? Given the constant need to stand out from the host of other startups and businesses, it makes sense to promote your name and business as much as possible. After all, maintaining a public presence is an important factor of any successful business. But how can you make a media appearance when you haven’t got anything new to announce, or say? Good Public Relations – that is, PR – is all about honing in on a space and making it your own. Strong PR processes are upheld by two core pillars on which successful campaigns rely: announcements via press releases and guest articles. While we previously focused …


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Jul 20, 2016 On Our Blog

Should You Take the Offer? A Growth Marketers’ Framework to Climbing the Startup Career Ladder

This post comes from Alex Nucci, VP of Growth at ClutchPrep, a company that provides textbook-specific videos and tutoring in science subjects to college students. Under Alex’s guidance, ClutchPrep has tripled their MRR over the past 8 months. 8 months ago, I hit a crossroads. About to choose my next career move, it wasn’t clear to me which option was best. They were all great, but there was definitely a better one to pick (there always is). I created a list of things that one considers when making a decision like this. The idea was to put them all in perspective with what my long term goals were, as opposed to being lured in by what might be a short term win. After …


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Jun 10, 2016 On Our Blog

The 500 Accelerator in a Nutshell

Today’s is the last installment in a series of essays by 500 founder Troy Sultan documenting his journey through the 500 Accelerator, Batch 16. Here Troy shares his closing thoughts on the Accelerator, and his opening thoughts for the considerable “Everything Else” that’s on its way.  To read the rest of the Troy’s posts in this series, scroll to the end of this piece for links. To apply for Batch 18 (deadline June 20, 2016), go here. It was 10pm on a Monday in November, two hours before the application deadline for 500 Startups’ 16th batch. Two months prior we were interviewed and rejected from Batch 15 — for good reason. We were too early. The company was barely a couple months old and wasn’t ready to …


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Jun 2, 2016 On Our Blog

How to Grow a Startup, Marketing Hell Week Edition

Today’s post comes from guest author Lauralynn Stubler, a growth marketer who’s been helping out 500 Startups’ brand new Batch 17 survive our Accelerator program’s (in)famous Marketing Hell Week. Batch 17 Marketing Hell Week is over, but the learnings from our startup resources have just begun…. Today we’re sharing some key takeaways on how to grow a startup from our recent Marketing Hell Week roster of speakers. HOW TO GROW A STARTUP – THE QUICK TIPS “Start with running A/A tests to test your tools.” — Hiten Shah on A/B Testing Click-to-tweet: http://ctt.ec/hK6zd A/A testing is often overlooked but it’s an excellent method of double-checking the effectiveness of your A/B testing software. A/A testing is the tactic of using A/B …


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May 11, 2016 On Our Blog

Brand Marketing is a Growth Hack. Here’s the Recipe

Today’s treat is a guest post from entrepreneur, marketing mastermind, and 500 founder Mat Braddy, founder of ROCK PAMPER SCISSORS and former CMO of Just Eat, a European “unicorn” that went public in April of 2014. No one thinks of billboards and TV ads when we talk about “growth hacking” (we’re way too cool for that sh*t, right?), but in today’s post Mat shares his takeaways on growth fueled by brand.  Mat’s company was a recent participant in 500 London’s latest Distro Dojo, a growth-focused acceleration and investment program that happens several times a year in locations around the world. Shameless plug: Mat is currently raising money for Starlight, a UK organization that helps terminally ill children fulfill a special …


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