Archives For CEO Friday

I’ve been trying to wrap my head around Common Table Expressions for a while, and all the tutorials I’ve read started out with “simple” examples that were way too advanced for me to follow. Here’s my attempt to write a tutorial that starts as simple as possible.

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Being a founder and starting your own business has become the *it* thing to do lately.  In 2012, more than 500,000 companies were founded, and it’s not shocking that the numbers got even higher in 2013 and 2014.  It’s no wonder everyone wants to get in the startup game.

Interestingly enough, I came across the question of how difficult it is to be a CEO in today’s startup ecosystem.  The question, at length, from QuoraContinue Reading…

Coming up with a company tagline isn't always easy

Coming up with a tagline isn’t always easy…

“Expense reports that don’t suck!”

People often chuckle when they hear our tagline – it’s memorable, it’s catchy, and it captures a feeling that they’ve probably experienced before. As an occasional advisor to growing startups, I often get questions about product branding during our early days. Where did our tagline come from? How did we decide on this one? Here are three quick points to consider: Continue Reading…

myths about great leaders expensify

To be a great leader, you can’t just put on a mask…

So much reading on the internet today revolves around what makes a good leader, what characteristics a good leader has, and ultimately, how to be a good leader.  What we forget is that leaders are inherently part of a team, and without a team of supporters, leaders don’t exist.  A true leader relies on his or her peers and surroundings to help be the most effective they can be.  Bulldoze over these myths and avoid common misconceptions when trying to identify the leaders at your organization.  You’ll be glad you did.  Continue Reading…

David Barrett Travel Expensify

With the faithful sidekick, Lemony, of course! Photo by Robert Chen

Every year, I spend 1-2 months overseas, with probably a trip every month in between. In the last four weeks alone, I spoke at conferences in Norway and Tunisia, before heading to Portugal with the team for our 2014 Offshore. Currently, I’m writing this on a 30-hour journey from Portugal to SFO — which due to the miracle of timezones, happens in a mere 16 hours.

With all this movement, you can say that I’ve had my fair share of both delightful and horrifying experiences in business travel. Along the way, I’ve developed some core nuggets of knowledge that I live by, and I’m passing them along to the next travel-savvy entrepreneur (aka YOU).  Continue Reading…

At lunch with the Tunisian Minister of Technology, M. Tawfik Jelassi, at the International Innovation Summit of 2014, the topic of the day was: how do you bootstrap a startup ecosystem?

Don’t Reinvent What’s Already Been Done

To be clear, the question isn’t “How do you recreate Silicon Valley?” I think Alberto Sillitti (Free University of Bolzano, Italy) has answered that question best: Silicon Valley simply cannot be replicated. It is the unique product of 100 years of risk, return, and reinvestment, starting with vacuum tubes and leading to the present. Silicon Valley is a petri dish of large corporations, startups, and industry/university partnerships, concentrated into a 100 km strip of land, and fueled by a global base of private investors. The conditions that created Silicon Valley exist nowhere else in the world, and probably never will again.  Continue Reading…

Cloud Computing

With ambient services, companies will be able to predict where you’re headed, before you get there.

This is a pretty popular topic, and since I’ve been asked this question a lot, I wanted to share my thoughts on paper.

The future of cloud computing is what I would call “ambient services.” What this looks like in real life: over time, cloud services will look less like Google Search, and more like Google Now.  Continue Reading…