A screenshot from HBO’s “Silicon Valley” television show where three middle-aged men are gathered around a rectangular table full of computers (two people are seated, one is standing on his phone). The table is messy and filled with water bottles, disposable coffee containers, and office knick knacks.
A screenshot from HBO’s “Silicon Valley” television show where three middle-aged men are gathered around a rectangular table full of computers (two people are seated, one is standing on his phone). The table is messy and filled with water bottles, disposable coffee containers, and office knick knacks.
Startups are a high-paced environment for ambitious people with diverse skillsets. But just because you’re not they’re typical applicant, doesn’t mean you’re not cut out for it! There are roles for everyone. Source: HBO

You don’t need to have interned at a tech unicorn or get your MBA from Stanford to work at a startup. You just need to look outside the box.

The demand for talented employees with multi-disciplinary skillsets has never been higher. While large companies can rely on subject-matter experts to fulfill specialized jobs, smaller organizations need people with experience tackling a variety of tasks that fall outside the scope of traditional roles.

Most blogs about jobs at a startup, however, focus almost exclusively on roles related to strategy, tech, sales, or marketing. If you looked at job boards, you’d probably see why.

Head of Growth Marketing.

Product Manager.

Business Development Lead.

Strategy Associate.

You see well-crafted descriptions for positions with different names for titles but, at a base level…


A picture of a mahogany wood acoustic Martin guitar, lying on a couch with a floral pattern. There’s a MacBook laptop opened up with the screen facing the other way.
A picture of a mahogany wood acoustic Martin guitar, lying on a couch with a floral pattern. There’s a MacBook laptop opened up with the screen facing the other way.
Just because you created it for your client doesn’t mean you own it. Work for hire is not something you should ignore if you’re a creative contractor! Source: Justin Oswald.

In the creative industry, IP is everything. Learn more about what work for hire is, how it looks in contracts, and how to leverage it!

IP is integral to the creative industry. Whether you’re a streaming company contracting with a production studio to make a feature-length or a digital animator making an explainer video for a small business, the question of who owns the IP — the creator or the purchaser —can dictate everything from how it’s priced to who has final editorial rights over it.

If you’re creating assets for clients in the United States or doing creative work as an employee of an American company, the concept of work for hire is of central importance. …


An image of a dark wooden surface covered with what appear to be estimates and contracts. There are two hands shaking from opposite ends of photo. On one side of the photo, there’s someone in a navy blue blazer with a white dress shirt, sitting in front of an open laptop, with a contract under the other arm. On the other side of the photo, there are two people, one shaking the hand and the other (to the left) writing notes.
An image of a dark wooden surface covered with what appear to be estimates and contracts. There are two hands shaking from opposite ends of photo. On one side of the photo, there’s someone in a navy blue blazer with a white dress shirt, sitting in front of an open laptop, with a contract under the other arm. On the other side of the photo, there are two people, one shaking the hand and the other (to the left) writing notes.
Understanding the commercial contracting basics of how you get paid is of paramount importance for entreprenuers. Source: Getty Images

Whether you’re preparing a quote or drafting a statement of work, payment structure is a crucial component of any services agreement. Is it best to go with an hourly rate model, a fixed price, or some hybrid? What’s the difference between these options? And, why choose one over the other?

This article will go over commercial contracting for startups, outlining the pros and cons of different payment structures as well as best practices. While this is meant as a guide for entrepreneurs, the concepts are applicable to all organizations and business models.

Hourly Rate

An hourly rate pricing model is one where…


Captain Picard from “Star Trek” facepalm meme with the caption: Maroon 5’s doing an NFT? What’s next? Ed Sheeran going to Mars?
Captain Picard from “Star Trek” facepalm meme with the caption: Maroon 5’s doing an NFT? What’s next? Ed Sheeran going to Mars?
An overrated band getting into an overhyped asset class. Is this a fad or the future of music?

Just when you thought 2021 couldn’t get any stranger, we now have a passé pseudo-rock-R&B-pop band selling an non-fungible token.

Maroon 5 sucks. There; I said it. And I’m not the only person who thinks so. On r/unpopularopinion, a post saying that Maroon 5 is garbage received 90% up votes. It’s one of several along the same lines. No matter how many Grammy’s they’ve won (3), records they’ve sold (75 million), or Billboard pop number ones (11), they are awful. …


An image of rapper, Sisqó, staring at the camera with a smirk on his face. His hair is short and died white. He has diamond earrings and a silver chain around his neck. He’s holding a microphone in one hand.
An image of rapper, Sisqó, staring at the camera with a smirk on his face. His hair is short and died white. He has diamond earrings and a silver chain around his neck. He’s holding a microphone in one hand.
Something tells me Sisqó is more of a Zoom kind-of-guy…

Yes, I’m a millenial. But I’ve never used Cisco’s Webex. In fact, up until I clued in that the teleconferencing hardware my college used was made by them, I was convinced people were referring to the 90s rap artist, Sisqó, whenever I heard the company’s name.

Whenever I’d hear people try to explain Cisco to me — even back in the late-2000s — I was shocked that it was as popular as it was in corporate circles. I figured Skype or Google Chat were going to eat its proverbial lunch and steal Cisco’s market share with their low-to-no-cost offerings.

Somehow…


AT&T’s logo on a black background.
AT&T’s logo on a black background.

Remember when AT&T tried transforming itself into a TMT giant by buying everything that had any nexus with content?

There was its infamous acquisition of DirecTV in July 2015. The $60B+ price tag was mammoth even in those days. At the time many industry observers thought it was a massive strategic blunder. From a consumer perspective, satellite was already being replaced by broadband at an accelerating pace. Management, however, justified the deal as a conduit to get content to its mobile phone subscribers, through acquiring the streaming rights through the purchase of DirecTV.

And, while DirecTV’s free cash flows exceeded…


A meme of the Dogecoin dog superimposed on top of a baby floating in a pool. It is a spin off of Nirvana’s “Nevermind” album cover.
A meme of the Dogecoin dog superimposed on top of a baby floating in a pool. It is a spin off of Nirvana’s “Nevermind” album cover.
From meme to multi-billion dollar cryptocurrency, Dogecoin is emblematic of the modern age of investing.

Who would have thought that a comical dog-themed, meme-oriented, cryptocurrency would become the talk of the town? Welcome to 2021.

I certainly didn’t think Doge would materialize into anything. Boy, was I ever wrong!

I blew it big time. Bought Dogecoin at fractions of a penny, doubled my money, and sold out early, thinking I had beat the system. I then bought back in again and sold out when I doubled my money again, thinking that I had made a quick buck. …


Screenshot of a message from Facebook advising that the user cannot posts because a post was made against Community Standards.
Screenshot of a message from Facebook advising that the user cannot posts because a post was made against Community Standards.
Some observers argue Facebook’s content moderation policies are opaque and grant the company too much discretion in moderating internet speech. Others see it as a necessary tool to be used, when necessary, to prevent violence or the spread of misinformation.

Whether it’s copying competitor features, getting around privacy laws, failing to curtail the spread of hateful content, or taking a laissez-faire approach to regulating disinformation on its platform, Facebook has a way of staying nearest to the center of controversy. It seems almost natural, therefore, that Facebook has an affinity for the king of controversy himself — former President Donald Trump.

The two have had a rocky relationship ever since Facebook’s Oversight Board banned Trump’s accounts from both Facebook and Instagram indefinitely following the Capitol Hill raids on January 6 by armed white supremacist groups.

Facebook has been criticized in…


An image of the Netflix logo on a television screen in a dark room. The television is on top of a cabinet with a console gaming controller sitting in front of it. The red from the logo font resonates outward from the television giving a sort of ominous glow.
An image of the Netflix logo on a television screen in a dark room. The television is on top of a cabinet with a console gaming controller sitting in front of it. The red from the logo font resonates outward from the television giving a sort of ominous glow.
After reporting lower than expected net new paid subscriber numbers, Netflix has to re-calibrate its strategy for growth.

The stock market did not hide its disappointment after Netflix released its most recent Q1 earnings.

Netflix has been one of the most exciting companies to watch over the last +20 years. What began as a US-centered DVD rental company in 1997 has evolved into a multi-national entertainment conglomerate with hundreds of millions of subscribers, Hollywood studio partnerships, and award winning content.

Under the stewardship of its maverick founder and CEO, Reed Hastings, Netflix has managed to hold its own in an extremely competitive marketplace. …


Image of two tadpole-looking characters holding musical instruments and wearing plaid and leather jackets. One is playing a left-handed electric bass; the other is playing a right-handed electric guitar. There is an amplifier off to the side.
Image of two tadpole-looking characters holding musical instruments and wearing plaid and leather jackets. One is playing a left-handed electric bass; the other is playing a right-handed electric guitar. There is an amplifier off to the side.
Spotify’s Too Cool for Apple’s In-App Purchase Policies.

You don’t get to become the most valuable company in the world without making a couple enemies along the way. With a legacy defined by disrupting and dominating entire industries, Apple was certainly not afraid to step on toes.

Just take a look back on its rivalries over the last twenty years and you’ll see what I mean. Remember when Microsoft tried to compete against the iPod by launching Zune? Or, how about when Apple dismantled BlackBerry’s dominance of the smartphone market in less than a decade? Apple won those battles handedly.

What Makes Apple Such a Tough Competitor?

Apple’s ability to marry innovative software with elegant…

Justin Oswald

fortune favors the brave.

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