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In this episode, Travis and Stewart interview Sean Sheppard of GrowthX on how to grow your startup, the lessons he has learned along the way, and what you can do differently that will have a massive impact on your fledgling business.

We also talk about Facebook’s quarterly results and the massive $3 billion Snap Inc. IPO – timely, since Stewart showed up to the recording of this episode wearing his newly acquired Snapchat Spectacles. The future is 10 seconds long, dear listeners.


By listening to this episode of the VB Engage podcast, you will hear:

  • Welcome to VB Engage episode 38! [00:10]
  • Today is “Snap Spectacles on Stewart Rogers’ Face” day! [00:25]
  • Stewart is having a huge amount of fun with them. [00:45]
  • We discuss the merits of LASIK surgery, especially during the Trump presidency. [01:30]
  • Last week, on VB Engage 037, we interviewed Joseph Gordon-Levitt, actor and entrepreneur. [02:45]
  • Facebook announced its quarterly announcements. [03:20]
  • Snap files for $3 billion IPO. [04:30]
  • Snap Inc. hired Oakley’s head of retail a few months back. [05:40]
  • Spectacles mentioned 45 times in IPO document. [05:55]
  • The scarcity of Snap’s Spectacles was by design. [06:40]
  • Big shout-out to Hillel Fuld and Jonathan Schipper for Stewart’s Specs. [07:30]
  • Snapchat will use the $3B+ IPO money to “significantly accelerate the sales of Spectacles. [08:05]
  • Travis speculates about the variety of Spectacles’ future features. [08:25]
  • Bone induction speakers in the earpiece of a kick-ass Kickstarter would be a nice inclusion. [09:15]
  • Facebook and Google have been owning the channels for paid user acquisition. [11:00]
  • Snapchat is still an upstart community. [11:55]
  • Instagram Stories and Facebook Stories are copied Snapchat features. [13:15]
  • Facebook is a massive behemoth. [15:30]
  • “Life is lived 10 seconds at a time,” according to Stewart. [16:30]
  • This week’s interview is with Sean Sheppard, cofounder of GrowthX. [17:00]
  • Don’t be afraid to have conversations with future customers, and don’t rely on your assumptions. [18:20]
  • Construct your hypothesis and go talk to real people and ask unbiased questions. [18:40]
  • Six of the 10 biggest reasons that startups fail are market-side related. [19:50]
  • Focus on helping others get what they want. Then you’ll get what you want. [21:40]
  • In B2B, people buy for four reasons: to make money, save money, create a competitive advantage, or to stay out of prison. [22:15]
  • Your number one competitor is not a company — it is you sitting idle and doing nothing. [23:30]
  • Unique Value Proposition: What you do for someone, their business, role, department. [24:10]
  • Service organizations are focused on solving problems. [25:10]
  • Live engagement and interaction is crucial for traction. [25:40]
  • It’s easier to start a company than it is to grow one. [26:00]
  • Market development is in short supply today. [26:35]
  • Screens have made us less interpersonal. [27:20]
  • Take feedback as a gift, not a criticism. [27:35]
  • It’s only a failure if you don’t learn from it. [27:45]
  • Turn your organization into a learning organization on a feedback loop. [28:10]
  • A significant percentage of companies were putting 50% of their marketing budget into mobile marketing. [30:15]
  • Take a step back and realize that mobile marketing is just another channel. [31:15]
  • Recognize the difference between branding and direct-response marketing [32:05]
  • Everyone has “FOMO” with mobile marketing [33:00]
  • GrowthX invests in companies, and GrowthX Academy teaches growth marketing, user-experience, and business development. [34:00]
  • GrowthX Academy teaches smart people the skills to work in tech. [34:40]
  • Stewart finally admits to being part of the Illuminati. [37:30]

Next week on VB Engage 039, we interview Howard Love. Love is the author of the startup J Curve. He’s a brilliant guy and is working on some interesting projects.

JGLIf you missed last week’s episode, we give a final encore to our Web Summit series of podcasts with a bona fide Hollywood star, Joseph Gordon-Levitt.

We talk with Joe (as Stewart now calls him) about the creative, collaborative community he founded with his brother at HitRECord and how he has not only managed to grow it to over half a million members but why everyone on the platform interacts in such a respectful way.

Thanks for tuning in and allowing VB Engage to be the highlight of your day. See you next week!



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