Social Media Strategies for Middle Market B2B Companies

Jim talks about all things social media with Cappy Popp and John Maver from Thought Labs -- a leading Digital Marketing Strategy company.  We've worked with Cappy and John on a number of projects in our portfolio, and they know what it takes to develop a social media strategy.  This is the first part of an ongoing series on social media marketing.  In this first part we cover the basics of when/why/how you should consider a social media campaign for your company.


Should you consider hiring graduates from a coding bootcamp?

Alan and Jim spend a fun hour talking with Zeke Nierenberg, Academic Director/Chicago from Fullstack Academy.  Fullstack teaches qualified non-programmers to code using an immersive 13-week program.  Our bias going into this conversation was Alan's belief that you can't learn to code in 13 weeks.  Zeke managed to school us bothwith Fullstack's point of view.  Come have a listen and and decide for yourself. 


Influencer Marketing - Does it add value for B2B companies?

Jim is back talking with Brian Walker, CEO of AE Marketing Group on the topic of Influencer Marketing.  Does it work for B2B companies?  Why or Why Not?   What types of "marketing" projects should middle-market business-to-business companies focus their precious resources on?  (If you have a dollar to spend, where should you spend it).  We branch out into a side discussion of trying to calculate the real size of a company's addressable market, building simple "market" data marts and fallacy of "Big Data" in marketing.

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If it isn't broken there's no need to upgrade it

Alan and Jim spend a fast half hour talking when you should consider upgrading older pieces of custom (homegrown) software.  You don't have to upgrade older software just for the sake of upgrading it -- and converting from an older language to a newer language doesn't make the software any better.  The first of a three (or maybe four) part series on modernizing your infrastructure.


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A Brief History of Application Programming Interfaces

Jim and Alan spend an hour arguing about whether you should consider bolting an
application programming interface onto older applications as a path to modernizing them.  The conversation meanders into a brief history of application-programming-interfaces without getting too nitty-gritty -- suitable listening for Founders, CEOs and technologists.

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A Founder's Guide to Brand Marketing -- It's Not About Advertising

The first of many conversations with Brian Walker CEO of AE Marketing Group.   We've found that Marketing is often the third wheel at small companies -- behind product development and sales.   Brian's team takes a CoCreation and Customer Experience approach to building and marketing products that gets the marketing function heavily involved in improving operations and products.  So, come have a listen!

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Slowing Down Sales ... On Purpose!

Alan, Jim and Kristina talk about a rare phenomenon in technology -- slowing down sales -- intentionally!  Faced with the need to undertake some major software refactoring, we chose to put the cap on new sales while we raced to update the platform.  This caused real tension between the board, sales management and the engineering team.  Come have a listen as we talk about the details of this successful effort.

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Migrating Legacy Applications with Amazon Workspaces

We recently had to find a home for a legacy client/server accounting application, running in a location that was far, far away.  The software came to us through an acquisition of another company.   Our ultimate goal is to migrate the parent and child to a single, unified cloud-based application.  In the near term, however, we needed to allow the remote team to access the software as per usual, right alongside the finance team back at headquarters. And, we needed to insure that the software was backed up properly and secure.   The solution turned out to be Amazon's WorkSpaces product.

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Surviving in the Valley of Anguish

Jim and Alan talk in detail about the Valley of Anguish and how to survive it.   All large projects (ERP implementations, software re-writes, data center moves) start out with heady expectations and hardy enthusiasm.   Inevitably, as your teams start tackling the stickier issues they slide down into the Valley of Anguish -- all willing to abandon the project and go back to doing things the old way.   As operating partners, we've had tons of experience in the valley -- and can help you and your teams survive and thrive -- and come out the other end of the project with smiles on their faces.   Also, we talk about Alan's really bad hat.

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Is Business School Worth It?

Devin interviews podcast darling Kevin Fitzgerald on his return to private equity after two years at Harvard Business School. Kevin talks about why he went, what he learned, how he landed his summer internship, how much the whole thing cost and whether or not getting and MBA was even worth it.  Just like his last podcast talking about the Associate job, Kevin spills the beans on business school and returning to the industry as Principal.

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Don't Make These Mistakes When Implementing NetSuite

Jim talks with our old friend and colleague, Dirk Shimpach about the most common mistakes we make when implementing NetSuite.  We've done six implementations across six portfolio companies over the past five years -- so we've learned a thing or two about getting NetSuite up and running.   Dirk gives CEOs, Founders and CFOs a quick primer on the most common speed bumps and how to avoid them. We're about to start two new implementations at two different ParkerGale portfolio companies.   Our plan is to dive deep into these two projects and give you the blow by blow as we get them going.  While we've covered this topic before, we plan on going deep, deep, deep into these projects -- so stay tuned.

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DevOps for Founders and CEOs

Alan and Jim discuss DevOps -- the intersection of software development and managing the deployment and operations of software.  We provide a simple layman's definition of DevOps and then address common misconceptions and fears.   It's not fatal if you are not doing state-of-the-art DevOps or you haven't completed automated the build and deploy process.   Instead, we given you a simple set of suggestions for getting simplified DevOps in place in order to limit system downtime and speed up re-starts.

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Debunking The Failure Mythology

Devin and Jim spend some time talking about the Failure Mythology -- the idea that you need to fail in a big way on the path to building a great company. (Aka The Steve Jobs Story)  It's a popular myth in the venture space, but not at all common for private equity deals.

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Bootstrapping & Selling Your Software Company

Devin sits down with Dave Will, the founder of Peach New Media,a software company he founded, bootstrapped and recently sold toAccelKKR. Dave gets philosophical about building culture andstepping aside after the sale. A good listen for founders and CEOsalike. We’ll definitely have Dave back to chat more.

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Can Unicorns Hurt Buyouts?

Devin and Jim talk about Unicorns -- not the mythical horse witha horn, but rather the club of billion-dollar-plus tech companies. How is this marketdifferent than the late 90s? How do Unicorns affect buyouts and smaller companies, bothpositively and negatively? These are just a few of the questions we discuss on today's show.

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Board Meetings -- The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Devin and Jim welcome their partner Kristina to her first podcast where they talk about how to run a good board meeting. Who to invite, what to cover, what to avoid and how to manage your PE board members.

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It's a LOG way to the top if you want to rock'n'roll

Alan and Jim spend some time talking about tracking events and errors in application software logs.   Most  companies are at least monitoring their web logs and database error logs these days -- but we'd argue that this is just the tip of the iceberg.  With easy access to cloud platforms, cheap computer cycles and disk storage the time is right to up the ante.   Capturing user traffic and events at all layers of your application stack can pay big dividends in customer satisfaction, software performance and system reliability.

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March Madness 2016 -- Elite Eight

It's our annual March Madness show.  Hosted by two guys that don't know a THING about college basketball -- so our March Madness is all about Private Equity.   This year we are starting with the Elite Eight and working our way down to one winner.  It's EBITDA Multiples versus Revenue Multiples, Debt versus No Debt, Private Equity Owned Businesses versus Founder Owned Businesses and Backing the Founder versus Bringing in your own CEO.  Come join Devin, Jim and the Commissioner -- Ryan Milligan as we argue our way to a winner.

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