Amazing day of outreach today in support of the Governor’s initiative. A lot of people pulling together to advance an important idea. If you were one of them, even in a small way, THANK YOU.

It’s a great start, but will only be as effective as we can sustain the effort, sustain the visibility, and sustain the pressure on our State Representatives to do what’s right for Massachusetts.

PLEASE take 5 minutes to identify and send a message to your representatives. Let’s keep up the pressure on this, and let’s get it done.

Let’s End Massachusetts’ Non-Compete Disadvantage


Governor Patrick will announce an economic development bill today including a measure which will essentially render the non-compete agreement you likely signed with your employer un-enforceable in Massachusetts. California and New York - our frequent partners on the annual Olympic medal stand of US venture capital rankings - made this change years ago, and have been using it to recruit some of the best people from some of our best companies ever since. 

Despite this, powerful forces led by EMC and an army of lawyers are about to rally political and financial support to oppose this change, to essentially defend their right to decide where you can work after you work for them.

Here are the Top 3 reasons you need to take some time to support this change:

  1. Indentured servitude works in Westeros, not in Westboro. Companies have every right to protect their IP with non-disclosure agreements, and their people with non-solicit agreements, neither of which will be effected by this change. The Governor has even proposed adopting the Uniform Trade Secrets Act - as 47 states already have - to strengthen these protections going forward. But employers shouldn’t be able to tell you where you can and can’t work in 2014, especially when they’re not paying you themselves.
  2. Non-competes helped destroy the last generation of great Boston technology companies. There was a time when Silicon Valley vs. 128 was a jump ball. Smart people have argued that the difference in policy related to non-competes impaired labor mobility here, and liberated it there. Efforts to correct the imbalance over the years have failed, in large part because the startup community lacked the clout, critical mass or cojones to stand up for itself. Well times have changed.
  3. Communities of innovation are powered by the natural forces of creative destruction. Smart people develop specialized expertise in big companies that solve big problems. They look around for ways to leverage that expertise, and - if they can’t - they leave to start new ones… creating jobs, capital returns, and a thriving economy in the process. A non-compete law in Massachusetts makes about as much sense as a non-running law in the Serengeti. You end up with a few well-fed lions, and no more gazelles.

Local Starterati including Bijan Sabet, Jeremy Hitchcock, Scott Kirsner, Jeff Bussgang, Dharmesh Shah and others are getting behind this issue in a major way. The New England Venture Capital Association will be leading the charge over the coming weeks, and have set up a campaign page here. If enough of us do that in the next few weeks, this WILL happen.

So take 15 minutes, find and e-mail your State Rep. Then share, like, blog, tweet, and plus the heck out of this post so everyone with a stake in this important issue can be heard.

Screw California, and screw the fat, greying lions in Massachusetts who think they can legislate your loyalty instead of earning it. Let’s rally on this, and get it done once and for all.


So What’s A Marketing “Story?”

I talk a lot about the importance of telling a story in your marketing. But what does that mean, really? What - exactly - IS a “story?”

A story has five things:

  • Setting - The Where, and When.
  • Character - This is Who, the person you’re rooting for or against.
  • Conflict - The struggle at the core of the story, the tandem of outcomes representing success and failure that hold the reader in suspense.
  • Plot - This is What, as in What Happens. Beginning, Middle, Climax, End.
  • Theme - The Why. This is the connection between the story and the reader, what the reader takes away. 

A story ALWAYS has these five things, though one or more can be implied rather than explicitly stated (as the theme almost always is.)

Here’s what Actifio does, as most marketing would explain it:

Actifio is a protection and availability storage platform company that pioneered the industry’s first storage system optimized for managing copies of production data, eliminating redundant silos of IT infrastructure and data management applications. By introducing virtualization into data management, Actifio delivers an application-centric, SLA-driven solution that decouples the management of data from storage, network and server infrastructure and reduces costs by 10X.

Here’s what Actifio does, told as a story:

Actifio liberates your data from the siloed infrastructure that keeps you from advancing your most urgent priorities; liberating you from the excess cost, complexity, and stress of managing cloud-scale application data on infrastructure designed for the client-server era.

Which is more effective at getting you to want to learn more?


Here’s how Eisenhower managed his time. He was a pretty productive guy.


Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.

- Steve Jobs

Source: startupquote

True Detective

Processing why True Detective hit me so hard.

You start with a fantastic story, twisting and turning through decades, well told in every way. At the core of that story is every parent’s nightmare of danger to your children, some lizard brain shit that starts when they’re born and never goes away.

And woven throughout that conflict are two characters navigating a transition we really haven’t seen before; between a young man’s view that getting older is giving up, and an older man’s understanding that it’s also a process of understanding yourself well enough to stop doing the things that hurt you and the people you love.

A fictional story is a lie that reveals the truth. This show is both a great story, and a great truth, a one-two punch that leaves a mark like the one it left on me.



Great packaging makes it so much easier to pay a premium. In any business.


Among human qualities, three stand apart.

Intelligence lets us perceive the truth. Empathy determines the quality of our relationships. Resolve measures the impact of our lives.

The sum of these is Character, the force that bends every life toward its destiny.

Great marketing built down from an understanding of the target, not up from an understanding of the product.


"The resulting campaign was, in true Portland fashion, unconventional. Understanding that young locals prefer to discover things instead of being told what to buy, Helm suggested a subtle campaign focused on billboards. "It had no call to action, no name of the team, no mention of the sport, no URL," says Helm." 


Source: Fast Company

Batman turns 75 on Sunday. Great summary on of why the character is important.

Happy Birthday, Bruce.

The Honey Trees - "Siren"
7,680 plays

Lovely song.

Source: SoundCloud / TeamClermont

"Companies don’t get sold, they get bought. The best way to get bought is to build something of value. That’s hard to do when you are trying to sell."
Brett Martin, Sonar
"You do not have 20% time. Identify your top three priorities. Throw away numbers two and three."
Brett Martin
"A man can fail many times, but he isn’t a failure until he begins to blame somebody else."
John Burroughs