This week, Apple finally announced their much anticipated “AirTags”. AirTags enable people to find their lost items using their cell phone. It’s a product I’m extremely excited about because…well…some friends & I came up with the idea 13 years ago and spent about a decade of my life getting the product to mass adoption.

So Apple stole my idea and I couldn’t be happier.


The idea began at UCSB in a business plan competition. We had to come up with a product to do a business plan around and we didn’t have any ideas. One weekend we went…

One of the key areas of a product is the packaging. The box is a part of the product that companies spend hours strategizing on and engineering. Based on the needs of consumers and the business, packaging has evolved over the decades to fit new needs and is experiencing a dramatic shift with the advent of e-commerce.

The Past — Display Packaging

I remember in my teenage years walking the halls of CompUSA and looking at the cool new software for my PC. The packaging was ornate, brightly colored, and had a weight to it (especially since what was inside was just a mere cd-rom)…

How does a crowdfunding campaign reach its goal within the first 24 hours of launch? The secret is an email list of people that are ready to buy.

But how does a startup build that email list of interested customers on a shoestring budget? Here is my playbook

What You Will Need

Startups fail for a lot of reasons. I think the list by Crunchbase is pretty exhaustive and while I mainly agree with the reasons listed, these items are pretty much just an event or what happened. The list doesn’t go into How these teams caused the failure event.

Advising several startups and seeing my first startup fail after I stepped away from the company, I’ve seen a clear pattern of fast rapid action in an unorganized fashion is one of the best ways to lead a company to one of the failure events listed in the graphic above.

What do…

I’ve been chatting with several investor friends on Shine’s progress over the last few months and how we’ve been doing during COVID-19 crisis. One thing that they are surprised by is our continued traction in revenue, margin, and lowering customer acquisition costs.

I’m often asked, How did you achieve those results?

My response is extremely bland and boring along the lines of daily metrics, testing ads, split testing, new creative. This is the same answer google brings up when searching on how to improve conversion rate and lower cost per acquisition. …

The sales are off track. CAC is too high. The product is delayed. Positions are unfilled. Operations are a mess.

This is what most startup CEOs call Monday morning. A myriad of problems across the company greets me every morning along with my coffee. When I was first learning how to be a CEO, this shock to the system on Monday really got me down but now not so much because I learned about the right questions to ask myself when facing these difficulties.

Startup CEOs Roll Up Their Sleeves

As a startup CEO vs a large company executive, I…

Often times I meet with founders starting companies for the first time and there is always an interesting discussion in the earliest stages of “who’s going to be CEO?”

Often my response to help founders in solving this question in their org chart is just asking “what does a CEO do?” This question usually leads to a myriad of responses and at the beginning that’s the correct response. The CEO of a startup is doing a bunch of things. However, it is key to realize that the CEO is, in fact, doing the job of another person who isn’t there…

The day after I gave my farewell speech and passed the reins of TrackR, my first startup, to new leadership in 2017, I found myself with an abundance of something that I never had before — Time.

Time to think.

Time with family.

Time to surf.

Time to work on passion projects.

Time for a new hobby.

My mother was always a gardener and so is my mother in law. My closest friends were always raving about their gardens and how much joy it brought them. I didn’t think much of it until I found myself with an abundance of…

“These 10 slides will get you funded”

“7 pitfalls of a pitch”

“Why design matters in your fundraise deck”

Sound familiar? If so, you’re like me and many entrepreneurs who are trying to up our fundraising game & we see these articles popping up into our feed daily. Everyone seems to have the perfect pitch deck and formula to raising millions of dollars. You show your deck to advisors and then they each have their own unique edit on the slides, often contradicting each other.

Decks are important. But emotion closes rounds.

Okay, so for everyone who is still reading…

When someone walks into your workplace, what do they see? More importantly, when a potential hire walks into your startup, what do you want them to see?

A Posh, well-designed office?

A maze of offices where everyone is sitting separately?

An obscure collection of used office furniture?


When thinking about culture and values, the space that you design says a lot about the corporate culture and sets a tone. In my last startup, I witness all the above situations and I saw the culture change and how it affected the business from the team to the P&L.

Chris Herbert

Surfer, Kiter, Entrepreneur. Currently CEO of Shine. Previously Founder of TrackR.

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