Avanoo Blog

Compelling stories, industry trends, and insights to help you master the art of storytelling.

Daniel Jacobs

Why Our Best Decisions Often Appear Bad

A few days ago, I was sitting with the CEO of a medium-sized manufacturing company talking through our 2018 strategic roadmap, when he asked an interesting question, “Why have so many of my best decisions been the ones few others understand at first?”

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Daniel Jacobs

The Clay Buddha Who Revealed a Simple Truth about People & (Workplace) Culture

In 1955, the government of Thailand decided to build a highway in Bangkok through a location where an old temple stood. They purchased the rights to the temple, and agreed to let the local monks move a centuries-old clay Buddha to another location.

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Daniel Jacobs

Past Performance, Future Results

Three years ago, I had dinner with an investor in my company who led a prominent fund that had invested in dozens of early-stage startup companies. He’d seen some of those companies go from ideas to being worth billions of dollars.

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Daniel Jacobs

An Unremarkable Private Company

In April of this year, MeiMei Fox wrote a beautiful article in Forbes about the company I co-founded, Avanoo. As I read it, I felt strangely exposed and out of place. It was the first time since I co-founded Avanoo in 2013 that any journalist had shared our story.

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Daniel Jacobs

When to Break the Rules

An older hispanic woman was sobbing, and had bags strewn about at an airline ticket counter in Nevada. Worried, I approached the counter. The older woman was speaking Spanish, and the airline ticket counter attendant wasn’t understanding.

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Daniel Jacobs

The Gift of Difficult People

Three years ago, my company, Avanoo, was still in its infancy. We were four people and not much more than a vision and a team crazy enough to believe we could achieve it. Somehow, we’d just closed a deal with a large, well-known consumer brand.Making that deal was an amazing m...

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Daniel Jacobs

What Leaders Say. What Employees Hear. How to Bridge That Gap.

When I was 12 years old, I had the opportunity to watch someone I idolized speak to a large, standing-only crowd of people. His words were mesmerizing. Everything he said felt masterful; poetry about how to create a life well-lived. Afterward, I was given the chance to meet th...

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Daniel Jacobs

The Answer to Evil Preschoolers and Business People

A few days ago, I spoke with the CEO of a medium-sized company who shared with me a [confidential] story about a group of unethical people who he felt were trying to ruin him and his company. He was distraught, and he asked for my advice.

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Daniel Jacobs

Are Your Employees Engaged?

Earlier this year, polling company Gallup released their State of the American Workplace Report for 2017. They begin with a bombshell:

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Daniel Jacobs

Get Your Organization’s Values Off the Wall and Into Employees’ Hearts

Yesterday, a large multi-national client took me on a tour of their corporate offices. They showed me, proudly, how their values were pasted all over their walls, alongside pictures of many of the employees who’d helped drive success for the company. When the tour ended, we wa...

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Daniel Jacobs

Make Business Problems Your Secret Weapon for Growth

By mid-2014, Avanoo had been around for a year. We had a product people loved, but we barely had enough money to pay for rent and ramen, and our highest paying client allocated more of their budget to Kleenex than they did to Avanoo. Cofounder Prosper Nwankpa and I expected mo...

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