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What’s Your Different?

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Category Designer

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I, I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.

- Robert Frost



Hi. I’m Christopher. Thanks for stopping by.

I’m an entrepreneur, category designer, former three-time Silicon Valley public company CMO (Mercury, Scient, Vantive), startup advisor, now author, newsletter creator and podcaster.

Sure hope you're great. (Isn't it weird when these are written in the 3rd person?)

I believe people with the courage to be different, make the biggest difference.

If you’re different, I think you’re legendary! That’s why my partners and I create podcasts, books, & newsletters for you.

Now I must warn you. My work is not for everyone.

My work is like, "what might happen if the Harvard Business Review got drunk at a dive bar with some very smart, very funny badasses?" 🏴‍☠️

I'm a dyslexic paper boy from Montreal, who got thrown out of school at 18. So, with no other options, I became an entrepreneur, then a three-time, Silicon Valley public company CMO. After we sold Mercury to HP for $4.5B (back when that was a lot!) in 2006, I hung up my glove as an “operating guy”.

Like so many others, entrepreneurship for me was not a way up, but a way out. (I was a raised by a single mother. We had a lot of love, but not much else.)

Over 35 years in the entrepreneurial/category design/marketing foxhole, I’ve experienced the bliss of winning, and the pain of losing. I have made a lot of friends and some enemies. I created some massive value, lost a ton of money, been screwed over, experienced pure evil, extraordinary kindness, public humiliation, public adulation, and learned how to laugh (and cry) about the whole thing.

I co-Created a new management discipline called Category Design, have been an advisor to over 50 venture backed startups, am a limited partner investor in a few top-tier VC funds, I’ve helped a handful of companies go public, been part of countless M&A transactions, served on many boards, been on the cover of magazines (it’s not all that, really!), hit the top of the author, podcast, and newsletter charts (that is very fun) and been fired a whole bunch. (Comes with being a pirate!... and it isn’t that scary?)

I believe if you're lucky enough to make it to the top of a mountain, you should throw down a rope. So that's what I'm trying to do.

I think George Carlin was right, whisky is a good thing, The Ramones are legendary and social media “influencers” and “hustle porn stars” are scourge the earth.

Today, I live in Northern California at the beach, with my wife, a legendary group of friends, 6 hens, and three rescue cats.

I’ve been lucky enough to share the microphone and stage with a wide-range legends like:

President Barack Obama, General Colin Powell, NBA Legend Bill Walton, General Stanley McChrystal, Navy Seal Chris Fussell, Billionaire Zoom CEO Eric Yuan, Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, Olympic Champion Kerri Walsh Jennings, #1 Legal Escort Alice Little, Greatest Chess Master of all time Garry Kasparov, the “Real DEA Narcos” Steve Murphy and Javier Peña, Netflix Founding CEO Marc Randolph, #1 technology analyst Ray Wang, Entrepreneur/VC David Sacks.

UFC Champion Luke Rockhold, Category Creation Guru Eddie Yoon, 1st blind person to summit Mt. Everest Erik Weihenmayer, billionaire entrepreneur Jeff Hoffman, baseball legend Darryl Strawberry, billionaire entrepreneur Tom Golisano, Former #1 adult entertainment star Mia Khalifa, Stanford Prof. Margaret Ann Neale, VC Brad Feld, Stanford Prof. Tina Seelig, NBA legend Andre Iguodala, 1-800-Got-Junk Founder Brian Scudamore, Entrepreneur/VC Mike Maples, Jr., Navy Seal Brent Gleeson, Cards Against Humanity Founder Max Temkin, Strava Co-Founder Mark Gainey, billionaire entrepreneur Tom Siebel, UFC Hall of Famer Bas Rutten.

I've also shared the mic with best-selling authors such as Dushka Zapata, Kim Scott (Radical Candor), Hal Erod (Miracle Morning), Ken Blanchard (One Minute Manager), Tucker Max (I Hope They Serve Beer In Hell), Sebastian Junger (Perfect Storm), Dr. Avi Loeb (Harvard’s top astronomer), Kevin Maney (Play Bigger), Amy Morin (13 Things Mentally Strong People Don't Do), Safi Bahcall (Loonshots), Jules Pieri, Jim Campbell (Madoff Talks), Joe Pine (Experience Economy), (Ryan Holiday (Lives of The Stoics), Courtney Carver, Abby Ellin (Duped)and countless others.

Over the years my work’s been featured in/on places like:

Harvard Business Review, CNBC, CNN, Fox Business, Associated Press, The Economist, CBS News, Fortune, Forbes, Business Insider, and countless podcasts.

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