How to read like a writer

When reading for pleasure, readers do not pay close attention to the inner workings of the text. There’s a thing many casual readers fail to see, the most important of which is that every piece of writing has been created with a purpose in mind. Be it a novel, a news article, or a company blog post. Every writer has

Pitching during a pandemic

Today we celebrate John’s new book, Get Funded! and offer a bit of advice on how to get things done in a pandemic. If you’re building a business, you’re going to be pitching. And if you’re pitching today, during COVID, you are going to be pitching virtually. This is classic good news, bad news situation. The good news: VCs and

People love human stories. Tell them one.

What makes your business different than all your competitors’? What makes you special? You might be tempted to simply share data, facts, and figures to draw in customers. However, paradoxically, that’s not the most effective strategy at your disposal. It’s not facts and figures that stay in your consumers’ minds; the human brain is simply not wired that way. The

Invent 10 New Things A Day

Out of ideas? You just haven’t looked. Look around you. What can you fix? Author Ray Bradbury famously wrote a short story a day for decades, resulting in a library of fiction unmatched in modern Sci-Fi. As we’ve said before, the trick to success is constant repetition. But you’re not writing Sci-Fi. You’re building businesses. So, as we said, look

What NaNoWriMo can teach you about writing for your business

Write. Write. Write. That’s lesson one of NaNoWriMo, short for National Novel Writing Month. This creative writing project inspires writers to commit to writing a 50,000-word long manuscript during the month of November. There are just a few things you need when doing NaNoWriMo. An idea, a writing device (a laptop, a phone, or even a good old pen and

Test first, build later

The story goes that when Jony Ive and the team at Apple were building the iPad they used to carry around wooden blocks shaped like each of their designs. They’d tap at them, play with them, pretend to take notes. Each model iPad got them closer to the finished product. The same should be true of anything you try. Building

How to Write 1,000 Words A Day. Really.

Do you want to write a book? A guest post? A white paper? Here’s how. There are two tricks we recommend when founders and other non-regular writers are trying to tackle a big project, be it an essay, a book, or a press release. They are simple and get easier with practice, just like anything. First, talk to yourself. You

Are you ready to pitch your startup?

Whoa, there, founder. Don’t pitch until you’re ready. Most founders can’t wait to tell the world about what they’ve built. But there’s an art to pitching and there’s a time for every pitch. When it comes to pitching, the rule of thumb is that you have to have something the funder or the journalist can try and use. You can’t

How to “write clean”

Writing is hard but “writing clean” helps. Hemingway once wrote that “there is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.” That’s fine if you’re writing The Sun Also Rises, but it doesn’t help if you’re trying to write a memo or a marketing email. Our first bit of advice? Instead of pouring out