About Brian and Aha!

Brian seeks business and wilderness adventure. He is the co-founder and CEO of Aha! — the world’s #1 roadmap software — and the author of the bestseller Lovability. Brian writes and speaks about product and company growth and the adventure of living a meaningful life.

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Product Strategy vs. Marketing Strategy

product vs marketing strategy

“But why?” You have probably heard this question countless times if you are a parent. Children have a seemingly insatiable curiosity to learn the reasons and causes for things. This yearning tends to diminish as we get older. But knowing “why” is important for people of all ages and it is critical in business. I am going to focus on why it matters to product and marketing teams at fast-moving technology companies. 

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10 Surprising Lessons From Our First Year at Aha!

Woo-hoo! Time to celebrate. You just reached the one-year mark at your company and things are going great. But no one else seems very excited about your milestone. Your manager and co-workers are silent, and it just seems like a regular day at work. You begin to wonder if anyone even notices all you have done — let alone appreciates it. 

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How to Craft a Winning Marketing Presentation

marketing roadmap presentation

What is in your marketing plan? I would guess that you have goals, activities, and dates. These are the basic elements of any marketing roadmap. You create a visualization of your marketing strategy, the work required to achieve it, and when you plan to tackle it. Because it organizes all this information in one place, the roadmap is an incredibly useful tool to clarify and communicate the team’s direction.

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Is Your Office Infested With Sharks?

office shark

Have you seen the movie? Doooo-doo. Doooo-doo. The first notes of the Jaws theme song are instantly recognizable. Whether or not you have seen the film, the music probably still evokes a feeling of fear. You might even visualize a shark lurking in the water, waiting to sink its teeth into an unsuspecting swimmer or surfer. But there is a different type of shark to worry about — one that is typically found in cubicles. 

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The Product Manager vs. the Product Marketing Manager

product manager vs product marketing manager

It is no secret that I have a special fondness for product managers and product marketing managers. I have written before about the enormous value that these folks bring to a company. I worked in both roles early in my career, so I know firsthand how instrumental the disciplines are to driving the growth of the business. Unfortunately, that hard work is often unappreciated or misunderstood —  not just because both start with the word “product.”

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The Founder’s Paradox: How Do You Grow Really Fast Without Losing Your Soul

grow fast startup culture

It was our third Aha! onsite. Twice a year our entire remote team gets together in a destination location. This onsite was in Park City, Utah. After a week of meaningful sessions, many great meals, and even some bobsledding, everyone lingered to chat on the final night. As I looked at the talented folks on the team who were excited to be doing something different and great together, I could not help but feel a bit wistful.

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Go Inside the Aha! Offices (the Perks May Surprise You)

Aha! remote jobs

Welcome to the office of your dreams. Here you will find your favorite snacks, cozy spots for your pets, and gear to play all the sports you love. Everything is expressly tailored to your exact specifications. You can even chat with family members while you are enjoying your freshly-brewed espresso. This may sound like a fantasy, but it is how our team at Aha! works every day. How? 

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5 Signs Your Marketing Team Needs a Roadmap

marketing needs roadmaps

Increase conversions. Decrease acquisition cost. This is the constant push-pull for marketing teams. How do you grow the number of people who engage with your ads, while simultaneously lowering the money you spend to do so? And how do you optimize to ensure those folks turn into real paying customers? These are not easy questions. And the problem is that you are too busy buried in the day-to-day tactical work to deeply ponder the answers.

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Why You Should Never Say That You Need More Time

never find more time

“If only I had more hours in the day.” I bet you have wished for just this — maybe a few hours to finish up a task or 5 more minutes to proofread an email. Tempting, especially when you feel overwhelmed by multiple projects and impending deadlines. But finding more time is impossible. And time alone will certainly not make anyone more productive.

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The Founder’s Paradox: How to Know When to Change Course and When To Keep Going

Founder's Paradox: Change Course

I love the adventure of travel. I am always looking to see and learn something new about a place and the people who live there. Right now, I am writing this from Italy where I am vacationing with my family. Driving here has been an adventure itself. The streets are ancient — narrow, wildly winding, and punctuated by faded signage that confuses more than guides. There have been quite a few “Are we sure this is the right way?” conversations with my wife and kids.

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How to Create a Digital Advertising Roadmap

digital advertising roadmap

Grab some candles and put on your party hat. There is a birthday to celebrate. The banner ad turns 25 this year — the first online ad went live on hotwired.com in 1994. The click-through rate was an astonishing 44 percent. (Yep, you read that right.) I am sure that most digital marketers today would cry tears of joy to hit even half that number now. 

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Why This Company Never Asks the Same Interview Question Twice

Aha! remote job interview questions

I have a few questions for you. “Can you tell me about yourself? What are your strengths and weaknesses? Why are you interested in our company?” If you are interviewing for a new job, you are likely hearing these questions over and over again. And if you are a late-stage applicant and hearing these from successive interviewers, it can make you wonder if anyone at the company talks to one another.

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Mentors Are Going Extinct — But We Need Them More Than Ever

Mentors are extinct

Where have all the mentors gone? I think this is a question people are asking today. There was a time when formal mentorship was a fundamental part of many organizations. But not anymore. So folks try networking events and cold-messaging on LinkedIn. I know I get many such messages each day and I do my best to respond. It makes you wonder if the mentor-mentee relationship has gone extinct — or is at least on its way out.

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