The bitter taste of failure

Scripted, my first and largest business venture, was simultaneously a great success and a financial failure.  The business today is thriving without me. We sold to Xenon Ventures, a growth-oriented private equity group that will continue the work my employees and investors dedicated many years and millions of dollars to build.  For my investors, though,… Continue reading The bitter taste of failure

My greatest hits at Scripted

I’ve been thinking recently about what I did right during my time at Scripted as a co-founder, COO, head of sales, and finally CEO. A few surprising things came to mind. Here they are. I had “grandma shirts” made for the entire team at our last retreat Let me take a step back and explain this… Continue reading My greatest hits at Scripted

The hiring paradox

Note: I originally published this on the eNPS blog (a resource to send NPS surveys to your employees). The better you are at building your team, the harder it will be unravel it. And yes, you will eventually need to unravel it. Let me explain. If you never do layoffs then you’re not innovating If you’re… Continue reading The hiring paradox

Scripted don’t quit

Ten things I learned in 10 years of doing this It was mid-August 2015, in the conference room we named Battery after a private social club that one of our investors built. This was “Curtis Day,” the day we were trying to close our new CEO, who was with us for a final round interview. I… Continue reading Scripted don’t quit

Update: I shaved today

A little over two months ago I wrote that I wouldn’t shave until my company turned a profit. A lot of people liked it, but not everyone did. I expected that. I decided that I would follow the thread of truth wherever it led, even around the murky bends that are difficult to write about.… Continue reading Update: I shaved today

The two things I wish we’d done sooner at Scripted

Regret #1: We should have experimented with monthly subscriptions sooner Just mentioning this concept rolled eyes and raised eyebrows on my team. Everyone was either a nay or an abstention on this one. I couldn’t get a single ally. It was a touchy subject because the implications were huge. Everyone was right about that. When… Continue reading The two things I wish we’d done sooner at Scripted

The story behind our layoffs

It’s hard to write about layoffs. It’s admitting failure on multiple levels: failure to manage people and cash, failure to adapt, and failure to see the future. It actually happens a lot. Companies that have raised over $500M go through it. Even companies that are profitable have layoffs. And so do companies run by Tony… Continue reading The story behind our layoffs

On being the 3rd CEO of the startup I co-founded

Please allow me to re-introduce myself. Last July I became CEO of the company that I co-founded with Sunil Rajaraman and Zak Freer nine years earlier, in 2007. Originally, we were a web-based screenwriting software company called Scripped. After building it for three years while Zak had a full-time job and Sunil and I were… Continue reading On being the 3rd CEO of the startup I co-founded

I’m not shaving until my company is profitable

I’ve been working on Scripted for five years and it’s never been profitable. More like ten years if you count my pre-pivot company too. Even when we didn’t have employees, we still weren’t profitable. We actually didn’t lose a lot of money back then, but we didn’t make a lot either. Then we raised $18M… Continue reading I’m not shaving until my company is profitable

Here’s how I’ll fix our churn problem

The biggest problem we have at Scripted is churn. The second biggest problem, and it’s related, is burn. Sounds funny, churn and burn, but together they can make or break your business. We measure churn as the number of cancellations this month divided by the number of active subscribers at the end of last month.… Continue reading Here’s how I’ll fix our churn problem