Matt Restivo

Best Practices for SAAS Salespeople

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I suppose working at a major sports league makes you a ripe target for people in sales at SAAS startups to cold email you twice a week. Here is some guidance for people who employ this practice;

  1. Do include a link to a one-sheeter in early correspondence.
  2. Don’t assume I want to talk and send times that work for a ’15 minute phone chat’ in your first email… Mom told me not to talk to strangers.
  3. Do send a demo Dashboard that I can look at that is always accessible.*
  4. Don’t tell me your SDK takes 5 minutes to integrate, I don’t believe you.  Parlay that question into easy to read Getting Started documentation.
  5. Do your research and include some chit chat in email relating to the person’s interests or product.
  6. Don’t email during the day. Email during downtime like early mornings, late nights, or weekends.


* - Decks suck, and waiting for you and your sales team to come to town and see your dashboard on a tv for 15 minutes is worse.  See what Crittercism and Localytics have done.  YouTube videos are better but still satisfactory.

Torture and Drones

From outside the US, the Senate intelligence committee’s 528-page report on CIA torture techniques—merely the abridged, non-secret version of the 6,700-page original—seems like America at its best. Harshly critical of an agency that did evil things to produce dubious intelligence while lying to its overlords, it seems to embody the country’s best traditions of transparency and honest self-examination.

But inside the US, the report is a sullied, discredited thing. This was no grave, bipartisan effort like the report of the 9/11 Commission, but—as critics would have it, and not entirely wrongly—a labor of ass-covering spite, produced solely by the committee’s majority Democrats and crafted to shield their own complicity. Republicans have attacked it; former CIA chiefs have risen up (paywall) to defend themselves. And Democrats are worrying about what will happen when, a few years hence, their rivals expose the current administration’s enthusiastic use of drone strikes to the same merciless sunlight.

That is a shame, for the report, though flawed, is truly damning. But, one might shrug, so what? If partisan politics is what it takes to have a national debate about the ethics of warfare, so be it; democracy is messy, and it should take what transparency it can get.

However, this national debate is not like those about race, guns, or the banking system. There, the winners and losers from a policy all have votes or campaign funds with which to sway the outcome. In warfare, the losers—the tortured suspects, the people with relatives blown to bits by drones—are foreigners, with no say. However indignantly liberals may protest the bad things done in their name, when the call comes to “keep America safe,” how many of them will dare challenge it?

—Gideon Lichfield

Great Open Table Feature

Open Table Mod

Open Table Integration on Yelp

Big fan of this one click to reserve feature that automatically suggests available times. Good stuff by @OpenTable. Would be curious to see what they tested before arriving at this experience.

Changing Your Work Environment

When you work at a job where you are sitting at the same desk 5 days a week, it can be a downer without even you realizing it. Especially in New York City, we are constantly confined to small spaces. When it’s nice enough (in other words, when my fingers aren’t too cold to type), I try and get out once every two to three weeks and sit in a park and crank out some work. I find I’m significantly more productive.

In the winter, I’ll try coffee shops on Saturday mornings. Not just a standard Starbucks, I try to find something unique and interesting. There’s plenty of detail in everything around us– and that subconsciously will increase productivity and creativity.

I’m even more productive when I’m disconnected and on a plane. I am almost saddend by the fact that there is WiFi on most flights. I still try to fly one leg “off the radar”. Flying is a great place to be still, thoughtful, which ultimately leads to creativity. It forces you to reflect on everything you’re working on, and sometimes just that can re-prioritize everything or at least get you a deeper perspective.

Visit: Austin, TX

DSC_8827Franklin BBQ: Standing in line from 10-1130am is well worth it for this wet brisket.

I’ve been to Austin, TX three times– twice for SxSW and once for a bachelor party. I talk to a lot of people about this so I figured it was worth posting. There are a few restaurants that you absolutely must go to you when you visit city;

#1. Franklin BBQ
The hype is legit, I tried Salt Lick, Micklethwait, and Franklin destroys both of them. There’s a reason Obama went there.

#2. Uchi
This dude Tyson Cole has won numerous awards and it is hands down the best Japanese food I’ve ever tasted.

#3. Torchy’s Tacos
Breakfast burritos, Tacos, the queso– everything. Go here at least once every day throughout your trip. It’s hard to put this third, because this is one of the two best Mexican food places I’ve ever been to (the other is in San Diego, CA).

#4. East Side King
Another ballin’ place to get asian fusion food. This place is harder to explain, but trust Paul Qui’s ability here– this place is impressive.

If you’re looking for other things to do besides eat– go for a run along the water, visit UT’s campus, and check out East 6th Street, and the often overlooked West 6th Street.

Thank You For Your Service

Every time I see a soldier dressed in their blues or their camo, I am always sure to thank them for our service to our country. I highly encourage you do the same.

It’s just a few small words– but you can tell they count by their reaction.