Candl Investor Weekly Update #15 – February 3rd 2017

It’s Alive!


We made it through week #2 at Techstars Boulder, which included meeting 75+ mentors for 20 minutes each over 3 days. Wow.

This week we really came away with clarity about what we’re building and why. We’re re-writing the entire pitch deck and reframing our solution entirely differently. When we’re done, you’ll have a jaw-drop moment like we did this afternoon.
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Week One at Techstars Boulder

A week ago we officially announced that CANDL was accepted to Techstars Boulder 2017! We’ve been in the program for 7 days now, and it’s been everything we expected it to be — intense, powerful, exhausting, valuable, fun, exciting, busy, and immersive. We’re learning how to work both IN and ON our company. We’re learning how to work effectively as a team. We’re making huge progress in marketing, engineering, and business operations. We’ve met a ton of new people — mentors, investors, entrepreneurs, friends.

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Candl Solves Hard Problems. Why You Should Too.

Starting a company — any company — is hard. But starting a company with a social mission to improve the lives of millions of people around the world can be exceptionally difficult. Investors, regulatory agencies, and the mechanics of building something that generates revenue while helping those without the means to afford your wares can really throw a wet towel over a visionary dream.

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The Washing Machine Effect

When you’re stuck, mix everything up. With everything in disarray your priorities and interests come to life.

For the past several weeks I’ve been in a washing machine of experiences. I’m walking away from probably the best possible career position I ever held in my life. I’m building a consulting practice from absolute zero. I plan to build a new product company to help refugees, yet I’ve never worked with refugees. It’s all pretty wild.

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We Haven’t Forgotten

Scene from “Wanderers” by Erik Wernquist.

We haven’t forgotten.

Through all of our technology, social structure, distraction, and comfort, it’s still there. It lies just past the safety and security of our happy little world that, while imperfect, is predictable and logical.
It’s just beyond the grasp of something we can’t quite reason in our mind. It’s there. And it’s always been there.

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This One Weird Trick…

Imagine you’re talking with a group of friends – maybe at the local pub or at a neighborhood event.  You’re having a great conversation about your family, or you’re telling them something about a product you just absolutely love using.

All of a sudden, another person comes up to the group and says “You’re not going to believe what I just saw this teenage girl just do!”  Everyone in the group stops talking and immediately pays attention to this person.  They are waiting with anticipation to hear what they say next. 

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How to Explain a Complex Product

Six Tips For Explaining Complex Products Quickly & Effectively

What Does it Do Exactly?

As the world grows more and more complex, so too do the products and services we use.  At a fundamental level, very few humans understand how our modern world works.  What makes a plane fly?  How does WiFi work?  Where does plastic come from?  Where is the Internet?

Anytime we are exposed to a category-defining product, we inherently have difficulty understanding what it is and why it is valuable, let alone how it works. 

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Apple is Missing its Core

This week Apple announced its next generation of iPhones, a new digital wallet, and Apple Watch.  But it was the way they introduced these products that left me feeling far worse than just disappointed.  I felt used.

I was on a plane during the announcement, so I had already heard what devices had been announced when I queued up the presentation online later that evening.  Nevertheless I was still excited to watch the unveiling and learn about the devices – especially the Apple Watch. 

The first thing that struck me was that they were presenting in the Flint Center.  This is where Steve Jobs unveiled the Macintosh Computer in 1984 – which forever changed the computing industry. 

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The Day I Became An Evangelist

The Day I Became An Evangelist for Mobile Technology

In 2009, my wife and sons gave me an iPhone 3GS for Father’s Day.  The only Apple product I had ever owned before was a 2005-era iPod – one of those iPods that had the track wheel and a small color LCD display.  I loved my iPod because it truly simplified the way I carried music around with me.  It made it easy to listen to podcasts, and iTunes made it easy to categorize all of my ripped CDs. 

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How to Make Hard Decisions

Spoiler: You already know the decision

You already know what your decision is.  You just don’t know it consciously. Because decisions aren’t made in the part of the brain that helps explain WHY you made the decision.

Few things are more paralyzing than being faced with a decision you don’t want to make, or don’t know how to make.  It’s a situation where you really don’t know which direction to turn. 

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The Details of a Brand

Your customers care about details.  Even if you don’t.

When your brand stands for quality and tradition, cutting corners – even on packaging – will be noticed.

Buying a product falls into one of two general categories:  purchasing something that is necessary and utilitarian, and buying something that makes you happy.  It’s the latter of these two categories about which I’m writing today. 

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When is a Lean Startup Too Lean?

The Difference Between Efficiency and Starving

There’s something romantic in American culture about the concept of starting and running your own company.  We all dream about that day when we can walk away from our day job and dive into finding ways to make money doing what we’re passionate about.

If you are one of those brave few who have actually followed through and left behind the safety, comfort, and network of your profession, you know exactly what I’m talking about.  That day you announce to your boss and your peers that in two weeks, your life will be all about following a dream.

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The New Satellite Ecosystem

Changing The Way We Think About Selling Bandwidth and Terminals.

Satellite Operators and Integrators that don’t recognize they now exist in an industry that is pivoting will find themselves on the wrong side of history, and possibly the balance sheet.

Over the past 50 years, the satellite industry has shaped the world’s communication infrastructure and changed the expectations we as humans have about our ability to communicate instantaneously to and from anywhere on the  planet. 

Just like every other industry, we are not immune to the cycle of innovation, adoption, maturation, and pivot.  There are dozens of great examples of how our industry has learned to master this cycle, yet even today I see examples of companies continuously resisting change.

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