My Article on Startups

Startup Founders Sometimes Struggle to Transition to Growth Phase

I wrote my first article for 5 Reasons Promising Startups don’t scale. It was fun to write and I look forward to writing more. Writing is a great way to get your thoughts together on a topic.

In the article, I focus on the big transition a founder/manager needs to make to switch from startup to growth phase. Raising growth capital is your way of telling the world that you tested the market and have a solution to a need or problem. That is only true if dollars in can be converted into growth.

This phase requires all new skills and focus and the founder is expected to shift his or her own focus on a dime. This entails many things. The critical focus on the company is on marketing and sales activities. Marketing is critical to reaching the audience that you built the solution for.

Company operations need to change a lot too. The founder needs to empower his teams to become leaders and building a top notch management team that can stay aligns with strategy and execute are a critical test of leadership.

Another point I make is about getting better about performance management. Impressing the funder is the key to success but at scale this leads to odd behaviors, distorted incentives and bad execution.

Please check out the article and consider sharing it on your social platforms. Also send me any suggestions that you have for future article ideas.


My Articles

I Was Accepted as a Contributor on

I like writing and do it for fun and because it helps me to think about topics from different angles. It is a little like walking a route for the first time instead of driving it. As you walk the route you notice things you didn’t previously. The slower journey makes you see details.

Michael Zammuto contributor

A joke. I haven’t seen a typewriter in years and am in no way nostalgic.

I have written a lot on LinkedIn and been happy with the response. I enjoyed it as well. Writing for is a bit of a departure. Their site emphasizes instructive content. The emphasis is to empower their readers to learn how to do something. I typically have written about technologies, trends or news. This will be a bit of a new direction for me.

I am looking forward to pitching some new ideas. I may stick to startups or technology tips for business owners. That takes some thought.

My first article was accepted and is in the publishing queue. I will share it online when it goes live. I am already thinking about additional topics

LA Times Interview on The fallout for Uber CEO Travis Kalanick

Startup culture is a very interesting topic. At its best it is a source of great creative power. At its worst, it can distract and destroy. That was the source of an LA Times interview that I did regarding Uber. The situation at Uber is a great example of the later. But the fallout for CEO Travis Kalanick is a symptom not the cause. The cause to me, is that the pendulum to protect founders from outside interference has arguable swung too far. Nobody likes the story of the brilliant, creative founder forced out by the suits. But the clear dynamic for 10 years has been something entirely different. Startup CEOs are barely accountable to anyone – including their own board and investors.

I had a chance to read the Holder report as soon as it was released and I raised concerns about it changing any hearts and minds. The subsequent comments and resignation of David Bonderman demonstrates, I believe, how little a report can change a culture.



Get ready to hear this election will good for newspapers.

Here is why it won’t be.

100 newspapers have disappeared since 2004. Get ready to start hearing how this election will be good for newspapers.


Now, I two years ago I didn’t actually say “News Is Dead.” But ‘misquoted me’ may have been more correct than the real me was at the time. In 2013 and 2014 I was quoted pretty publicly that I felt that traditional editorial and entertainment media were simply not going to transition their existing model to digital revenues and something much more serious was needed. Like many, I was critical that sponsored content had been something developed by the publisher’s sales department and then was published to mimic editorial content. This was by placid agreement by sales & editorial which have decades of avoiding each other in the company lunch room. So what is the update?

Pew Research Newspaper Revenue Trends

Newspaper revenues are shrinking and digital ad revenues are growing much slower than the drop in print advertising and subscriptions as seen in this Pew Research Chart from 2003 to 2014.

Newspapers are designed to be ‘inefficient’ producers of content. By that I mean they produce some of the costliest original content possible. Produced in medium-to-short-form but with a lots of research, interviews and fact checking, the news business has always depended on subscriptions plus healthy advertising rates to survive.


Election cycles have historically been fantastic for local media. Newspapers will see a blip in an otherwise downward collection of trends. This will lead the PR folks in the print news industry to try to use it to argue that the long term trends are actually neither. Unfortunately for them it isn’t true. Digital is taking a larger portion of a rapidly shrinking pie.  The Pew Research Center’s annual report tells the tale. In 2015 their circulation fell by the greatest amount so far this decade. Advertising revenue dropped even faster than overall circulation diving 8% last year.


Young people are ignoring newspapers in droves but the bleeding is occurring much faster than aging. The Pew Research report says that only half of the elderly read papers now.  We are probably past the point of no return. Let’s hope the news industry can pivot better before misquoted me turns out to be right.


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