Jelani Memory on A Kids Book About, Startup Funding, and Following Your Purpose

A Kids Book About

Jelani Memory started a tech company, raised 30 million in venture capital, and left it at the height of its success to start… a publishing company. We asked Jelani about his startup successes, his new company A Kids Book About, and why going analogue in a digital world is a move worth making. What is your mission behind A Kids Book About? We are on a mission to make kids books that matter. Books that are about all the challenging, empowering, and important topics that kids experience every day. Kids’ lives are complicated, and our mission is to help kids and […]

Your Culture is Killing You

Taped Shut Bronze Angel, 2019
Patina bronze
25 x 16 x 18 inches

If you’ve brushed up against corporate hiring practices lately, you’ve probably encountered the concept of Culture Fit—the idea that you should screen job applicants so that you only hire people whose beliefs and behaviors will integrate smoothly into your organization. It’s true that hiring people who don’t integrate well with your company culture can be highly disruptive. If you bring highly-competitive people into a highly-collaborative environment, or order-takers into an initiative-driven system, the outcome can be as hard on your existing staff as it is on the misfit new hire. However, Culture Fit can also be used as a proxy […]

Six Overlooked Reasons People Are Not Buying from Your Startup

startup slump

With the success of companies like Uber and Slack, it would seem like there is no better time for startups. While this is true in many respects, especially in the Silicon Valley where venture capital is flowing (helping startups to scale quickly), the truth is that most startups are barely able to survive. Having a good product is an essential requirement for the startup to become successful, but not the only requirement. According to a Harvard Business School study, approximately 75 percent of startups with venture funding will eventually fail. Of course, most startups fail because of their incapability to attract […]

Feeling the Goal

sound waves
Fiona Aboud

  I have never really been much of a planner or one to set goals per se; when the inevitable interview question “where do you want to be in five years” was posed to me I truly had no idea how to answer (I’m sure I made something up that sounded good for the circumstance). My perception of goals was they were very specific expectations of what you were meant to achieve by a certain time, like a specific title, or type of car, or 2.5 kids, and that just felt too constraining. What if some new opportunity knocks at your […]

Dear CEO: Your Feel-Good Diversity Initiative is Undermined By Every Other Way You’re Doing Business

05Montalvo119_print

Last week, I sat in huge ballroom full of entrepreneurs and cringed as a white male CEO gave a TED-style talk on how he solved diversity. Yeah, that happened. You see, he has realized his business – oh! also his industry – oh oh! also his city – were too white and too male, and so he co-launched an initiative to place a one person of color as a paid intern at each of several dozen local startups. He had written an editorial on it too (not the kind of searching op-ed that’s designed to explore potential solutions difficult problems; the […]

Putting Crowdfunding in Perspective: Respect Your Audience to Maximize Your Results

Alexander Reben

Funding ain’t easy. Technology makes it seem easy, especially with platforms like Kickstarter, IndieGoGo, and GoFundMe holding the promise of access to new fans with open wallets. Of course, it takes a tipping point of personal contacts funding a project to a certain dollar amount in order to access your yet-unknown audience. Which means outreach to friends, family, and colleagues is a necessary part of the phenomenon that is crowdfunding. Even when your loved ones love to help, there’s a risk of alienating your long-term, loyal audience with a crowdfunding push if it’s founded on a free-money mentality. Free money — […]

October 2018: Digital Life

Alexander Reben

The amount of time you spend on screens is directly related to your level of anxiety. Extensive social media use leads to depression and isolation. At least, that’s what I think someone said they heard from a study that may or may not have been published in a reputable journal and/or website. In a new normal, where all news is fake and all personal truth is fact and everything is searchable and therefore knowable at any time right in the palm of our hands, are we more in tune with ourselves… or less? My current life chapter is based on […]

Human.School: Bringing Humanity to the Workplace

Kristen Gallagher Edify

Kristen Gallagher is an organizational strategies and learning designer. She is the founder and CEO of Edify, a learning strategy consultancy that solves people operations problems for growing companies. Kristen has architected and delivered onboarding programs for companies bringing on everything from 1+ to 100+ people a quarter. Specializing in onboarding systems, manager development, and knowledge management, Edify delivers programs that are designed to evolve and scale with rapid changes. This month, Kristen introduces Human.School, a new kind of HR conference where startups and cutting-edge companies can create their entire onboarding kit in just two days. What is Human.School? Human.School is an event […]

Fabulous at 50 and Beyond: Creating a Revolution

BeFab Revolution

Gretchen Asher created BeFab Revolution after 20+ years as a successful management consultant to Fortune 500 companies. Her goal is to create a revolution where women 50+ are celebrated, admired, and inspired. What is BeFab Revolution? BeFab revolution is an online community of women better than (age) 50 from over 40 countries all around the world. Our online platforms include a Membership website, Facebook groups, and a first-ever Business Directory – all dedicated to inspiring women to celebrate life beyond 50. In one of our social platforms, we are 13,000 women and growing. We are one of the few truly […]

Past Present Podcast: Bonus Episode 4 – The Equifax Hack

Hack

In this episode of Past Present, Neil, Natalia, and Niki debate the Equifax hack. We discussed the Equifax hack in the context of the history of credit. Niki recommended historian Louis Hyman’s book Debtor Nation: The History of America in Red Ink. Natalia commented on the cultural sensitivity of exposing financial information in particular, citing sociologist Rachel Sherman’s book Uneasy Street: The Anxieties of Affluence. Niki cited Hyman’s Wilson Quarterly article on the 1920s precedents for the contemporary political economy. Subscribe to Past Present on iTunes or Stitcher, and follow along on Twitter and Facebook.