madebyblack madebyblack

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MATTHEW BLACK  ‪Founder & CEO of @whoisblackops. #Hackerpreneur. I help hackers, entrepreneurs and brands build AI. 📸 style, tech and fitness📍Detroit

Back in Tokyo for one last weekend. Of course, we had to check teamLab Borderless out.

#teamlabborderless #tokyodesign

One of the first things I noticed in my short time here is people believe in crafts. Like _everything_ is a craft. Driving a Uber, being a construction worker, being a barista, etc. Performing the craft with grace and to the top of ones ability is priority.⠀

I've talked a little bit in the past about "respecting the work", but this is another way to look at it. If you're going to do something, do it right, and do it better than anyone else. No matter what it is you're doing.⠀

When the "thing" is better than anything else, you'd be surprised what you can get away with too. Things like sales, marketing, and other operational components of your business start falling into place.⠀

What's the "thing" that you're working on? Are you obsessing over every detail? Are you respecting the work?⠀

#entrepreneurlifestyle #startuplife #startupstrategy #founder #saas

Man... Kyoto is so different than Tokyo. Provides a lot of mental clarity. It's been so nice walking the streets and talking about things that matter in life (and things that don't) we actually booked a couple extra nights here before returning to Tokyo. 🏯⠀

#kyoto #kyotojapan #perspective #meditation

Tokyo style and culture is giving me major inspiration. Everything is so thoughtfully designed.⠀

The details on these specs from @matsudaeyewear are unreal. Perfect for my sunglasses addiction. 😎⠀

#tokyostreetstyle #tokyostreetfashion #matsuda

But first coffee... ☕️ ⠀

#japancoffee #chopcoffee #tokyocoffee #tokyo🗼

Went out in Ginza last night. It’s wild how many bars and restaurants were packed away in the back alleys. They’re in towers in little office buildings. 🍸 🥃

Landed in Tokyo. We always wanted to go to Japan, so we made it our honeymoon. 🇯🇵

Most valuable startup lesson I’ve learned in the last couple of years - When you’re running lean (and cash strapped) picking the right early customers and partners is most important task you’ll do. It’s more important than any revenue or growth metric they can bring.⠀

Let’s dive in... If your early customers aren’t positioned to truely understand (and self articulate) the ROI/value you bring they will simply stop using you. They might lose a little bit of their time, but generally corporations have a lot of time to give.⠀

You on the other hand have _very_ limited time to lose. It’s your most important asset. Spending 6 months with a customer to find out it wasn’t a good fit can mean the difference between alive or dead for you.⠀

So how can you tell if you picked the right early customers and partners? Well, beyond validating that they _really_ feel the pain you’re solving. Another fool proof trick I used is attaching your company and it’s offering to a pre-existing company initiative.⠀

For example, we find companies that are trying to automate top level sales funnel activities and reduce sales rep expensives. It works because we’re already speaking the same key insight language and the ROI we bring sits directly on top of the ROI they’re aiming to achieve.⠀

Make sure before you begin working together that everyone has a shared set of expectations on what success looks like. Since you’re already speaking the same ROI language it will be easy to agree on success. Remind them often too.⠀

Bonus points - tie your additional product offerings to the ROI metic. If you deliver on it, not only do they grow, but you can continue to sell additional products to your customers, and they would be a fool to say no to you. It’s a baller move. 💪⠀

#entreprenuerlifestyle #entrepreneur101 #startup #startuplife #startupstrategy #ipadpro #apple #flatlay #macsetups

Incorporating your business and unsure if an LLC or C-Corp is right for you? 🤷‍♂️ It depends on the type of business you're planning to run. Are you planning on self-funding this company? Maybe a services business or a retail shop? A pass through LLC is the right decision. On the flip, are you looking to raise venture capital? Maybe give away stock options to your employees? C-Corp will almost always be the right option for you.

Personally, all of my startups are Delaware C-Corps. More on the different types of stock a C-Corp issues later! ✌️

Obviously black tees are my uniform. I used to buy off the rack T-shirts but when I started getting bigger (because you know, gains 💪) I found myself in-between sizes. Nothing bothers me more than clothes that don’t fit. Big ups to @sonofatailor for sending me a few custom made tees. The quality, embroidered initials and custom fit is unreal. Nothing comes close. Officially hooked. 🖤\\ sponsored by @sonofatailor \\ 🖤

Who needs a business mentor?

Honestly, mentors were everything for me. A mentor to show me I can do anything, and to just get after it. A mentor to teach me the mechanics of starting a business. A mentor to teach me business strategy and how to be smart and navigate when the cards are stacked against you. A mentor to teach me how to raise capital and grow a business.
Seriously, it was everything for me. Musk says it best; 'Starting a company is like eating glass and staring into the abyss.’ Doing it by yourself is an emotional tole I wouldn’t recommend to anyone. So I want to help someone.

Who?

You’re green to business, but have the thing (product, service, etc) OR Maybe you’re not green to business but you’re having a hard time trying to find customers, raise capital, hire, grow, etc.

DM me, tell me a little bit about yourself. I will give you 1 hour of my time a week. Phone call or text. I ask for nothing in return, except that you’re dead serious. You need to value your time, as much as I value mine. 🖤🖤🖤

Excellent day in Chicago with a new client. The charm of this city will never get old. 🥃

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