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Keeping End Users in Mind

Over some banana infused alcohol (don’t know the name but it was amazing) and Japanese food with my friend and hair stylist Jacob, I asked him how he knew what hairstyle to give each person. His answer: it’s all about the client.

When he cuts hair, he asks himself a number of questions:

  • Is this low-maintenance?
    If it’s high-maintenance, the client will be upset once they leave and realize how much work it is to take care of their hair with this new style.
  • Is this right for the season?
    Jacob thinks about each season – the weather, the clothes a user will wear, etc. – and then cuts and styles accordingly.
  • Is this trendy and modern, but not editorial?
    People often show him images in magazines. The problem with these hairstyles is that they aren’t good for everyday use. Jacob thinks about how to get the essence of these hairstyles while maintaining its practicality.
  • Is this wearable?
    Does this haircut fit the person’s face and bone structure?

Thoughts on the Future of User Interfaces


A conversation with my friend Ryan about business turned into a conversation about the future of interfaces. Which is a topic I’ve been writing and talking about because I’m very bullish over the next five years of voice as the future an interface.

Over our dinner, Ryan brought up a good point: the role of beacons. I loop beacons and sensors together because I ask myself, “How do I detect?” A beacon or a sensor detects some action happening and therefore we can use that as a trigger to do something else.

Ryan is working on a personal app for the home and asked how I would automate my home. Personally, I think it would be done with a mixture of beacons/sensors and voice. I’m not sure everything can be done with one or the other.

Even if it could be done with only one, which would be the best interface?

For example, if my fridge has no more milk- I wouldn’t want to voice activate and say, “Order some more milk.” I just want to order milk pos it’s own by knowing I’m out of milk.

Retaining Clients in a Service Business


If you prefer video, you can watch the video above. Otherwise, read below. But the content is largely the same.

Last month Jacob was cutting my hair (with the help of his little pink razor) and I decided to record the conversation. The past few times I’ve gotten my hair cut we’ve talked about business. Specifically, we’ve been talking about ways for him to grow his client base. I thought maybe some other people might find this conversation useful as well, so decided to release both a video and blog summary.

Quick backstory on Jacob. I love this guy. He came to the U.S. six years ago from Seoul, South Korea, not knowing a word of English. He took classes and practiced by talking to people. What’s so impressive to me is that he did this all while working as a hair stylist. He proves that if you actually want to do something, you have no excuse. When I first met him five years ago we couldn’t communicate that much. But I knew how good he was and how much he cared about his craft.

Be Preventative vs. Reactive

A good entrepreneur must be able to react when fires come up.

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Any successful entrepreneur has had to make a decision that, if dealt with incorrectly, could leave their company in a very bad position. It’s a very fine line. How you react can be the difference between success and failure in a given situation. You may think I’m over exaggerating but it’s true. Anyone who has started their own company will know exactly what I’m talking about.

Now, it’s typically not one single moment that makes or break something, but rather a culmination of moments. And along those moments, some are more vital than others. The decisions you make along the course of those moments, especially the larger ones, is what can and will really make the difference between success and failure. Great entrepreneurs are the best at reacting. You have to be able to flip a switch when a problem comes up and deal with it when no one else can.

As the head of a company, you are the last person in the line of defense.

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