podcasts Conspire

5 Podcasts to Tune Into Over the Holidays

The holidays are upon us. For many of us, that means long trips and downtime between extravagant, calorie-filled, ten-course meals. Podcasts are the perfect way to spend your freetime. So here’s the list of podcasts I’ll be listening to as we close the year— and if you’re involved with entrepreneurship or are interested in compelling storytelling, you might give them a go as well.

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Conspire product features aesthetic

Is It Possible for a Feature to Be More Aesthetic Than Practical?

Facebook let me know last night that I’d been poked twice since… not sure when since. I didn’t log in, let alone check who the mysterious pokers were.

But it got me thinking, despite my disinterest, how I’d feel if Facebook killed the poke. Not terrible, obviously, but I’d miss it. To draw a tenuous analogy, it’s like those cube-shaped SUVs with the asymmetric back windows… Googling… like the Nissan Cube (duh). I don’t want to drive one, but I’m glad they’re out there, doing their thing, being weird.

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product features Conspire

The Lean Product, or When to Kill a Feature

Killing features is hard. We put lots of time and effort—and a good dose of emotional energy—into creating and nurturing them. But even brief hesitation to excise an underperforming feature can be costly.

Think about it: If you ship four features a month and you have a hit rate of 25% (which is high; I’ll come back to this), waiting even two months to kill underperforming features means you’re supporting 75% × 4 × 2 = six dead-weight features at any given time.

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why founders start companies

Dan Ariely explains why people start companies

Part of our October series, “On Fear,” where we unpack fear in the startup world.


The other day I reached out to Dan Ariely, professor of psychology and behavioral economics at Duke University and best-selling author, for comment on this question:

Why do people get involved with entrepreneurship despite the small chance of success and fear associated with it?

He responded with a sound byte —

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cold call social selling Conspire

Conquering the dreaded cold sales call… by not

Part of our October series, “On Fear,” where we unpack fear in the startup world.


This week’s digest comes from a place that gives us all a sense of apprehension. It’s where you’re on the initiating end of a phone call and you’re trying to persuade someone to do something for you — it’s especially difficult when you want someone to buy something from you.

Cold calling is no joke. It’s tough and inefficient, and there must be a better way to drive your sales pipeline.

There is.

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startups big ideas Conspire

The audacity of big startup ideas

Part of our October series, “On Fear,” where we unpack fear in the startup world.


When you start your company, one of the most common questions you get is about how big your business could be. It comes from a variety of angles: “How big is the market?”, “Is this a feature or a product?”, “How do you compete with X, Y and Z?”, “What is your long term vision?”, “Is this scalable?” Investors want to know where your startup is going, and more importantly, whether YOU want to build a big, meaningful company.

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