Just a Few #EETN Early Adopter Tix Left & First 4 Speakers Announced


The countdown is on! Have you gotten your tickets to Everywhere Else Tennessee yet? We only have about 12 early adopter tickets left, so don’t miss out on the best price we’ll offer.

Okay now. For our first round of speaker announcements!

scottgerberScott Gerber is the founder of the Young Entrepreneur Council, an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most successful young entrepreneurs,  and author of the book Never Get a “Real” Job. He is also a serial entrepreneur, internationally syndicated columnist, and the host of Founders Forum on Inc.com. Scott has been featured in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Bloomberg, Fortune, TIME, CNN, MSNBC, CNBC, Reuters, Mashable, BBC, NPR, Forbes, The Daily Beast, CBS News, US News & World Report, Fox News, Inc. and Entrepreneur, and has been honored by NASDAQ and the White House. Follow him on Twitter at @scottgerber.



John Hall is the co-founder and CEO of Influence & Co, where he helps companies position key individuals as industry influencers and thought leaders. Their clients range from startups to fast-growing companies on the Inc. 5000, as well as Fortune 500 brands. John writes a weekly column at Forbes and has contributed to sites like Business Insider, Inc., and The Washington Post, and many other reputable publications. He’s also the co-creator of Contributor Weekly, a weekly newsletter for contributors, keeping them up-to-date on tips and trends for writing, publishing, and sharing their content. He loves speaking and sharing my expertise on thought leadership, content marketing, and entrepreneurship.


Think Big Partners

Blake Miller, Partner of Think Big Partners, began his entrepreneurial path as an adolescent. At the age of 14, he had already developed his own web design company, creating web pages for friends and family with local small businesses. Miller attended the University of Kansas, where he studied Marketing and Entrepreneurship, furthering his startup education and fueling his ambitious ideas. Currently, Blake manages many of the technical initiatives at Think Big Partners and is the Managing Director of the Think Big Accelerator.



c.f98.Jake-StutzmanJake Stutzman is the owner and creative director at Elevate LLC in Omaha, Nebraska. Elevate focuses on helping clients create consistent design across the web. Jake has 14+ years of experience in design for both mobile and the web, working with large companies and startups alike.

Everywhere Else is Back and Coming to Tennessee

Memphis Skyline

It’s been months in the making, but we’re finally ready to announce:

Everywhere Else Tennessee is back!

That’s right: 3 days of startup excitement is heading to the historic downtown Memphis April 30th – May 2nd!

From our speakers and our sponsors to our Startup Avenue alumni and all of you, watching the Everywhere Else community grow over the past year has been nothing short of incredible.

You have taught us so much since our inaugural event in Memphis, and with the help of your feedback and support, we know this is going to be our best yet!
We’ve kept all the things that made you fall in love with our Everywhere Else events in the first place, but we know you’re going to love the changes, too.

Don’t fix what’s not broken:

World Class Speakers–At our past events, we’ve had some of the the world’s top entrepreneurs and investors grace our stages and connect with our community including the likes of:

  • Joe Medved, Partner at Softbank Capital
  • Scott Case, Founding CTO of Priceline.com
  • Andrew Warner, Founder of Mixergy
  • Wil Schroter, Founder & CEO of Fundable
  • Dave Knox, Co-founder of The Brandery
  • Bill Harris, Former CEO of Paypal & Intuit
  • and many, many more.

At Everywhere Else Tennessee, you can expect the same caliber of speakers. We’ll be announcing the 25+ speaker line up over the upcoming weeks. Let just say it’s so good, even we’re a little giddy.

Meaningful Connections–The Everywhere Else conferences have always been great places to make real connections with both the community and our speakers. You’ve actually told us this is one of the main reasons our events are so special.
Besides our daily programming, we’re throwing 3 amazing parties, where you’ll be able to connect with other entrepreneurs, investors, and speakers from all over the country.

Affordable–There are a lot of good startup conferences out there. And you’re free to sell your kidney to attend them, too.
Everywhere Else continues to provide the same quality of content and connections, but we’re doing it at a much lower price so we can provide access to entrepreneurs at all stages of the journey.

Beale Street

Where we’re stepping it up:

Southern Flair: I speak from experience when I say there’s nowhere like the South, y’all! We’ll be shining a spotlight on the Memphis startup scene and the entire South throughout the conference.
We’re celebrating the best Memphis has to offer, including trips to some historic Memphis nightlife spots and sweet BBQ, plenty of BBQ.

Quality Over Quantity: Our last two conferences were big! That was lots of fun, but this time around we want to really focus on facilitating quality connections that will help you move the needle.

No more convention centers for us. 409 South Main is in the heart of the historic South Main Art District and right on the trolley line. It’s wood-y and creaky in all the ways old buildings should be. You’re gonna love it!

We’ll only be releasing 400 tickets total this go round (1/3 of what we did last year) and it’s guaranteed to sell out!

Startup Avenue: We’ve had our Startup Avenue before, of course, with over 100 startups participating to date, but in 2014 we’re focusing our efforts on highlighting only the best startups in the country.
Not to say our previous alumni haven’t been amazing. They’ve gone on to raise over a combined $10m this year alone!

Now startups will apply for a table, and we’ll select only the most promising ones to showcase at Everywhere Else Tennessee. Startup Avenue startups will also have the opportunity to pitch our investor panel for a chance to win the title of Heavyweight Startup Champion of Everywhere Else.

Think your startup has what it takes? Check out the full details and apply here!

Your first shot at tickets!

Early adopter tickets are $150, and they’re on sale right now! We had an amazing response from our newsletter subscribers yesterday. These tickets are going fast, and we only have a limited number. Don’t be left out!

Reserve Your Spot Now ->

Don’t worry though if you do miss out. We’re only releasing a few early adopter tickets, but there will be more chances to participate. This is what pricing will look like for our 3 day conference:

  • $150 – limited number of “early adopter” tickets
  • $225 – regular ticket price
  • $300 – “laggards” tickets
  • $400 – day of tickets

Love for our amazing partners

We’ve been very fortunate to have the support of some awesome organizations that truly are the ones that make this possible. We use each and everyone of their services and could not recommend them any higher.

Please help us say thank you by checking each one of them out, sending them a tweet or just saying hi at the conference.

Many more announcements here soon to come!

It’s still not too late for your organization or company to become a partner as well, please shoot Nick a quick email at Nick@nibletz.com for more details.


CB Insights: Silicon Valley Is The Only Relevant Market For Venture Capital

VCstory2Top research firm CB Insights released some very relevant and interesting data last week. The firm has been diving into their VC data to better understand fund performance and syndicate. In what they call one of their “more polarizing” briefs, they revealed that even today Silicon Valley is the most relevant market for venture capital. Silicon Valley is still producing the most exits.

Their latest data, measuring deal flow across the country, Silicon Valley still represents 52% of VC backed exits, leaving “everywhere else” with an improved, but still less, 48%.

VC, Silicon Valley, Everywhere Else, Rise Of The Rest, Everywhere Else Conference

When purely looking at the value of exits, Silicon Valley is still far ahead of everywhere else. When CB Insights analyzed the valuation of the top 50 exits in the country Silicon Valley companies accounted for 86% to the top aggregate exit valuations of those top 50 exits. In 2012 Facebook’s IPO accounted for a tremendous chunk of the 86% but once removed Silicon Valley still accounts for 54% of the aggregate exit valuations.

New York, Southern California, Massachusetts and Illinois trail behind Silicon Valley.

There are even investors who believe that New York is a waste of time.

CB Insights reports that at a recent dinner in NY hosted by Silicon Valley firm Lowenstein Sandler one VC said “New York is an irrelevant market for us as a venture capital firm. They went on to say that from the investor’s perspective allocating his firm,s time to New York or any other market outside of Silicon Valley was a waste of time.

But there’s hope.

Late last month AOL founder Steve Case announced that his Revolution Venture Fund had raised $200 million dollars that they were specifically going to use to back companies everywhere else. Case’s big mantra is “Rise of the rest,” and that is exactly what’s going on now.

There have always been investors and startups everywhere else. One of the fundamental problems we’ve found since launching Nibletz and the Everywhere Else conferences is that entrepreneurs and investors exist everywhere. The problem lies in the fact that the entrepreneurs believe that it’s best to move to Silicon Valley or in some regards New York City to grow their company. At the same time the investors either don’t know that there are good deals in their own neighborhoods or it’s just flashier to find an investment in a larger city or participate in rounds with Silicon Valley.

Investors like Mercury Fund’s Blair Garrou, Dundee Venture Capital’s Mark Hasebroock, and Drive Capital’s Mark Kvamme all see the value in finding startups worth investing in everywhere else, thus contributing to the rise of the rest. These investors are not alone. At our recent Everywhere Else Cincinnati conference, we had over 40 investors from across the country that represented over $1 billion dollars in deals across Everywhere Else. (Note we still consider New York Everywhere Else and obviously many others do too.)

Events like Big Omaha, Big KC, UpGlobal’s startup summit, and the Everywhere Else Conference Series all unite entrepreneurs from everywhere else to continue developing their own market.

The notion that innovation only happens in Silicon Valley is quite ridiculous. Cars were invented in Detroit. Air planes were invented in North Carolina (some may dispute that). The overnight package was invented in Memphis, Tennessee. In the overall landscape of things, everywhere else far outweighs the rest of the country as far as large corporations being founded and continuing to produce.

Rob Woodbridge and The May-Boss-Weil Continuum of Mobile Apps

Rob Woodbridge Everywhere else cincinnati

Rob Woodbridge gave an interesting talk during Everywhere Else Cincinnati. “The Top 4 Mobile Business Models and how to Optimize Them for Revenue” was a title that may seem bland and boring. So many times at conferences you see sessions entitled things like, “SEO for eCommerce,” or “Optimize Your Facebook page for Conversions,” or “The Perfect Investor Pitch,” or some such thing. More often that not, these are the sessions that attendees leave after 5-10 minutes out of boredom. However, this session ended up being one of the most enjoyable of the conference.

Rob Woodbridge Everywhere else cincinnati

In the first, of what actually proved to be many, sessions that required audience participation, Woodbridge called four audience members to the stage – interestingly one of the participants was Jared Steffes who spoke the following day. Woodbridge lined the four up on the stage, three on one end and one on the other and Woodbridge in the middle (Not sure how I did not get a picture of the formation, but @_everywhereelse got a pretty good one here). This formation represented what Woodbridge dubbed the May-Boss-Weil continuum of mobile apps.

May-Boss-Weil Continuum

Woodbridge’s continuum is a really good way to think about the life-cycle of mobile apps. There are more than 1.7 billion applications available in the various app stores and with the average number of apps per smartphone at 41. Woodbridge argued that the great majority of these apps are crap. But, some really useful applications live on forever.


The May of the continuum represented the Mayfly. The Mayfly has the shortest lifespan of any animal on the planet, lasting from one to three days. This section of the continuum contains the majority of mobile applications, and was represented with the three audience members. This end is were the one-off apps live: the fart noise makers and the knock offs of Angry Birds.


The Weil in the continuum is named for Ray Kurzweil, Director of Engineering at Google who argues that in the near future, technology will enable humans to live indefinitely. This end of the continuum is where the Google Maps and Twitters and Evernotes live, possibly forever.


Rob Woodbridge Everywhere Else Cincinnati

The Boss is named for the Boss himself, Bruce Springsteen. The Boss sits right in the middle because, as Woodbrige put it, he is not really retired and he is not really going 100% anymore; he is neither too old, or too young, just the Boss. Woodbridge argued that this is the part of the continuum that application developers should shoot for.

The continuum holds because, Woodbridge went on, application developers are chasing the almighty download. This is a losing strategy, and there are many other metrics that are a much better indicator of quality than downloads; namely average monthly/weekly/daily usage. According to Woodbridge, “Chasing downloads is chasing death.” Rather, the best approach is to build something that is great, and monetize in one of the four ways outlined in Woodbridge’s discussion:

1. Brand Reinforcement

This strategy really only applies to established companies and works best for physical products. Woodbridge brought up the examples of the Krispy Kreme and Stella Artois applications. The Krispy Kreme app lets users know when they are close to a store and will notify the user when the donuts are “Hot Now.” The Stella application allows users to find close bars that serve Stella and sort by various filters such as distance and rating. This value-add approach is a great way for established brands to engage mobile.

2. Freemium

For the freemium approach to work, you must build a really awesome product that people use. Evernote is the best example of a freemium application. The success of Evernote particularly, and the freemium model more broadly, lies in the usefulness of a product. The oft-quoted remark from Evernote’s CEO Phil Libin speaks to this: “The easiest way to get 1 million people paying is to get 1 billion people using.” Build something awesome, and people will pay for an upgrade.

3. Premium

This one is fairly simple, just charge for the app. Be it $.99 or $999.99, charging an upfront fee is a simple way to monetize an application.

4. Data

This is a unique approach. Woodbridge brought up the example of Ubiqui Health. Prior to launching any product, Ubiqui surveyed doctors and patients about health issues, particularly which issues with a real lack of information and data available. It soon became clear that there was a real lack of data around migraines. Thus, they built a migraine tracking application and sold the data to pharmacies and doctors. There are plenty of ways to employ this approach, but it takes some creative thinking.

While, certainly, there are many different avenues through which to monetize a mobile application, the four highlighted by Woodbridge offer the greatest chance at success. Woodbridge finished on a note that we can all agree to, “Banner ads fu*king suck!”

Andrew Thompson is the Managing Editor of TechFaster


Softbank’s Joe Medved: Diligence Is For Entrepreneurs Too

Joe Medved, Softbank Capital, Investor, Startup, Everywhere Else Cincinnati
The national VC investors and angels who spoke at Everywhere Else Cincinnati loved the concept of talking to and educating entrepreneurs from everywhere else. In the months leading up to Everywhere Else Cincinnati, we fielded a lot of emails from investors asking about pitch contests and deal flow. Joe Medved joined Blair Garrou (Mercury Fund), Mark Hasebroock (Dundee Venture Capital), Mark Richey (West Capital Advisors/Draper), and Bob Coy (Cincy Tech) on the stage at one point or another during the conference to help educate early stage startups and entrepreneurs. The general consensus was if entrepreneurs are more in tune with the investor community, a lot of time will be saved.

Medved took that idea to the extreme by cramming down probably an entire college course worth of entrepreneurial content into a 30 minute talk and equally robust slides.

Our Managing Editor Monica Selby already covered the truth about getting VC attention, almost immediately after Medved left the stage.

Medved’s presentation was filled with important information. Equally as important as getting VC attention is the fact that due diligence is just as important for the startup as it is for the investor. Too many times startups are so excited about getting a “yes,” they are willing to take money from anyone.

Entrepreneurs need to make sure that the investor is the right fit for their startup. Does the startup see eye to eye with the investor? Does the investor bring value to the startup outside of just money? Taking on an investor is a partnership almost like a marriage. Just as a marriage, it may take a while to get into but it’s a lot harder to get out of. In that respect it’s even harder to get an investor out than it is to get divorced.

Medved offers these tips for doing due diligence on your investors:

  • References! Speak to entrepreneurs the investor has backed before, including those who have crushed it and been crushed.
    – Is there healthy engagement with the investor? And their team?
    – Where can they help & what types of board members complement them?
  • Leverage their network for customer references
    – On top of your existing customer references, ask to pitch your business to potential customers in their network
  • Follow on investments
    – If they’ll follow, how frequently do they?
    – How much would they reserve?
  • If you’re working with a fund what is their capital health
    – What percentage of their fund is invested and reserved
    – If they’re raising soon, is your individual lead in good standing?

All of these points are very important to a startup. As painful as it may be for your pocketbook or bank account or even your startup, if the answers to these questions aren’t comfortable for your team, product and startup you may need to look for another investor.

Follow Joe Medved on Twitter @joevc

Check out more coverage from Everywhere Else Cincinnati here.


A Startup Walks Into A Bar And Orders…


Six decade old advertising agency archer>malmo gave an amazing discussion at SXSW 2013 called “When Bad Names Happen to Good Startups.” It was a candid look at naming mistakes startups make. While sometimes names are an afterthought based on a url’s availability, the folks at archer>malmo and their investment arm  a>m ventures, preach the importance of a name because it’s the foundation of your brand.

Patrick Woods, a>m ventures Managing Director, says “say nodaddy to godaddy” referring to the practice of naming a startup for a URL. That was just the beginning of an amazing presentation at our Everywhere Else Cincinnati conference earlier this week.  What transpired after a brief introduction had the entire audience talking for the rest of the conference. In fact, shortly after the discussion The Cincinnati Business Courier’s Andy Brownfield was so blown away he posted this story.

So the story goes like this: archer>malmo’s Senior Copy Writer Justin Dobbs is a close friend of Woods. “He’s one of the most creative guys I know,” Woods told the audience. So it was a feeling of shock, or possibly being blown off when Woods was recently looking for a gift to get a male friend for his birthday. He figured he would turn to Dobbs’ creative edge to help him come up with something truly amazing. Dobbs’ suggestion? A bar of soap. But not just any soap,

Dobbs suggested a bar of Duke Cannon. Now Duke Cannon is a man’s soap. Its brand isn’t just a brand; it has a personality. Brand is bold, and masculine and their branding is something Woods was successful in driving home.

Their website and brand image is filled with personality. “Tested by soldiers, made in the USA” is one of the rotating graphics that dons the companies web page. “Veggie Burger’s Don’t Mind If I Don’t” is another.

“Duke Cannon doesn’t dine with vegans and he could give a damn about your iPad,” it says on the company’s about page.

Duke Canon’s personality is that of a man, a man’s man. If he walked into a bar he would undoubtedly order something hard.

That’s one question Wood’s asked the audience at Everywhere Else Cincinnati. “What would your startup order at a bar?” “What would your startup order to eat?” was another.

Woods said startups that use simple descriptors may have found the perfect way to tell what their startup does, but they’re so simple that they are insulting to users.

Duke Cannon has a brand voice and startups need one too. “Startups almost feel like they need to sound like a startup. Don’t try to sound like a startup,” Woods said to the audience.

“When you develop a strong personality, you start moving your startup from a product to a brand,” Woods told Brownfield. “Personality is what your brand says when you’re no longer speaking.”

Nibletz would order a Redbull and Vodka and pizza.

Find out more about a>m ventures here.


Jeff Hoffman: 10 Tips For Entrepreneurs I Learned Along The Way: Lessons From Everywhere Else Cincinnati

Jeff Hoffman, Priceline, Venture Camp, startup tips, Everywhere Else Cincinnati
Monday afternoon Priceline and Ubid founder Jeff Hoffman took the stage. For decades Hoffman, an entrepreneur his entire life, has spoken to big corporate CEO’s, sales forces, and countless others in the business world. Over the past two years, when we hear “startup conference” and “Priceline fuonder,” it’s been Scott Case, the founding CTO of Priceline and the founding CEO of Startup America. Case drives home excellent points about startup communities.

After spending most of his career creating business plans (successful ones at that), Hoffman has now turned to building entrepreneurs. He is a founder of Venture Camp, a reality show and accelerator that had it’s inaugural session in an Indianapolis mansion. After the success of the first cohort on film and with their companies, Hoffman is looking to expand the program.

Hoffman told the story of his entrepreneurial journey to the audience at Everywhere Else Cincinnati. He started out as an entrepreneur not because he wanted to make huge amounts of money but because he wanted to at least attempt to fix broke things he came across.

“I set out… to deal with problems that no one is fixing,” Hoffman told the crowd at the Duke Energy Convention Center in Cincinnati.

Although uBid and Priceline have been wildly successful Hoffman said “big companies don’t just appear. Even Priceline was a small startup”.

Hoffman then started in on his 10 points of entrepreneurship:

1. Find Your Purpose– People who are focused on purpose far exceed the people who focus on money. Find the purpose that drives you. To illustrate this example, Hoffman told the story of an employee he had named Chris whose purpose was to get his family out of a trailer and into a real house and nothing was going to stop him.

2. Work Backwards from your goal. Set your goal and work backwards. Set your goals and then find out each step to get there, and then do them.

3. Get engaged in the world around you. Sit next to someone you don’t know. The more engaged you are, the more ideas you come across. “I’m amazed with the network I built because I was just out somewhere doing something,” Hoffman said.

4. Solve a real problem.

5. Win a gold medal at one thing– Find something, and tune out everything else.  Hoffman explains that many entrepreneurs don’t like this because they worry about the next idea. He then explained that the people that get to work on their next ideas are the ones who won a gold medal on their first idea. He turned to Amazon founder Jeff Bezos as an example: “Bezos always wanted to sell everything, but he became so damn good at selling books, the best damn book seller in the world and with that gold medal built out Amazon. People trusted him on their book sales experience; now they’ll buy anything from him”. Gold Medal= credibility

6.Build a great team- Hire someone smarter than you. “Don’t you want to be the manager with 7 people on the all star team, not the one who has a shitty team because you didn’t want players better than you?” Hoffman asked. Hoffman added that he told his Priceline team once that they could completely change industries on one Friday morning, and they would still win.

7. Get out of your office. The best companies build their product for customers. When Hoffman has a good idea he grabs his car keys to go out and find someone with a wallet who likes the idea.

8. Launch Something- MVP doesn’t mean put a crap product out there. If you go too lean, you’re putting your reputation on the line. “I remember you. You’re Jeff, the crap guy.” Don’t over do the lean thing just to rush something out there. Do two functions of your five function product and crush them. Lean is like throwing shit to the wall.

9. Find a mentor.

10. Work Hard.. success is no secret, work hard. – Hoffman saved his best personal story for last. He’s good personal friends with Evander Holyfield. One day he was visiting with Holyfield who was finishing a workout and Hoffman was spotting him. Holyfield was doing an extremely difficult exercise that he does 300 times a day. Hoffman was counting with Holyfield and then apparently lost count at 299 or 300. Holyfield needed his friend to be absolutely certain whether it was 299 or 300. When Hoffman wasn’t sure Holyfield went down one more time and did the exercise again.

When Hoffman asked Holyfield why he did that, the heavy weight champion told him “The difference between 299 and 300 is the difference between heavyweight champion of the world and just another boxer.”

Needless to say Hoffman does 300 every single time.


Cincinnati Startup Modulus Wins Everywhere Else Cincinnati 2013 Startup Champion

Modulus, Startup News, Everywhere Else Cincinnati, Startup ContestModulus founder Charlie Key wasn’t looking to win a startup pitch contest when he signed up for this week’s Everywhere Else Cincinnati conference. Key is very active in the local Cincinnati startup community and likes attending startup events. The Modulus team ended up leaving the event with the big ass trophy.

Startups in the Startup Avenue at Everywhere Else Cincinnati participated in the CincyTech, and Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber Startup Poker Run. Over 50 investors and VIP’s at the conference were given five poker chips on Monday morning when they checked in. From 1:00pm-5:00pm that afternoon the investor group was told to check out all of the startups and hand out their chips to the startup they thought was the best. At the end of the afternoon the 5 startups with the most chips got to pitch to the crowd and to a group of judges.

West Capital’s Mark Richey, Draper Triangle’s Will Indest, a>m ventures Patrick Woods and Cincy Tech’s Avi Ram served as the contests judges.

The five finalists were:

Energy Harvesters- a Boston based startup that uses kinetic energy built up through walking and footwear to charge cell phones.

Kids360 a Memphis based startup that helps parents have  a better piece of mind in emergency situations while their children are in the care of others.

Tixers- a ticketing platform aimed at season ticket holders and others that eliminates the risk of tickets not selling on Craigslist or StubHub.

Spacefinity- a Pittsburgh startup in the sharing community that allows people to rent space in their homes, sheds, garages, basements and other areas for others to store their stuff (AirBnb for storage).

Modulus– a scalable application platform for developers that offers node.js hosting, MongoDB and performance analytics in the cloud, based in Cincinnati.

All fives startups made engaging 3 minute pitches and then were put through a 3 minute Q&A session with the judges.

Modulus was the judges’ favorite with Tixer in 2nd place. Modulus was crowned the Everywhere Else Cincinnati 2013 Startup Champion. They received a huge trophy, bragging rights, and startup services including a branding consultation with archer>malmo (a>m ventures) and an investor meeting with Cincy Tech.

Key was surprised that their team had won, and they quickly took their trophy back to the office and shared it with their social networks.

Find out more about Modulus here. 


8 Mandates To Finding Your Meaning From Elevate’s Jake Stutzman At Everywhere Else Cincinnati

Jake Stutzman, Elevate, Startup, Startup Tips, Everywhere Else Cincinnati

At most startup conferences, there’s a speaker or two who makes everyone get up from the chairs and do something, get the blood flowing, meet new people–you know orchestrating meaningful collisions. That speaker at Everywhere Else Cincinnati didn’t come until Tuesday afternoon when Jake Stutzman the founder of Omaha’s Elevate took the stage.

Stutzman, whose firm spearheaded the “experience” part for Everywhere Else Cincinnati, wanted to make sure that the attendees in the room were doing what they were supposed to. After testing moving the group closer to the front and closing the gaps, he tested the audience participation and moved on with explaining 8 mandates to finding your meaning as part of his discussion, “Find The Meaning Find The Money”.

The eye opening talk led off with Stutzman throwing some basic words on the screen and asking the audience to say what brands those words represented in their minds. For instance when he put the word “coffee” on the screen the crowd quickly blurted out Starbucks. For computer, most said “Apple”, and for the word “Phone” most shouted out iPhone, although one person went retro yelling out “Motorola Razor”.

While most of the brands said here made the list of the “World’s Most Valuable Brands”, they are extremely valuable because they own the category in people’s minds. How does a product go beyond just a product and become that category owning brand? Stutzman mapped it out clearly with these 8 mandates. “Usefulness only lasts until something better comes along,” Stutzman told the crowd. Need an example of that, just look at Blackberry.

These 8 important mandates are:

1. Know Yourself

2. Know Your Audience. Who’s your audience? Is there an audience for your product? How do you engage that audience?

3. Know Your Competitor and your category. Do a competitive audit, and know what your competitor does

4. Be Different.

5. Cast a Vision

6. Make it accessible, have brand identity, create memorable experiences and make sure your brand is infused in everything

7. Be Consistent. Consistency is the key to all of this. “It’s the difference between a chaotic brand and a charismatic brand,” Stutzman said.

8. Empower brand champions, find those champions for your brand those people that are extremely loyal and give them the tools to help grow your brand. These brand champions will work for you because you want to.

Nick and I got to experience all of this first hand starting with a two day workshop at Elevate’s Omaha, Nebraska office. There the Elevate team asked us hard questions about exactly what we wanted to do, who attended our conferences, who read our website, who shares our content. Who do we want to come and what do we want them to do? This is why Elevate is so much more than a design firm.

Elevate helped our brand appeal to multiple senses. Visually how was everything going to look? How were we going to direct people and what were they going to do on site?

Moving into 2014 we will have three conferences and continue to work with Elevate, who will help us make sure we continue to drive home these mandates.

Find out more about Elevate at elevate.co


To Grow A Startup, Grow as an Individual

ee Cinci

Of all the speakers at Everywhere Else Cincinnati, none embody the Everywhere Else mentality more than John T.Meyer, the Founder of Lemon.ly – a startup that builds awesome infographics. Meyer and Lemon.ly are based in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, the state’s largest city with a population just north of 159 thousand. “Everywhere Else” personified.

John Meyer Lemon.ly Meyer’s talk, entitled “Don’t be Everyone Else at Everywhere Else,” outlined a more internal, individualized approach to building a startup. Rather than focusing blindly on bettering and building the company itself, Meyer argued, an early-stage founder is better served by expending an equal amount of time and energy in bettering his or herself. Or, essentially, a founder should grow as a person to grow the company.  Meyer went on to outline 7 points, in the form of quotes, that speak to this approach:

Execute on being you

-Gary Vaynerchuk

Essentially, in the context of Meyer’s discussion, this means that a founder should play to his or her strengths. If you know sales, sell. If you code, code. Conversely, if you know marketing, don’t code, and so on. Play to your strengths.

When human judgement and big data intersect there are some funny things that happen.

– Nate Silver

While tracking big data and various metrics is a familiar undertaking for founders, Meyer brought this up in the context of individual, daily life; i.e. tracking the quantified self with a Fit Bit or some such device. It goes back to knowing and executing on yourself.

It is not enough to be busy. The question is: What are we busy about?

– Henry David Thoreau

Meyer argued that everyone is busy, but a founder must prioritize, and eliminate to the extent it is possible, lesser tasks and focus on the larger goals. A sort-of task triage if you will.

The difference between successful people and very successful people is that very successful people say ‘no’ to almost everything.

– Warren Buffett

This Buffet quote speaks to the Thoreau quote above. It is not enough to simply prioritize your tasks as a founder, you must learn which of those to reject. This is a very less = more approach.

Everyone has highs and lows that they have to learn from, but every morning I start off with a good head on my shoulders, saying to myself ‘it’s going to be a good day.’

– Lindsay Lohan

Meyer used this quote, jokingly, to argue for the use of an alarm clock, as opposed to setting an alarm on a phone. More-or-less, Meyers argued, once you come in contact with your cell phone, it instantly compartmentalizes your brain into ten or more different sections, and you are completely unable to focus on the task at hand. You would be better served to go “phoneless” for the first few minutes or hour of your day.

I don’t know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody.

– Bill Cosby

This gets back to saying ‘no’ and focusing on what you are doing. It is important to focus on what you are building and make it really good at what it does. Don’t expand the problem you are solving into sub-problems. Fix it, fix it real good.

If you really want to know where your destiny lies, look at where you apply your time

– Mark Cuban

A fitting end to the talk. Look at what you love doing, and go do it.

Essentially, Meyers talk boiled down to combining two aspects that are usually presented as dichotomy; the self and the company. Rather than treating the two as sort-or exclusive of one another, both should grow in tandem. To grow as a company, it is important to grow as an individual.

Andrew Thompson is the Managing Editor of TechFaster.


Andrew Warner Helps Entrepreneurs Counter Their Inner Insecurities


Andrew Warner, CEO of Mixergy, regularly interviews the best entrepreneurs in the world to learn about their tactics and experience. He knows about founders.

Entrepreneurs feel the resistance.

PUSH BACK ON THE RESISTANCE, was the message from Andrew. While building his greeting card and invite company, he convinced a partner to sell ads until by writing him a check for a refund if the partner was not satisfied. It worked. The partner was on board, despite initial resistance.

Resisting external forces is very different from resisting internal forces. Warner launched the invite site, but did not reach out to users because his internal voice, or counter mind, told him to keep working and building. Even his wife used another site instead of his software for invites. After he failed, Warner set out to learn from other entrepreneurs and never fail again, thus Mixergy was born.

Today, Andrew is pushing to reduce the counter mind–the negative thoughts–and strengthen your true mind.

Andrew realized that people have insecurities and needed a better way to address these counter minds. His big tips:

1. Pick one issue that triggers your negative chatter. This is that internal voice that kicks into your head

2. Listen to the counter mind. It loses power when you listen to that voice.

3. Ask questions about the counter mind statement? (is it true, does it matter). Challenge the voice and then assess the merit of the statement.

Most tweetable quote from his speech? “No one became great without sucking.”

Warner’s message is that connecting with the “true mind” instead of unnecessary negative thoughts will allow you more freedom to enjoy your work and success.