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Mike Moyer, Slicing Pie: Dividing Start-up Equity

Mike Moyer, Slicing Pie: Dividing Start-up Equity | Monetization |
Slicing Pie: the Fairest Way to Divide Start-up Equity You and a partner go in “50/50” on a new business. You do all the work, he owns half the company. Now what?
StartUP Product's insight:

Mike Moyer, Entrepreneur & Author on Funding Your Company Without Funds And Slicing Pie: the Fairest Way to Divide Start-up Equity 

You and a partner go in “50/50” on a new business. You do all the work, he owns half the company. Now what? Slicing Pie outlines a simple method for dividing equity in an early stage company that tells you exactly the right number of shares for each participant. All other methods of dividing up equity create problems- all of them. Slicing Pie gives you a way to acquire the things you need to build your business without cash. This is the perfect discussion for anyone who wants to start their own company. 

Mike Moyer, Entrepreneur, Author of Slicing Pie joins host Cindy F. Solomon on the Global Product Management Talk on Monday, November 4, 2013 at the simultaneous times of 10:00 AM Pacific Time, 11:00 AM MST Denver, 12:00 Noon CST Chicago, and 1:00 PM EST Boston.

Participants are welcome to listen live at, call in to talk on the show (323) 927-2957 and to participate on Twitter by following @ProdMgmtTalk and tweeting using the hashtag #ProdMgmttalk


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About Mike Moyer
Mike Moyer is an entrepreneur who has started a number of companies including Bananagraphics, a product development and merchandising company, Moondog, an outdoor clothing manufacturing company; Vicarious Communication, Inc, a marketing technology company for the medical industry;, a site that helps students find the right college; and College Peas, LLC which provides publications and consulting on a variety of topics including, college admissions, trade shows and job search. In addition to his experience as an entrepreneur he has held a number of senior-level marketing positions with companies that sell everything from vacuum cleaners to financial data services to motor home chassis to luxury wine.

Mike teaches Entrepreneurship at Northwestern University and the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. He is the author of Slicing PIe, How to Make Colleges Want You, College Peas, and Trade Show Samurai. He has an MS in integrated marketing from Northwestern University and an MBA from the University of Chicago. He lives in Lake Forest, Illinois with his wife and three kids.
Twitter: @gruntfunds

About Slicing Pie
Slicing Pie means paying the people who help you with equity in your business instead of cash. This can be a very powerful tool that in some ways is better than cash (but not all ways, unfortunately). Slice the pie properly and you will compensate the people who help you in a fair and equitable manner. Slice the pie improperly and you will destroy your business and burn bridges with the very people who came to help.

About Global Product Management Talk
The Global Product Management Talk is a discussion of vital issues affecting professionals passionate about products, business process, product management, startups, marketing, innovation and excellence. A top 10 business podcast on the BlogTalkRadio network produced and hosted by Cindy F. Solomon, CPM, CPMM on Mondays with additional programming during the week for passionate product professionals and business owners who want to teach, learn & network about what it takes to produce successful products in an open digital environment inviting live participation.

#ProdMgmtTalk discussion of vital issues forwarding product excellence, business process, product management, startups, marketing, innovation, and methodology. -Mondays: @ProdMgmtTalk w/ @CindyFSolomon discussion with thought leader. (1 hour) These discussions originating as a twitter chat, have spawned the Startup Product movement for product excellence via community, educational events, and conference. @StartupProduct -Wednesdays: Competitive Intel w/ @Sean_Campbell & Scott Wigart of -Thursdays: Brainrants from Brainmates Down Under w/ Natalie Yan-Chatonsky. 15 Minutes on a topical Product Management issue
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Association of International Product Marketing and Management (AIPMM) Founded in 1998, the AIPMM promotes worldwide excellence in product management education with trainings, education, certification and professional networking opportunities providing corporate members an assurance that their product professionals are operating at peak performance.
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What’s more important: product or sales? » Version One Ventures

StartUP Product's insight:

Startups are constantly asking themselves: should we focus on the quality of our product or the strength of the sales and distribution strategy?

Award-winning Vancouver-based angel investor Boris Wertz says,

To be successful, a stand-alone company needs a top-notch product and a clever distribution/sales strategy.

  • Startups are generally more successful when the founders are product-driven; much easier to add sales expertise to a product-driven organization than it is to add product focus to a sales-driven start-up
  • a great product requires great leadership with the right product instincts;
  • Sales-driven companies are often focused on maximizing short-term return on investment and this mindset can shape product decisions; sales-driven companies can evolve into service companies as they are starting to build every feature that clients are asking for instead of following a long-term product vision
  • Products, no matter how great, usually don’t make money on their own; product-driven companies need to focus on distribution in order to succeed in the long-term
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Price Segmentation: Justify it or Hide it

Price Segmentation: Justify it or Hide it | Monetization |
Nobody wants to pay more.  They don't want to feel "ripped off".  They want to feel special, like they received a good deal. However, it is in a firm's best interest to charge different customers d...
StartUP Product's insight:
  • Charge different customers different prices based on how much they are Willing To Pay (WTP)
  • Customers see price segmentation all of the time and have come to accept it.
  • You don’t need to actually justify your price segmentation, but your customers need to able to justify it in their minds.
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5 things that Eric Ries never meant

5 things that Eric Ries never meant | Monetization |
5 things which Eric Ries never meant in his book The Lean Startup 1. Build a quick and dirty minimum quality product to test with your users: The Lean Startup book gives a simple rule, "Remove any ...
StartUP Product's insight:

Great points by Vivek Vijayan:

Eric Ries never intended his book The Lean Startup to encourage misinterpretation such as:

1. dilute quality

2. skip planning

3. MVP equals sub-optimal product

4. successful experiments automatically scale

5. success is guaranteed with enough pivoting

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Why Facebook And Twitter Are Not Most Innovative Companies

Why Facebook And Twitter Are Not Most Innovative Companies | Monetization |
2012 MISSION FACEBOOK Reignite revenue growth, particularly via mobile; after May 18, appease Wall Street TWITTER Make enough money to start justifying its $11 billion valuation WORST MOMENT FACEBOOK Proudly touting that CEO Mark Zuckerberg...
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San Francisco tech rallies around startup-friendly tax measure Prop E | GigaOM Tech News

San Francisco tech rallies around startup-friendly tax measure Prop E | GigaOM Tech News | Monetization |

San Francisco residents will have the option of voting next Tuesday on Prop E, a proposal to eliminate the existing city payroll tax in favor of a tax on revenue. It’s an issue that’s received widespread approval and support from the tech community and re-ignited the conversation about keeping startups in the city.


San Francisco is currently the only city in California that taxes companies based on their payroll, an unpopular move among fast-growing tech companies that might double or triple their staff sizes in a single year without producing significant revenue, and some feel they might have to consider moving south where they won’t face a similar tax. Up for a vote on Tuesday, Prop E would replace the payroll tax with a tax on a company’s gross receipts over $1 million.


For tech companies, staying in San Francisco versus moving down to Silicon Valley is a tough decision, and one that’s tipped in San Francisco’s favor recently with companies like Twitter, AirBnB, and Pinterest setting up camp. But those companies tend to grow rapidly, and if they’re to remain in the city they could prove a serious lobbying force in city government for their particular interests.


The San Francisco Chronicle explained the potential economic impact of the change, noting that it would benefit tech and manufacturing companies, who complain they’ve been unfairly burdened by the existing tax structure:


Click headline to read more and access hot links--

Via Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
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Pricing Experiments You Might Not Know, But Can Learn From

Pricing Experiments You Might Not Know, But Can Learn From | Monetization |

At the August 14 Startup Product Talks SFBay meetup, Teresa Torres, VP Product at AfterCollege, discussed critical insights derived from cognitive reasoning and brain science research during her presentation on How To Make Better Product Decisions During the Q&A, there was a discussion around pricing issues.

Colin Whooten posted: 

"Great conversation last night, thank you everyone! Here is an excellent article on pricing that I thought many would find interesting, it provides a high level summary of a lot of different surprising observations and links to where you can learn more."

StartUP Product's insight:

By Peep Laja

Asking people what they’d pay for and how much rarely works;

1. people will tell you what they WANT to pay—which is obviously much less than what your product or service is actually WORTH.

2. what people say and what people do are very different things.

3. people really don’t know how much things are worth or what’s a fair price

4. People have trouble comparing different options 

Dan Ariely's book Predictably IrrationalThe Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions and TedTalk: Are We In Control Of Our Own Decisions?

5. In our minds, physical magnitude is related to numerical magnitude. 

6. Nothing is cheap or expensive by itself, but compared to something.


1. What’s the best way to sell a $2000 wristwatch? Right next to a $12,000 watch.

2. Start throwing out high numbers. Add some very expensive products to the selection (that you don’t even intend to sell).

3. If the final price of your service / product is a result of negotiations, start high.

4. If you’re competing on price, state how much others are charging before revealing your price.

Pricing Approaches

Pricing Perceptions

If you want to charge more than the market average, look at the competition: how they package their offering; what’s the user experience like, and change that.

If you look like a new category, people are more likely to pay up.

On the other hand, if you can profitably sell something much cheaper than the other guys, great. Use their pricing as the reference point and you’ll win.

Context Sets Perception

  • Richard Thaler's pricing experiment in Exuberance Is Rational article, NYTimes, 2001 "people care as much about being treated fairly as they do about the actual value of what they’re paying for."

Consider more than price

When customers consider “what something costs”, they’re actually measuring three main drivers:
1. money (cost),
2. time  (how long will it take to learn?)  and
3. mental energy(how much do I have to think about this?)

About The Author

Peep Laja is an entrepreneur and conversion optimization expert. He's been doing digital marketing for 10+ years in Europe, Middle East, Central America and the US. He has extensive experience across verticals: in the past he’s run a software company in Europe, an SEO agency in Panama, real estate portal in Dubai and worked for an international non-profit. Today he runs a conversion optimization agency Markitekt.

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Josh Elman: 'Hire a growth hacker, not a marketer' (Wired UK)

Josh Elman: 'Hire a growth hacker, not a marketer' (Wired UK) | Monetization |
In today's Silicon Valley, spending money to acquire users or customers is usually seen as a last resort instead of a go-to option
StartUP Product's insight:

By Josh Elman

To grow fastest and biggest, top companies today instead focus on building feature after feature that helps attract new users or more quickly convert them into active users.

  • Many companies have started to realise that they can't just build a great product and expect growth to happen, nor can they afford to pay for it, but that they have to engineer it.

In contrast to a traditional marketing team with managers, analysts and agency relationships, these growth teams include engineers, designers, product managers and data scientists.

  • To keep producing these results, it takes a deep technical understanding of how those systems work and how to measure the effectiveness of the platform.

In the earliest days of a company or a product, finding the path towards sustainable growth is crucial.

  • Marketing teams will include engineers and designers, and talk as much about "road maps" and features as about ads and budget.

Josh Elman is an investor at Greylock Partners. He held early product roles at LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter @joshelman

  • Josh is speaking at Startup Product Summit SF2 register before June 24 for $400 off!
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Reframing the problems with “Freemium” by charging the marketing department by @ASmartBear

Reframing the problems with “Freemium” by charging the marketing department by @ASmartBear | Monetization |
StartUP Product's insight:

-->freemium users are not like those who will actually give you money. Frequently the features that paying customers want don’t show up on the freebie’s radar.

-->average is 1% conversion rate from web traffic to a (real, not “free”) purchase

-->Retool your expectations of Freemium: It’s a marking cost. It’s more expensive than you give it credit for, but it could very well be the best marketing strategy available.

  • measure the total cost of acquiring new paying customers
  • make sure the cost is much less than the total revenue
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A Field Guide to Angel Investors (Infographic)

A Field Guide to Angel Investors (Infographic) | Monetization |
Where can you find that elusive creature, the angel investor, and how can you lure her out of hiding? This infographic not only lays out the boom in angel inves
StartUP Product's insight:

The number of angels and the amount of money they’ve invested have risen dramatically in the last decade. But not all locations are as rich in angels as others, as this infographic from makes clear.

28% in California followed by 21.3% in New England.

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