Our 5 Favorite Startup Digest Reading List Articles From Last Week

5 hand-picked articles from across the Startup Digest Reading Lists. Sign up to receive great weekly content on various topics from expert curators.


1. Startups Are Everywhere

By Steve Blank

Digest: Customer Development
Curator: Nathan Monk

Steve Blank has discovered SoundCloud and it is a great thing for us he did. Check out his podcasts and information in this episode of ‘Entrepreneurs are Everywhere.’ Read More

More in this reading list: http://eepurl.com/bTTtF5


2. Inside Instacart’s fraught and misguided quest to become the Uber of groceries

By Alison Griswold

Digest: Product
Curators: Sophie-Charlotte Moatti & Reza Ladchartabi

The challenge of on-demand companies to become the next Uber. Read More

More from this reading list: http://eepurl.com/bTSB9X


3. Facebook Messenger now lets you hail a Lyft car

By Andrew J . Hawkins

Digest: Mobile
Curator: Edith Yeung

Lyft is also expanding its API program, in which developers can use Lyft’s application program interface to embed a button in their apps to hail a Lyft car. The announcement is a sign that API integration is quickly becoming yet another space for these two ride-hail giants to compete with each other. Read More

More from this reading list: http://eepurl.com/bTR93b


4. An unforgettable welcome for your new hire

By Jennifer Kim

Digest: Leadership & Resiliency
Curator: Sarah Jane Coffey

Every time a new employee signs their offer, the team at Lever records a personalized welcome gif. Sometimes it is the thought that really counts. Read More

More from this reading list: http://eepurl.com/bTREBP


5. Spend Time with A+ People in Other Industries

By Hunter Walk

Digest: Startup
Curators: Zubin Chagpar & Chris McCann

“From my experience you’ll find that many of them are open to chatting because they’re happy to talk about what they do and want to learn more about technology. So the quid pro quo is that you go to their office, or set up a call, and say ‘Hey, if you’ll give me 20 minutes to talk about what you do, I’ll share some ideas and trends about where tech may be impacting your industry.'” Read More

More from this reading list: http://eepurl.com/bTSSpr


Sign up for these or other Startup Digest reading lists, here.

A Social Media Wish for You

#entrepreneurfail Social Media Genie

My grandmother recently signed up for Facebook.

My niece who is 12 years old, frequents Tumblr.  I recently hung out with a friend and we reminisced about how we first met: on Twitter.  Many people can’t make a home purchase without consulting their stylist: Pinterest. My web developer relies on Instagram and Vine for inspiration.  And finally, I only make a hire when my recruiter, LinkedIn, tells me to.

So if everyone is on social media, how do you choose where to focus marketing efforts? You could spend all your time tackling the large social media sites.  Or you can use this list to help you find niche sites to target a specific market – sites focusing on segments such as from dance enthusiasts to design hobbyists.

If you’re still going after the Facebook crowd, for the large reach and segmentation, here are some some pointers to get you started. Many of the recommendations can be applied to any social media site.


    1. Every post has one of two purposes: Sharing or Generating. Know your goal!
    2. Connect your other accounts to FB and others and cross promote
    3. Add the key words to the user name so it has a better chance of coming up when searching
    4. Put the website URL in your About section
    5. Create an editorial calendar and pre-schedule posts with Hootsuite
    6. Comment and like posts on other pages so others know your page
    7. Integrate your email subscription form into FB page (if you use MailChimp, here is how)


    1. Make the ratio of “selling” to “engaging info” 20%:80%
    2. Make a list of all the problems/challenges your super specific target customer is facing and compose posts accordingly
    3. Create offers only for FB fans (you can find code that hides posts from non-fans)
    4. Use video/infographics/cartoons/other fun and different visuals
    5. Create posts with questions to generate discussion
    6. Leverage calendar events and news events and post related to those
    7. Get personal: Include your photo in the FB profile (if not on the profile photo, somewhere on the photo stream

Though social media can be a huge distraction and often consume hours without any tangible returns, appropriate utilization can help build the targeted branding, recognition, and engagement to establish and grow your venture.

So how you do leverage social media for your business? Is it working in your favor? Let us know in the comments below.

This was originally created by Kriti Vichare for #entrepreneurfail: Startup Success.

Los emprendedores no venden productos, venden historias…

Antes de la proliferación de las redes sociales y de la penetración del Internet, los medios tradicionales de comunicación eran la forma más fácil de mercadear un producto. Un simple anuncio en la televisión o en el radio, con información básica sobre los productos o servicios (dónde, cómo, por qué, y cuánto), era suficiente para captar la atención del público.

Hoy día esto ha cambiado. La saturación de anuncios en Facebook, Twitter, Instagram e inclusive los que se envían por email, han hecho que el consumidor pierda interés y no preste atención a la publicidad tradicional. Los consumidores ya están hartos de tanto anuncio. Piensa en cuanta publicidad dejas de ver en tu Facebook Newsfeed.

Lo importante ahora es contar historias.

business team - conversation

El poder de las empresas reside en producir toda una historia alrededor de sus productos y servicios. Como explica el gran mercadólogo, Seth Godin, en su libro “All Marketers Are Liars”; el inventar y producir ya no son los motores del crecimiento de las compañías. Contar historias auténticas, transparentes, emotivas, empáticas y sobre todo excepcionales, es lo que motiva y atrae la atención del consumidor.

Cuando comenzó The ZFive se sabía que los productos no se iban a vender por si solos o con publicidad tradicional. A pesar de tener un producto de alta calidad, creativo y único en su diseño, sabían que lo que tenían que vender era un estilo de vida que atrajera la atención de nuestros clientes potenciales.


Dedicaron los primeros meses a crear contenido que generara simpatía con los consumidores. Diseñaron imágenes que atraparan la atención de esos consumidores.

¿Cuánto triatleta no se ha perdido en buscar su equipo entre un mar de bicicletas después de salir del agua? Esta imagen nos ayudó a generar tráfico a nuestra página sin vender el producto directamente.

El éxito de The ZFive dependerá de su habilidad para atraer a su mercado potencial y contar historias que capten su atención. Estas mundanidades tan simples con las que nuestros consumidores se identifican, generan interés en la marca. Esto se hace con el fin de incrementar tráfico en la página y vender sus productos.

Cuando quieras vender algo, piensa en quién es tu cliente y fabrica un historia que ellos puedan creer y compartir con su red de amigos. Esto te ayudará a crear una relación con tus clientes potenciales que con el tiempo generará ventas para tu compañía.

Para más herramientas de emprendimiento síguenos en redes sociales, Facebook, Twitter y Linkedin.

Outreach Out of Hand: The Social Media Vortex (Comic)

#entrepreneurfail Outreach Out of Hand


Beware of the gigantic social media time vortex. 

15 tweets, 6 updates and 8 status messages later, you realize your whole day has disappeared! The lure of social media is hard to resist. Instant gratification, constant validation, and the illusion of productivity make the channel irresistible. It’s also so easy! So you can understand why many first-time entrepreneurs, even without a product or customer, turn to the social media first. I was definitely guilty of this: before I had a concrete business idea, a paying customer, or a vision, I created 3 twitter accounts supporting my future business endeavors! What a waste of time, in retrospect.

The irony is that clients and a real business comes from value, trust and relationships, not necessarily “twoots and tweets” on the new social media site of the week. (With so many new social media sites popping up, it’s now even hard to keep track of them!) Reliable business comes from opt-in loyalists who honestly love your business and your value proposition. Of course, don’t ignore social media, but spamming groups asking for likes with irrelevant content doesn’t make a sustainable business. Random fans, friends and followers who are not truly committed your brand will waste your time, and result in low engagement levels. And to spend so much time building a base on a third-party network can be dangerous as you can be a victim to their policies and fate. The popularity of current “hot” social media destination may be history before you even know it.

Nurture your fans instead of aiming for large social media numbers. Create some exclusive content and offers for them and show them some love. And (we’ve all been guilty of this), no need to post when there is nothing useful to say! Your loyal followers will understand. In the long run you’ll have more time to dedicate quality to those real customers who love your work.

Are you guilty of falling into the social media trap? Tell us about it in the comments below…

This post and comic were originally created for #entrepreneurfail: Startup Success