Month: September 2014

Only 17% of consumers are satisfied using phone self-service systems to make a purchase and only 22% are satisfied when calling to get service. Such low satisfaction rates present a big opportunity to improve the customer experience, call center efficiency, and overall sales rates.

http://www.invoca.com/blog/9-tips-optimize-caller-experience-increase-sales

Great post from our friends at Invoca. We’re excited for Klink to compliment them in the space by bringing unique insights and data to the calls you have on your mobile and desk phones.

It’s tempting to take the quick wins early on. But there’s nothing sweeter than winning that first true, unaffiliated deal. It took us 15 months. Yes, 15 months. The rigor and measurement they put us through made us go back to the drawing board again and again, but because of that, our technology works better, and each deal after that was easier to win.

Excellent article by the CEO of LatticeEngines about the importance of finding early customers outside of the Valley, helping to validate your product using more “real world” users (i.e. not early adopters).

http://venturebeat.com/2014/09/28/why-its-critical-to-find-early-customers-outside-of-silicon-valley/

In some respects, it’s a little like taking the red pill and getting ejected from the Matrix. Everything you do in a startup makes a difference. No longer are you surrounded by a safety blanket world where you’re a small cog in a large machine.

“5 Reasons You Should Work At A Startup At Least Once” via TechCrunch.

I don’t see working at an early-stage technology company as “better” than working at a big company, but it is definitely very different.

One of my favorite parts (besides working so close to the product) is being able to shape the culture at a very fundamental level. Early in Klink’s life I ran a Team Values workshop to create our ten “Leadership Principles”. It was wonderful (and scary) to create our values from scratch.

High performers hold themselves and others accountable not only for results but the methods to achieve those results. The end does not necessarily justify the means with these people.

If you have a big meeting coming where you need to impress, it might be worth your while to spend a couple of minutes practicing power postures beforehand. OK, it’ll probably feel pretty silly, but science says it will boost your confidence

“Power Poses” via Inc.com

I’m a big fan of power poses and usually do a few of them before major speaking events or critical meetings with execs. You every try them?

The Salesforce formula only works when your marketplace offers a clear, unobstructed glide path. When the market dictates that you navigate around “The Big Four” — Google, Amazon, Microsoft and Apple — in a commoditized market, you must adopt a radically different approach.

“It’s the end of the road for freemium cloud services” via VentureBeat

This analysis can be mapped to any industry where this a dominant set of companies. As Klink expands to work with strategic partners in the PBX space, I see a similar situation in the UCaaS (unified communication as a service) space as the author does with basic cloud storage. Instead of using a strictly freemium model, Klink is focused on providing clear, demonstrable value over a set of workflows that will make us both valuable to individual users and incredibly sticky within an organization.

In the early days of LearnVest, von Tobel put everything involving her business before her own health and needs. A lifestyle that’s based on little sleep, long workdays of drinking nothing but coffee, and forgetting to squeeze in doctors visits obviously isn’t sustainable for the long term. Now that von Tobel has been running a business for four years, she says she goes to the gym almost everyday and stays healthy.

“Advice for startups from LearnVest founder Alex Tobel” via Business Insider.

Maintaining a healthy and somewhat-balanced lifestyle while working at an early-stage company is hard. I use my calendar to make sure I block off time for crossfit, date nights, and spending time with my family. It never feels like enough time, but by regularly blocking off time and only cancelling if it’s absolutely necessary, I find I can maintain the energy needed to put in the time at the office.

Stints of standing while working may reduce back pain

8+ years without a chair in my office and loving it. The first six months are the hardest (read = tiring), but after that it’s such a welcomed break to sitting in meetings.

Stints of standing while working may reduce back pain

10 Signs You Have (Or Are) A Great Boss

I still remember many of the lessons my first manager at Microsoft, Aaron, taught me during our first tour of duty together in Office. The one I remember the most? Having him stop by on a casual “drive by” during the day to say thanks for something small, like a successful meeting, a solid email, or kudos for helping out a co-worker.  

Never underestimate the power of simply saying “Thanks, nice work.”

10 Signs You Have (Or Are) A Great Boss