As A Leader, You Should Wear A Suit

In the wise words of Jay-Z, from time to time you have to put on a suit. If by age 21 you don’t own a suit there is something seriously wrong with the type of places you frequent. I personally love wearing suits. No, not talking about your dad’s suit. Nice suits, fitted-crisp-made-just-for-you-nice materials-no pleats-no visible-pant-hems-two-button-suits…you know what I’m talking about.

So many of my fellow startup/tech brethren lack sartorial elegance. I recently read a blog post where someone was facetiously listing classes that he was happy are not taught at incubators; one of the classes he listed was something relating to “dressing to impress” – can’t recall the exact phrase. But it made me think. Why? Why would you not want to dress up?

I have been around the tech space long enough and have enough developer friends to understand the hesitancy. I won’t call out the person who said this to me originally but I believe it’s not a willing choice but rather a choice forced by lack of style. The veil of “I’m a developer/coder” or “I just build cool stuff, I don’t need to impress you with my suit” is just that, a veil.

If you don’t know anything about suits, here is my recommendation – guaranteed to make you look like you’re wearing a suite especially made for you.

  1. Buy a navy or dark blue suit off the shelf that fits you. Zara, Men’s warehouse, doesn’t matter.
  2. Find a top-notch tailor in your area. Finding a good tailor is key; someone with experience. Don’t skimp.
  3. For about $250 or so you should be able to tailor the suit exactly to your body.
  4. Enjoy the compliments.

Here is a cool infographic that pushed out about the annual spend of a metro vs hetero.

Read more

8 Productivity Killers for Entrepreneurs

When I write – the lens through which I view the world is from the Startup prospective. That’s how I’m informed. As a leader of a business you try not to be reactionary to events that come along. And in a perfect world, you wish you could proactively see things coming a mile away – new trends, new marketing opportunities, squashing issues. But too often that’s not what happens. You spend most of your day jumping from email to email, from meeting to meeting and interruption to interruption. Reactionary work is not productive. You might “get things done” but you’re only reacting to what is happening. How is that productive?

There are ways to combat all of the distractions that come your way.

  1. Meetings can be a huge drain on time. Most meetings are unproductive and suck up huge resources. Meeting Ticker explains how expensive meetings really are. At we have abandoned traditional meetings for “Purposeful Meetings” or PMeetings. During a PMeet only people who are pertinent to what is being discussed attend. We focus on actionable items – then we follow-up. The ideas is to present issues that need resolving and then fix them.

    Read more

How We Decreased Bounce Rate by 16%

We were doing bounce rate analysis on since bounce rates are closely associated with visit quality and relevancy of your landing pages. We started by looking at pages that had high volumes of traffic but were the worst offenders in terms of bounce rates. If you need help generating this report for your site, ping me. This is the tale of how we decreased bounce rates by 16%.

We consider our sites dynamic. In other words, we are not afraid of a/b testing and making changes to improve end-user experience.

That said we wanted to look at our homepage and find out why it had a bounce rate. Certainly there were pages that needed more attention but we wanted to deploy strategies on pages that required little help from the Development. We were also considering low-hanging pages marketing could tackle. The homepage was were the “x” met.

We reduced clutter. At the end of the day, would we, as shoppers come to our site and shop as it was. The resounding consensus was to remove links, images – anything that was fighting for attention. Here is a before and after image the middle of our homepage. Can you see the difference?

The Clutter: About 18 months ago, we placed five merchandising blocks on our homepage and saw an immediate boost in conversions. Our in-page analytics revealed enough customer engagement for us to make the merch blocks a standard feature of the site. But as always you have to continue analyzing our data. We later discovered that users were becoming less interested in the links we were providing below the merch blocks. To add, all the products on the “Shop and Save” section combined were getting a meager 1.3% of total clicks from the homepage. Also when you consider links-to-page ratio, these two features (merch blocks and “Shop and Save”) were hogging lots of juice. All of these images/links/products looked both messy and more importantly took away customer attention. While the original idea of these two sections was to increase engagement which it accomplished, later our data revealed that they also confused people with too many choices. There were too many choices. Too much call for attention.

Read more