Six Resources that Made Me a Growth Hacking Influencer

35th most influential Growth HackerRecently,  Onalytica ranked me number 35 in their list of the 100 top influencers in growth hacking. I’m flattered, but I have to be honest – all I did was great content on the subject and ask the right questions.

There’s a lesson here on how being present is 80% of success, and we’ll come back to that.

For now, I want to share with you some resources that made me so “influential”.

1) Onalytica – Growth Hacking: Top 100 Influencers & Brands

cover_growth_hackingOkay, so this article didn’t get me on this list, but following a lot of the people listed is exactly what got me on this list.

I’m particularly fond of #35, but there is not a single person on this list whose knowledge cannot benefit you in a major way. These people are dropping knowledge jewels – all you have to do is pick them up.


growthhackers iconIf I was listing in order of importance, and not just going through my constantly open tabs, this would be the obvious number one. GrowthHackers is one of the best places to share, find, and discuss content on the web.

In fact, it’s highly likely that I found everything else on this list through GrowthHackers.

3) Growth Hacker Marketing by Ryan Holiday

I’ve been a fan of Ryan Holiday for years. I first heard of him when he was on a podcast (maybe The Art of Charm?) discussing his book The Obstacle is The Way. This was my growth hacker marketingintroduction to Stoicism, and I was hooked.

I’ve since found that Buddhism is a better fit, but I’m still a follower of Ryan –  I received his latest Suggested Reading List email as I wrote this post and Trust Me, I’m Lying is next up in my reading queue.

Strangely, I didn’t know about this book or the accompanying course until I read about it on GrowthHackers (I told you they were awesome).

If you want a great introduction to Growth Hacking or are looking for some pointers to up your game, I can’t recommend the course enough (when I signed up, I got the book for free).

4) Google Analytics

Google-AnalyticsGrowth Hacking requires that you measure the results of your efforts and adjust accordingly. While there are several analytics tools out there, Google still has the gold standard.

ConversionXL has a great guide on configuring your Analytics account for actionable data.

5) Udemy

udemySome people prefer Coursera, and free is definitely a great selling point. However, I’ve found that the courses on Udemy have more actionable content and are more than worth their cost.

Even better, Udemy often has specials where the classes are discounted up to 90%.

Right now, I’m taking classes on content creation, full-stack programming, and almost every language known to man.

6) Working in the industry

Let’s be real. It doesn’t matter how much you read about a subject. If you never put it into action, that knowledge is just going to drift away.

Working in Internet Marketing for the IRON Network and Pine Biotech  on behalf of our clients to use these ideas has been invaluable.

I have a big challenge coming up when we launch Local Crowd Fund. In brief, LCF will be a platform to connect small business owners and startup founders with courses in what they need to succeed, service providers to help with the things they don’t have the time or inclination to do themselves, mentors to lend them knowledge and advice, communities to help them find marketplaces for their ideas, and lenders and investors to help them fund their dreams.

local-crowd-logoLocal Crowd Fund is still in a beta stage right now, but I strongly urge everyone to sign up. This is your chance to heavily influence a platform into being exactly what you need. I’m working on giving early adopters special perks – you can have a voice in what those are, too.

Service providers, subject matter experts, lenders, investors, community leaders, business owners, and startup founders can sign up for the LCF beta at


What are your favorite resources, growth hacking or otherwise? Comment and share, I’m always on the hunt for knowledge!

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Why I Fight For Marriage Equality

Note: This was originally posted on a earlier blog I owned. Thanks to the Supreme Court’s decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, marriage equality is now the law. I’m reposting for posterity.

English: A woman makes her support of her marr...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

People ask me why I fight so hard for marriage equality. It doesn’t personally affect me in any obvious way – I’m a straight white male, married to a straight white woman, with four boys that are too young to have any idea of what their sexual preferences are, but are statistically likely to be straight.

The most obvious answer for why I fight is because it’s the right thing to do. All men and women are created equal and deserve the same rights and protections. To treat any person’s life and love as lesser than another person’s is just wrong to me on a fundamental level.

But I have another reason, one closer to home. My son Jude’s mother was raised, as she likes to say, by nomadic circus performing lesbians. When her father cheated on her mother, she left him and eventually entered into a relationship with her close friend.

Jude’s grandparents, Diane and Gainer, have been together since Mandi (Jude’s mother) was a very young girl. Next to my grandparent’s, they have the most stable, long-lasting, and loving relationship of anyone I know. Together, they provided a home for Mandi and a nucleus for an amazing extended family. The world is better off for having Diane and Gainer in it. And because of them, I never worry about my son or his mother, even though they live in the craziest state of all.

But, despite their example of what a stable long-term relationship should be, Diane and Gainer cannot be married. If Diane were to be critically injured tomorrow, there’s no guarantee that Gainer could even get to see her before she was either released or died. They each have to carry their own insurance because only spouses can be added to their employers’ insurance plans.

Kim Kardashian could marry Kris Humphries and then file for divorce after seventy-two days, but Diane and Gainer getting married after over twenty years together would violate the sanctity of marriage? Bullshit.

I will not have my son grow up being told that his grandparents’ relationship isn’t as good as mine just because they’re both women. Mandi is bi. If she decides to be with a woman for the rest of her life, I will not have him be told that their relationship is lesser. If he decides he will be with another man, I will not have him be told that he’s not as good as everyone else and doesn’t have the right to marry that man.

This is why I fight.

This post was directly inspired by Whitney Drake’s post “Why I Fight” about the reason she fights for marriage equality. Please be sure to check out her post, and every other post she’s written.

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Disney Buys Marvel, Plans Sorcerer Supreme’s Apprentice Limited Series

sorcerer supremes apprenticeSo I thought the biggest news (for me) today would be that I’m thirty years old, but Disney had to outdo me by buying frickin’ Marvel!

Here thar be press release:

Burbank, CA and New York, NY, August 31, 2009 —Building on its strategy of delivering quality branded content to people around the world, The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS) has agreed to acquire Marvel Entertainment, Inc. (NYSE:MVL) in a stock and cash transaction, the companies announced today.

Under the terms of the agreement and based on the closing price of Disney on August 28, 2009, Marvel shareholders would receive a total of $30 per share in cash plus approximately 0.745 Disney shares for each Marvel share they own. At closing, the amount of cash and stock will be adjusted if necessary so that the total value of the Disney stock issued as merger consideration based on its trading value at that time is not less than 40% of the total merger consideration.

Based on the closing price of Disney stock on Friday, August 28, the transaction value is $50 per Marvel share or approximately $4 billion.

“This transaction combines Marvel’s strong global brand and world-renowned library of characters including Iron Man (Two-Disc Special Collectors’ Edition)” rel=”amazon”>Iron Man, Spider-Man, X-Men, Captain America, Fantastic Four and Thor with Disney’s creative skills, unparalleled global portfolio of entertainment properties, and a business structure that maximizes the value of creative properties across multiple platforms and territories,” said Robert A. Iger, President and Chief Executive Officer of The Walt Disney Company. “Ike Perlmutter and his team have done an impressive job of nurturing these properties and have created significant value. We are pleased to bring this talent and these great assets to Disney.”

“We believe that adding Marvel to Disney’s unique portfolio of brands provides significant opportunities for long-term growth and value creation,” Iger said.

“Disney is the perfect home for Marvel’s fantastic library of characters given its proven ability to expand content creation and licensing businesses,” said Ike Perlmutter, Marvel’s Chief Executive Officer. “This is an unparalleled opportunity for Marvel to build upon its vibrant brand and character properties by accessing Disney’s tremendous global organization and infrastructure around the world.”

Under the deal, Disney will acquire ownership of Marvel including its more than 5,000 Marvel characters. Mr. Perlmutter will oversee the Marvel properties, and will work directly with Disney’s global lines of business to build and further integrate Marvel’s properties.

The deal still has to be approved by Marvel shareholders and get antitrust approval, but I seriously doubt either will be a problem.

Really, this could either be a huge benefit to both companies or could drag them both down (see the AOL/Time Warner merger). My bet is on it being a good thing. Disney has a history of letting its acquisitions keep doing what they do best. Once Marvel’s distribution deals with Sony and Paramount end and Disney’s comic deals with other companies expire, they’re looking at some streamlined, profitable processes.

Besides, you know you’re dying to see a Muppets-as-X-men parody just as much as I am. Animal is the best there is at what he does!

That Sorcerer Supreme’s Apprentice idea, while a joke, would also be pretty awesome.Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

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Is Your Toddler Regressing? Relax, There’s Hope!

It's hard out there for a toddler.

It’s hard out there for a toddler.

Rhonda and I have had some trouble with Nick.  We thought the days of arguments, screaming fits, and “potty accidents” were a thing of the past.

But since Harper’s come home, they’re all back.

Anyone who has read about “toddler regression” will recognize the classic signs of a toddler who is insecure with his place in the family.  Nick may be having issues with the idea that he is no longer the focus of our attention and is trying to emulate the behaviors of the person who gets the most attention – his baby brother.  Which makes a lot of sense, though I doubt it’s so calculated.

While this is frustrating for Rhonda and me, it sounds like a common occurrence and, at this point, nothing to worry about. Here’s how some experts recommend dealing with Nick’s issues:

  • Accept it, to a point.  Refrain from criticizing the “babyish” behavior – the point isn’t to shame the kid and you risk him deciding that bad attention is better than no attention.  Instead, try to let the regression slide but make sure to praise the “adult” behavior.  With time, he’ll remember that being a big boy is the best approach.
  • Avoid comparisons to the baby, negative or positive.  You don’t want to spark sibling rivalry early and the child needs to feel secure that some things are all about him.  Regardless of the baby, he is a big boy and his parents love him.
  • Make sure to set aside time for the older sibling.   Play Legos, read a bedtime story, whatever.  Just set aside at least 15 minutes a day that are all about your toddler.
  • Recruit your toddler to help with feedings or diaper changes.  Let him be Mom and Dad’s little helper.  If he resists, though, don’t push – this could just cause further resentment.  Encourage, but don’t force.
  • Watch the gift thing.  If all your visitors come by with toys for the new baby and none for the older sibling, that can be disheartening.  Ask visitors to bring a token gift for your toddler, too.  It doesn’t have to be big, it’s the thought that counts.  Besides, Nick gets ecstatic over toys from the quarter machines at the grocery store.
  • Finally, take a step back in the training process.  Remind your toddler about bathroom breaks, insist when he resists, and so forth.  You’ve done this before, you know what you’re doing.

Ideas on how long regression lasts seem to vary between a few weeks to a few months.  You know your toddler better than anyone.  If the recommended steps don’t seem to be working, talk to your child’s doctor.

Above all, love your kids.  They need it.


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Impression of The Dark Knight Prologue and I Am Legend

I’ve just gotten home after the I Am Legend IMAX experience, featuring the 6-minute prologue for The Dark Knight (the new Batman sequel). It was interesting that fully half of the people who lined up over two hours early came just to see the Dark Knight prologue and this wasn’t even the first showing. There was a midnight showing the night before and 4 showings earlier in the day.

Joker has drawing power, kids.

I was also amused by the three postings I saw and the overhead announcement that there would be no refunds once the prologue had played.

And my GAWD, was the prologue awesome! The summaries that posted all over teh intranets are accurate, but they still don’t do justice to the experience of seeing it all play out on the big screen. Heath Ledger is an excellent Joker, casting aside the camp for a total maniacal cackling psychotic…freak.

I wish I could share this prologue with you all, but I don’t know that even viewing it on a computer monitor would really do it justice. If you get the chance, I have to recommend in the strongest possible terms that you check it out.joker dark knight poster

After the prologue, I figured the next ninety minutes would be a letdown.

And it was. I mean, nothing could quite match the prologue on the awesomeness scale….

but I Am Legend is actually a surprisingly good movie.

I’m ashamed to admit that I’ve never read Richard Matheson‘s book, so I can’t really say how faithful this movie was to Matheson’s original vision, but I have seen several of the film adaptations and I have to say that this was definitely the best that I’ve seen.

I’d recommend seeing I Am Legend even without the added benefit of the prologue, but when you combine them, I demand that you see this if possible.

Now please excuse me while I pass out from all the awesomeness and grief that I have to wait until June to see the rest of The Dark Knight.



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Marvel’s Digital Comics “Unlimited” is a Step in the Right Direction, But Not Quite Enough

For those who are living under a rock and/or haven’t been paying much attention to comics news lately, Marvel launched their Digital Comics “Unlimited” service today, offering unlimited access to Marvel’s back-library for $9.99 per month or $59.88 per year.

This is definitely a step in the right direction for Marvel, but the journey’s not over. $59.88 for a year of unlimited comics is a damn good price tag and I’d gladly pay it, if not for a few things. First, you have to view these comics in Marvel’s proprietary program, in your browser; you can’t download these comics and you don’t actually own the issues. Second, you can’t read any comics until they’re at least six months old.

Both of these things put Marvel’s system at a disadvantage against the pirating system in place on torrent sites and whatnot. If I was so inclined, I could download just about any comic I want, a few days after it is released, absolutely free, and have several choices in how I view it. Not only am I saving money, I’m getting a superior product, compared to Marvel’s digital system.

When the publishers offer a system to buy digital comics, on their release date, preferably for a lower price than print copies, I will be among the first to sign up and I imagine there will be thousands – at least – right behind me, earning the publishers quite a bit of profit. Until that day, they’ll all be at a disadvantage, except in the collector’s market.

Don’t get me wrong, though. This is definitely a step in the right direction and I’m sure there will be plenty of subscribers. I just hope Marvel can keep going down this path and that others will follow their lead.]

Posted in Comic Books, Marvel | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

More On the Rumor About Batman’s Death

Final Crisis tease poster.

Final Crisis tease poster. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In the latest Lying in the Gutters, Rich Johnston gives us some more information on the dirty dirty lies about the impending death of Batman:

Last week’s rumour about Batman kicking the Batbucket to be replaced by a sidekick is kicking up steam. As Valerie D’Orazio picks up on, the original plan was for all the main DC icons to die and be elevated to the status of New Gods as part of the Fifth World, their sidekicks filling the roles they left behind.

However, that plan was abandoned internally at DC and reduced to a Bat-storyline by Grant Morrison. So look for Bruce Wayne New God to go head-to-head with Darkseid in “Final Crisis.”

I’ve said privately that I’d almost be okay with them killing off my absolute favorite comics character EVAR if they did it with a good enough story. But, Captain America being the exception that proves this rule, when does a story featuring the death of a major, iconic character ever do that character justice?

In the defense of the writers who have written these stories, how in the hell do you do justice to the death of a character who has that much history and is pretty much a pillar of their universe? I’m not sure you can. Even the way Cap died didn’t really do him justice, although the story was damn good.

So yeah, I don’t think a story can be written that would be good enough to justify killing Batman and thus I oppose it. While making Bruce Wayne a New God in the Fifth World may seem like it’s giving Bats mad props, it takes Batman out of the element that makes him who he is and thus is a terrible idea to me. Besides, who would really want Batman as a god? That’s some scary shit.

That said, I’m starting to think Bruce Wayne may die in the final lead-up to or during Final Crisis and the resulting reboot to the universe will bring him back. I can imagine and accept that, even if I’m sick of Crises in the DCU and think the concept is completely played out.

Posted in Batman, Comic Books, DC | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

X-Men Messiah Complex – So Far, So… Far

I just finished reading the first issue of X-Men Messiah Complex and all I can really say is that it doesn’t completely suck so far. I’m going to try to reserve judgement, since we all know that I’ll end up reading the entire thing anyway.

But I have a few – admittedly small – issues so far.


X-Men_Messiah_Complex Silvestri VariantI’m going to hit on the artwork first, just to get it out of the way. I’ve never been a huge fan of Marc Silvestri, but he definitely doesn’t suck. The art is pretty in this book, but I was a bit put off by the fact that everyone seems to be posing, Emma constantly presenting her ass to Scott, and not engaged in actions you would expect them to be engaged in at the moment. Very pretty, but it doesn’t do much to tell the story and actually kind of took me out of the story.

Isn’t Cyclops supposed to be a master tactician at this point? Then why is he so shocked that the Marauders, the Purifiers, and probably even the Cub Scouts beat them to this place?

In the last arc, the Marauders went out of their way to wipe out everything even resembling knowledge of future events for the X-Men – obviously for this very purpose. So why are the X-Men so shocked that other groups who still have precogs or at least some knowledge of the future knew about an event before them?

Is Scott Summers‘ secondary mutation brain damage?

Finally, I can’t remember the last name I read Wolverine calling Cyclops “Slim”, especially because Cyclops is kinda buff these days. I also can’t remember Nightcrawler lapsing into German when written by Brubaker recently. So why does it seem like they’re doing both on every other page?

Like I said, small things, but they took me out of the story a bit.

That said, I’m obviously not going to drop anything X-like any time soon, I’m just hoping it gets better.

Posted in Comic Books, Marvel | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Batman ALWAYS Beats Superman, Foolish Jock!

Lions DB Fernando Bryant thinks Superman can beat Batman, proving that he’s been tackled a bit too hard.

I would impose sanctions on this foolish mortal, but I figure playing for the Lions is punishment enough.

Batman TDKR

Posted in Batman, DC | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Marvel Must Have Good Security on This “Red Hulk” Thing

Judging from how many hits I get on this post – which really amounts to nothing more than “WTF is this shit?!?!” – from the keyword “red hulk” on WordPress’s tag browser thingy, I’m guessing that nobody knows any more about who or what the Red Hulk is than I do.

I have to admit I’m rather impressed with Marvel’s rumor control.

For the sake of speculation, though, I will say that I’ve read that Hulk#1 is not replacing Incredible Hulk, but will be running concurrently, which leads me to believe that maybe this Red Hulk won’t replace Banner Hulk, but coexist, in a sense.

Thus, my best guess at this point is that the Red Hulk will be… Amadeus Cho, for no other reason than the anime hair on this image:

Is Amadeus Cho the Red Hulk?

Also, if I’d known that post would have gotten so much attention, I would have put a lot more effort into it. I mean, I would have at least come up with a better title, ya know?

Posted in Comic Books, Hulk, Marvel | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments