Startup Cabin Blog

Risk Strategy: How to take over local markets

Posted by Xue Mei Rhodin on 26 April 2016


Companies don't just blow up and take huge markets over night. They take gradually larger and larger territories until they gain the momentum and capital to take over the biggest markets.

Gaining smaller territories helps you take bigger territories. That's how you win when playing RISK. The same principle works when growing your company's market reach.

By focusing down on cities, neighborhoods, and streets, you can quantify your goals and success. When one territory falls to you, the others aren't far behind.

This target local market approach also helps you lead your team better. When you are wanting to reach every cafe on one street, your team has very tangible goal.

Once you've won the smaller markets, your reputation and influence will precede you. The next territory can see the value you've provided to earlier territories.

UBER took over New York one area at a time, then moved on to the next city. Each victory propels you onto the next, and so on.

Next Video: How long until I'm profitable?

Topics: Marketing Strategy, Sales Strategy

Video first: The new content revolution moving away from text

Posted by Xue Mei Rhodin on 09 March 2016


In this video Xue Mei Rhodin tells us about how online content is moving to Video First.

Your audience or your customers prefer video to any other kind of content. This new shift brings many new challenges to businesses and entrepreneurs who have been able to remain unseen. Now people want to see you, and you have to learn how to work video into your brand.

Luckily, we're here to help. Send any questions about getting into video to us here in the comments or at Twitter or Instagram

Read Next: Reverse Brainstorming Creativity Hack

Topics: Brand & Storytelling, Marketing Strategy

Moral and legal issues in startups

Posted by Steve Ferris on 08 March 2016


Companies like UBER have gotten a lot of attention from entrepreneurs because they disrupted an industry with some questionable practices that bent legal and moral boundaries.

Should startups be pushing these limits and determining what legal and moral guidelines are valid?

Or do you think that consumers and governments need to take a harsher stand against rogue startups?

We want to hear your view on this. Come tell us in the comments.

Next Video: How to Understand Millennials

Topics: Marketing Strategy, Leadership & Mindset

Entrepreneur Q&A Video: How long until I'm profitable?

Posted by Xue Mei Rhodin on 07 March 2016


How long until I'm profitable?
Entrepreneur Q&A Video

Xue Mei answers questions we've received from YouTube, Twitter and Instagram.

Questions in this video:
1. How long until I earn a profit?
2. How can I create a new marketing technique?
3. How can I make money without doing degrading work? (Dangerous question!)

If you want your questions about entrepreneurship and business answered,
come ask us in the comments on YouTube, on Twitter @startupcabin or Instagram @startupcabin



Want more business hacks?

Xue Mei has been featured in Dagens Nyheter, Cap&Design, DigitalTeknik. Expressen talking about building businesses, brands and working smart as an entrepeneur.

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Topics: Marketing Strategy, Leadership & Mindset, Sales Strategy

Why you need to try sports you suck at.

Posted by Xue Mei Rhodin on 03 March 2016

This story was originally posted on my Instagram, HeyXueMei, where I share stories every week on how to improve your mental attitude towards leadership and entrepreneurship. I train entrepreneurs to become super-entrepreneurs for a living at Startup Cabin’s Tribes program.

 If someone told me 5 years ago, that I ‘d be the closest to a cowboy you could get in the inner city of Stockholm, I would have laughed.

Now though, two of my main hobbies are horse riding and shooting guns… Well, why is this relevant to you and how the *$*%# does is relate to the digital industry and being an entrepreneur?

I’m a sport shooter in competitive handguns. Meaning I shoot Beretta pistols every week and aim to compete in field shooting and rapid fire-shooting. I’m new in the sport, and learn every week.

Why would someone so pacifistic do that? Well, pistol shooting demands extremely controlled focus, the ability to slow down you heart rate, your breathing and be calm under time-pressure. You need to know you body and mind. Every shift in posture, breathing and though effects your scare results on that black and white board at the end of the shooting range. 

I would say it’s one of the most extreme mindfulness challenges I’ve ever encountered. 

As my club mentor says: “You can’t think about shit that happened at work at the shooting range. You will shoot like a drunk crow. Sharp shooting will tell you how you’re doing in life. Your results will tell you if you’re stressed out, tense, frustrated, hungry or tired. You mind and body can’t hide from the scores.”

Horse riding demands agility, non-verbal communication skills and confidence that the 6'9" / 175cm withers height, 1000 lbs/ 450 kg horse will obey you every instruction. Grounding yourself and stepping into the stables with confidence, and an open and inviting body language is crucial to have a good relationship with a horse.

Both my main sport make me a better dealmaker, a more confident speaker, a calmer leader and a balanced person. The horses, as well as the points on my target, will tell me if I’m stressed out at work or not focusing. 

Multi-tasking and constant distractions in today’s work environment will make you not only loose focus, but get worse at keeping it.

Yes. You heard me right. You’ll get dumber.

If you keep your body and brain under constant negative-stress (which all long term stress is), it’ll deplete your body of vitamins, have a harder time processing information and worst of all, make you take less informed and strategically built decisions.

You’ll take decisions based on old patterns and your reptile brain. The easy paths for the brain to work through. So all your hard work improving your entrepreneurial skills, leadership style and most importantly, your weekly success rytm, will be lost. 

Find a sport that challenges you. Mentally, physically. And most importantly: You’re not allowed to be great at it when you start out. 

I repeat. You can’t ace it. Because then you’ll get no struggle out of it. You’ll just get a false sense of accomplishment. So that’s why I picked up sharp shooting as a completely new sport, and horse riding, as I had a break of several years since I sat in the saddle the last time. 

I could have chosen to go back to swimming. Something I’ve done since I could voluntarily throw myself of a boat. (Which was early on and a frequent problem for my adventurous sailing parents. You can see more about that here:

I’m a natural swimmer. I swim twice as fast as the average person. Without any formal swimming practice. And I’ve done for years and years. But hopping back into the pool won’t be hard. I did it a couple of weeks ago at a spa to see what it was like. With a hurt shoulder, I still swam like I’d never gotten up of the water. The body simply remembers.

But riding, that was a challenge. And I have to get back onto a live animal. Do I still have a good communication style for them? Do I have the right chemistry with this horse? How do I react to different temperaments and types of horses? 

In the end, it will give you that cool, calm and collected confidence that will help you forward. Overcoming your fears will give you kick! And the struggle of failing and making mistakes will simply make you tougher. 

What sports do you fear? Try a new one.
I dare you!



Want more business hacks?

Xue Mei has been featured in Dagens Nyheter, Cap&Design, DigitalTeknik. Expressen talking about building businesses, brands and working smart as an entrepreneur.

Subscribe today for free and be the first to get new insights and tools to build a better business, invites to our entrepreneurs workshops and events and exclusive content.

Subscribe now. 


Xue Mei Rhodin started her first company at 18 and has been a self-made entrepreneur for more than 11 years. She works as an advisor, specialising in business models, growth strategy, marketing, branding and leadership.

Xue Mei has founded several companies, including Startup Cabin — a growth program for entrepreneurs, and Cedarwood — a consulting agency, both within the tech, design and game industries.

Startup Cabin’s Tribes
12 month growth programs for advertising agencies, production companies, tech/it companies, design/fashion companies and game companies.

Rent-a-CFO service for IT, Tech, Design and Game industries.
Take control over your finances, find a rythm, get support making the right financial decisions.

She also vlogs and hosts podcasts for Startup Cabin and writes columns for Digital Teknik, runs Founders' Lunch and Sweden YouTube Meetup in Stockholm and started the Nordic YouTuber and Nordic Podcaster network.  Business channel Startup Cabin  Vlog Channel HeyXueMei  Startup Cabin Podcast  Sign up for Founders’ Lunch

...And she also loves bulldogs, champagne, sci-fi, vegan brunch and gaming. 

Topics: Marketing Strategy, Leadership & Mindset, Goals and Accountability

How to Understand Millennials For Your Business

Posted by Steve Ferris on 23 February 2016


Millennials are actually two different groups, Gen-Y and Gen-Z. Knowing this, we must stop thinking of them as one group.

Understanding the major differences between the generations will get you better sales with their market, better insights when hiring them into your company and more.


Topics: Marketing Strategy

How can you be more productive?

Posted by Steve Ferris on 21 February 2016


There are tools that will help you be more productive. Xue Mei has been tracking her life's data and trying to maximize her efficiency with a variety of tools and apps.

But one app stands tall about the rest, RescueTime.

Here how this has helped Xue Mei Rhodin become super productive at work.

Topics: Marketing Strategy, Teams & Tribes, Leadership & Mindset

How to Thrive When Your Industry Changes

Posted by Steve Ferris on 21 February 2016


What do you do when your industry is being turned upside down? The media has been suffering massive disruption with floods of amateurs entering their market via podcasts and video.

People don't want to pay to news anymore! How media companies respond will make or break them. And there just two ways to respond.
Would you choose the right way?

Topics: Marketing Strategy, Structure and Scaling

Google's filter bubble danger, are you stuck in one?

Posted by Steve Ferris on 18 February 2016


Filter bubbles happen in Google, Spotify, Netflix, and anywhere else search results are filtered to suite your previous tastes and interest.
Convenient? Yes. Good for unbiased results and the flow of new things into your life? No

When algorithms decide what we see and hear, they shape our life. That is the filter bubble. What should today's developers and tech companies do with this?

Come tell us your thoughts in the comments.

Topics: Marketing Strategy, Leadership & Mindset

UX Principles on Physical Products

Posted by Steve Ferris on 18 February 2016


Old fashioned industries like fashion could stand to learn and revolutionize their industry by applying UX principles that have become common in tech industries.

Topics: Marketing Strategy, Goals and Accountability

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