I'm Nick, Co-founder of Shogun, a Y-Combinator alumni, and an occasional investor and mentor to startups. Before I moved into tech, I worked with a lot of tech clients as Managing Director and Co-founder of creative agency Glass + Marker. In another life, I was a data guy at Forrester Research.
I like helping startups solve problems with user research, product development, and growth strategies. Here is some of my work:
That time I moved to Thailand...
Funny story, I spent about a year in Southeast Asia advising local startups, venture capitalists, and tech accelerators. A big part of that was working with startup studio Santora Nakama, and creating and co-directing a 4 week "Pre Accelerator" program with HUBBA Coworking. The program covers market validation, MVP development, growth strategies, and data analysis.
As I part of my advisory work, I spoke at events and I wrote a lot of "How To" guides, playbooks, frameworks, and detailed strategies of how to execute on early stage startups. My articles have been published in both English and Thai as a contributor to Techsauce. But the best place to check them out is through my Medium account:
With my cofounders, I started and ran Glass & Marker, a creative agency focused on making video for the coolest companies in tech. As Managing Director, my day to day job was generally running the business side of the agency, including: strategy, sales, talent acquisition, management, legal, finance, and making coffee for the creatives ;)
My role focused on networking my way to amazing companies and startups, and winning them as clients. I established relationships with VC, accelerators, incubators, and other entities that attract successful startups, and partnered with other agencies, PR firms, and media companies to collaborate on marketing campaigns. Here are a few of the companies I built relationships with through Glass & Marker:
Making video is an incredibly fun line of work, and I'm grateful to have had the opportunity to executive produce these videos for our clients. Although I was the "business guy" of the 3 partners, I had the pleasure of chiming in on idea generation, copywriting, and art direction from time to time. Here are a few samples of Glass & Marker client work:
Before I started Glass & Marker, I was a Data Advisor at Forrester Research, playing around with their consumer "Technographics" data. I helped media clients and marketing agencies with the quantitative side of marketing campaigns, new business pitches, and overall strategy.
My research was focused primarily on technology disruption in the media industry, and I co-authored these reports with Anjali Lai, Reineke Reitsma, and Gina Fleming:
I'm a pretty talkative guy, and here are my 3 favorite business topics:
1 ) How to validate an idea, build an MVP, and launch immediately. I spent about a year "hacking" on ideas with a group of really awesome people. In that time, we worked to validate (or invalidate) 6 ideas through market analysis and user conversations, build and launch 3 MVPs, and acquire valuable early user data to determine next steps. I had the opportunity to share this methodology with startups in Thailand through my work as an advisor at a startup studio, and creator and co-director of a pre-accelerator program. I would love to talk to you about your ideas, and if you're curious to learn more, read my posts How To Validate Your Startup Idea and How To Launch Your Startup.
2 ) Strategy and tech tools for user acquisition. I've always been a marketer and salesman at heart, and taking Glass & Marker from 0 to about $2M in revenue in less than 4 years was a great experience. "Sales Hacker" sounds cheesy, but while working on Shogun, I've learned how to scrape the web and use email automation tools to get user conversations started, as well market product through paid advertising, community building, content creation, and app store optimization. Read my posts on How to Acquire Initial Clients for your B2B Startup and 10 Ways to Get Early Users for your Consumer Startup and let me know if you have questions.
3 ) Building a brand that your target audience can identify with. This isn't always intuitive, even for the person who had the idea and created the product. Determining target "personas", thinking about your user's journey (more in Mapping Your User Acquisition Journey) and creating a brand experience and voice that speaks to them is a cross between my market research work at Forrester, and my creative work at Glass & Marker. I also like helping companies navigate selection and negotiation of creative, PR, video, and design agencies.
Want to discuss one of these topics at greater length?