You are here

Eric Friedman

Content Written by Author

Wednesday, March 7, 2018 - 5:05pm

I view companies and entrepreneurs through my own lens, and have been developing my investment thesis for some time. Recently I have been thinking more about the software (vs. the wetware). Specifically, thinking through services that use algorithms as a “lock in” mechanism. This started at the end of last year when I received the incredible summary from Spotify that shows minutes, songs, artists and more (see the official Spotify Wrapped if you use the service). This is a great example of algorithmically locking me into the service.  The more I use it, the more interesting data (or value) the

The post Algorithmic Lock In Effects appeared first on Eric Friedman.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018 - 11:35am

I attended a great breakfast session with former Mayor Michael Bloomberg, put on by TechNYC, and it was a great reminder of the title of this post. During breakfast he talked about the MTA, and the governance of the system. If you have been following things at home you know it is a mess and has been for quite some time. Between the city of New York getting the brunt of commuter complaints, the governors actual responsibility, and the federal governments meek involvement – this trifecta has not gotten things done. This reminded me of early stage teams that make

The post You can’t be successful reporting to two managers appeared first on Eric Friedman.

Friday, January 5, 2018 - 5:10pm

Coming to the end of the last year with so many meetings, I wanted to make focus one of my themes for 2018. One easy way to do this is to focus on less. I wanted to set a “goal” of only doing a certain number of things, but that seemed like spending time on the negative vs. the positive. In this case, a theme of focus accomplishes my macro goal; make the things I am working on successful. Focus is about saying “no” more often. Focus is about being an editor with your time, and allowing for time to think vs filling

The post Focus appeared first on Eric Friedman.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018 - 5:05pm

The only startup analogy I like to make is to the real life Tyrannosaurus Rex – a giant carnivore, awesomely represented in Jurassic Park running after Jeff Goldblum and co. In the movie, Dr. Ian Malcolm utters the semi infamous phrase “Must go faster” and I love it. For those playing at home, this line is also in Independence Day (but not really)It represents everything to me in the fast paced world of early stage companies and a constant reminder of what you need to do to stay alive. Here is the full clip which is worth a watch: When folks

The post Must Go Faster appeared first on Eric Friedman.

Monday, November 13, 2017 - 11:30am

(A huge thanks to my friend and the founder and CEO of Andie –  Melanie Travis who prompted me to finally write up my thoughts on this topic and was nice enough to let me guest post. – this something I have been only talking to people about over the years, and excited to share publicly below.) I talk to a lot of folks at interesting crossroads in their careers and many times the topic of getting an MBA comes up.  I have formed a pretty strong opinion on this after being the host to many top tier MBA programs doing a “trek”

The post The MBA Is Dead! (Long Live the MBA!) appeared first on Eric Friedman.

Monday, September 25, 2017 - 5:05pm

I have been sitting down with many smart folks via Expa, and the latest is with Brent Tworetzky, EVP Product from XO Group. I published the full interview on Medium, head on over and give it a read there.

The post How to Grow Great Product Driven Companies in NYC — A conversation with Brent Tworetzky, EVP of Product at XO Group Inc. appeared first on Eric Friedman.

Monday, September 18, 2017 - 5:10pm

At the beginning of last year I jokingly said that one of my resolutions was to try to always be positive with startups I hear about. Fast forward to a year+ later and I am still sticking with this resolution – staying positive in a sea of what can sometimes seem like endless negativity. It has become all too common to quickly dismiss or make fun of the “new thing” and I wanted to stop the trend. I have stuck with it and wanted to share some results, which have been amazing at seeing the optimistic/glass half full side of

The post On Being Positive appeared first on Eric Friedman.

Thursday, July 20, 2017 - 12:10pm

We started Expa Labs to help founders build and ship new ideas. By providing fundamental help in starting and structuring their company, providing office space, funding, and advising, we take a very hands on approach. We do this by working with a smaller group of companies. Building off of our learnings from 2016, we expanded the program to better suit the needs of entrepreneurs. Just like a startup, Expa continues to iterate on making our program better for the creation and scaling of companies. After reviewing over 1,000 companies and meeting with less than 5% for final interviews, we are

The post Expa Labs   2017 Companies appeared first on Eric Friedman.

Thursday, July 20, 2017 - 12:10pm

Let’s get the fun part out of the way: the word coachability auto corrects to “coach ability” or “coach-ability” but I like it combined so I am running with it. I mentioned that this attribute is now towards the top of my list in what I look for in entrepreneurs in my lessons learned for Expa Labs 2016 and I wanted to elaborate more on why. You see when I sat down to really think about what to look for and research what has worked with a founding team, I made up a list of what appears to be the

The post Coachability appeared first on Eric Friedman.

Thursday, July 20, 2017 - 12:10pm

With the first group of Expa Labs companies moving on to the next phase in their development and the application period for the next Expa Labs group now open, I wanted to take a step back to share some of the lessons I learned from working with each of the companies in our first group. […]

The post Expa Labs – Some Lessons Learned appeared first on Eric Friedman.

Thursday, July 20, 2017 - 12:10pm

With CES in full swing, I have been thinking more about hardware businesses that have a SaaS component for ongoing revenue and support. I have personally experienced this with a Dropcam (now part of the whole Google Home system so technically a Nest Cam) that was an initial hardware purchase($199.99) with a $9.99 non-required component […]

The post Hardware as a SaaS business (HaaS?) appeared first on Eric Friedman.

Thursday, July 20, 2017 - 12:10pm

I few months ago I had to lower my coffee consumption and was struggling to find the best way to “force” myself to do so. Nothing major prompted the change, but wanted a catalyst to really stop. I have been following Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency for awhile, and thought I would use this as a […]

The post Turning coffee into Bitcoin appeared first on Eric Friedman.

Thursday, July 20, 2017 - 12:10pm

John Exley takes relationships seriously. We have been friends for a number of years and after his latest email intro I wanted to share how he does it. With the permission of Mike Falb and John, I wanted to share the following exchange that recently took place.  I have never seen someone as thorough or […]

The post Making an amazing introduction via email (via John Exley) appeared first on Eric Friedman.

Thursday, July 20, 2017 - 12:10pm

I submitted Ando today to Product Hunt, which is a new restaurant that is delivery only co-founded by David Chang (from Momofuku)  and Hooman Radfar. Check it out Ando on Product Hunt for a special combo for those in NYC. Since I have been submitting products for awhile now (10! see below), I thought I […]

The post Product Hunt – Part of Your Launch Plan appeared first on Eric Friedman.

Thursday, July 20, 2017 - 12:10pm

I have been sharing the below with folks via email and privately, but realized I should do so publicly**. (also a huge shout out to Ben Alden, GC at, Betterment for contributing heavily, and encouraging me to post – go follow him on Medium @BenAlden) Regarding some of the plans I have seen work well — I am going […]

The post An Advisor Equity and Advisor Pool Breakdown appeared first on Eric Friedman.

Thursday, July 20, 2017 - 12:10pm

The fight has been underway for some time by hardware and platform companies to get into homes for more data, more control, and more share of wallet. The attack vectors have been things like home entertainment systems (think Xbox or Playstation), smart appliances, smart TVs, IoT (think smart light bulbs), and now voice assistants (Amazon, Google, Apple). For the first time after getting the following email from Amazon announcing Alexa calling, directly following the launch of the Amazon Echo Show, I think Amazon has a real shot and pulling ahead in this race. The below image helps explain why — they are

The post The Trojan Horse into smart homes is Voice appeared first on Eric Friedman.

Eric Friedman is Director of Sales and Revenue Operations at foursquare. Eric was formerly at Union Square Ventures, a venture capital firm focussed on early stage web services and technology companies. He also spent three years working at Reprise Media, a full service SEM, SEO, and social media agency startup that was acquired by IPG in 2007.