Blog / author: Jonathan Crowder

By Jonathan Crowder on August 18, 2017

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Soon, for the first time in history, every human will have a reasonably powerful computer in their pocket...

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By Jonathan Crowder on August 18, 2017

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It’s not the person you’re advertising to because you wish they’d visit your site since you think your product would be nifty for them...

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By Jonathan Crowder on August 18, 2017

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I’m sure you’ve heard the stories. Those amazing “growth hacking” tall tales where this startup...

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By Jonathan Crowder on August 8, 2017

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Over the months since Choose Energy’s acquisition by Red Ventures, I’ve spent a great deal of time thinking about what worked and what didn’t over the life of the company as we moved toward a successful exit. There’s no shortage of important lessons to be gleaned from my experience as part of that team, and I’m sure they’ll continue to emerge over the months and years to follow — I’m fortunate to have mentors and friends that continue to expand my perspective. But one particular lesson has jumped out at me over the last few weeks: the marginal difference between good and great (or the absolute best) is enormous. As you’ve probably heard Nassim Nicholas Taleb and others discuss, the “80/20 rule” often has an extremely fat head. In other words, in many instances, it’s often a “50/1 rule,” or perhaps an even more extreme distribution. 50% of the total value is created by 1% of the people, decisions, companies, etc. So while the 85th percentile may be good, and the 95% percentile may be quite a bit better… the top 1% of ideas, talent, processes and decisions ultimately are often an order of magnitude better. At least. It’s very easy to merely “satisfy” a business need. The best tools, talent, processes often seem to consume 10, 20 or even 30% more resources or time than something that on the surface looks like it’s almost as good. But, in my experience that’s commonly a trap. The world’s best companies or art are several orders of magnitude more valuable than those that are simply good, and that’s true of people and decisions as well. Look at the profits of the original iPhone vs. it’s contemporaries to get a sample of the difference between good and great. Whether it’s hiring a VP of business development or deciding whether to have the tasting menu at that fancy restaurant rather than just ordering a la carte,...

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