» businessLandon Howell | A blog about startup marketing

Google Meet is now a great, free alternative to Zoom
posted on Apr 29 2020

For those reliant on Zoom as a free video conferencing tool, Google has now made Meet available for free.

  • The meeting can include up to 100 participants
  • No cut off time for meetings (Zoom’s free offering cut off is 1 hour)
  • People not explicitly added to a meeting via a calendar invite will be automatically entered into a green room when they try to join a meeting, and only be let in when approved by the host. (aka: no “Zoom Bombing”)
  • Previously, Meet was only available to enterprise and education customers. Now, anyone with an email account will be able to use the platform.

    The Covid-19 Spend Index
    posted on Apr 28 2020

    Interesting data from Cardify on US credit spend in the wake of Covid-19.

    Covid-19 Spend Index

    The Burn Multiple
    posted on Apr 28 2020

    Great article and a unique perspective as to how startups should think about burn, runway, and growth in the challenging months ahead.

    The Burn Multiple

    In a tough fundraising environment, it won’t just be growth but the efficiency of growth that are seen as the key indicators of startup performance. Tracking the Burn Multiple is an easy way for founders to make sure that burn isn’t getting ahead of traction. Over time, it also reveals important information about whether incremental spend is working.

    Teens are covered in Nike and filled with cheese
    posted on Apr 15 2020

    Piper’s annual survey of US teens. Some things I thought were interesting…

  • Nike has a big lead in Clothes, and dominates in Shoes.
  • 85% use Instagram (#1), with only 31% using Facebook (#4). (Side note: Would love insight as to what percentage of all people, especially teens, are aware that Instagram is owned by Facebook.)
  • They love cheese. The #2, #3, #4, and #5 snacks are all cheese-flavored products.
  • YouTube and Netflix are neck and neck, with Cable a distant 3rd.
  • 86% of teens expect an iPhone to be their next phone.
  • Crocs (!) gains notable share, jumping to the #7 preferred footwear brand.

  • Coronavirus Consumer Sentiment
    posted on Apr 15 2020

    McKinsey released survey results for US consumer sentiment during the coronavirus crisis. Numbers are from surveys conducted from March 30-April 5. Here are some highlights…

  • 92% of people believe it will take 2+ months to return back to normal, which is up 3% from the week prior.
  • 37% expect the economy to rebound within 2–3 months. Those making $100K+ per year are the most optimistic.
  • 46% say they will reduce their spending over the next two weeks, and 44% are delaying purchases given the uncertainty of the economic outlook.
  • Consumers are starting to adopt new behaviors, such as shopping new websites for basics (15%), changing primary grocery stores (13%), adopting curbside restaurant and store pickup (10% and 8%), and trying video conferences for professional and personal reasons for the first time (9% and 8%).
  • Source: US consumer sentiment during the coronavirus crisis

    The Apple Store’s 5 Steps of Service
    posted on Jun 20 2012

    1. Approach customers with a personalized, warm welcome.
    2. Probe politely to understand all the customer’s needs.
    3. Present a solution for the customer to take home today.
    4. Listen for and resolve any issues or concerns.
    5. End with a fond farewell and an invitation to return.


    Working Less = Being Productive (Unless You’re Just Being Lazy)
    posted on Jun 19 2012

    I want to take this article… print copies with big text on large, durable sheets… turn those sheets into a hot air balloon… and drift around the office building of my old company in Seattle because there are 4 manager in-particular who need to read it, again and again.

    “…when managers judge their employees’ work by the time they spend at the office, they impede the development of productive habits. By focusing on hours worked instead of results produced, they let professionals avoid answering the most critical question: “Am I currently using my time in the best possible way?” As a result, professionals often use their time inefficiently.”

    I feel sorry for people who have to put up with stuff like that. (I used to be one of those people.)

    The video pitch for Doulingo is perfect in every way
    posted on May 22 2012

    Perfectly explains the product, its goal, how it works, and why it matters to you and the world. Also, it’s simple and beautiful. Yeah, I said beautiful.

    Zynga looks like a really tough space to work at, you guys
    posted on May 11 2012

    NYT’s Kevin Roose lives like a billionaire for a day. Seems like part fun, part “no thank you.”
    posted on Apr 12 2012

    Living Like a Billionaire, if Only for a Day

    Everywhere he goes, he gets four-star service. Doors are opened, luggage is carried away wordlessly, and at one point, warm chocolate chip cookies magically appear. When his brakes sputter and his convertible starts spewing smoke, he picks up another Mercedes.


    I feel bad admitting it, but my billionaire day has been stressful. Without an assistant, just keeping up with the hundreds of moving parts — the driver, the security detail, the minute-by-minute scheduling — has been a full-time job and then some.