Startup Cabin Blog

How to Disrupt like AirBnB and UBER

Posted by Xue Mei Rhodin on 16 February 2016


How Disrupt like AirBnB and UBER: Amazing success can be found in digitizing an old industry, especially if you're the first to do it. But before you join the ranks of Uber and AirBnB, you must meet some important needs of your customers.

How can you change your business model?
What can you make customers feel safe when you disrupt an industry?

Topics: Marketing Strategy, Structure and Scaling

Vlogmas Winners Anounced!

Posted by Xue Mei Rhodin on 01 February 2016


Our three winners for the Vlogmas giveaways are announced!

New Q&A videos are coming soon!

Topics: Marketing Strategy

2015: A Year In Review

Posted by Xue Mei Rhodin on 20 January 2016

A year in review 2015: 5 things that has changed my everyday life as an entrepreneur this year.

Happy New Year everyone! See you in 2016!
What has been your experience this year? Comment and be featured in my next vlog episode!


Our YouTube Meetup in Sweden:

Office Tour Video:

My vlog channel HeyXueMei

Louise Bennetts channel:

William Sjögren Gomez channel:

Startup Cabin Tribes Program:

Topics: Marketing Strategy

Xue Mei Rhodin mentors at Startup Weekend Media & Gaming Stockholm

Posted by Steve Ferris on 17 February 2015


Xue Mei Rhodin, founder of Cedarwood and Startup Cabin, is going be on of the mentors for the next Startup Weekend here in Stockholm. 

The theme is Gaming and Media. It seems like the tech scene in Stockholm is really warming up to Gaming! Which we are thrilled about. 

Startup Weekend is a 54 hour event that brings together Stockholm designers, developers, entrepreneurs, and experts from all domains to hack out something together. 

The line-up of mentors is great for this Startup Weekend:

Sanna Nilsson, CEO and Founder at Codarica.

You'll recognize Sanna from our episode interviewing her and her co-founders from L.A. when they attended the Disney Accelerator.
You'll also find our post Lessons from Codarica on our blog on what the founders of Codarica learned moving their startup to the US during the Disney Accelerator.

Pontus Rundqvist, DreamHack Project Manager.

You'll recognize Pontus from the episode about DreamHack and Hackathons, where we talked about the huge potential of e-sports and gaming.


Mikael Ahlström, Owner & CEO of Sprout Park, Britny, DFM and The Park.

Per Åström, Innovation Manager at TV4.

Xue Mei Rhodin, Founder of Cedarwood and Startup Cabin.

You can listen to Xue Mei's special episode on building a Q-Plan, Cedarwood's own process for scheduling and following up big goals in your company. You can also read her posts on games and startups.

Event date: Friday, February 27 - March 1, 2015 

You can join Startup Weekend Games & Media here.

Want to participate? Use coupon code I_love_startups and save 25% 


Topics: Marketing Strategy

Startup Cabin Meetup: How to forge a great team. With Jonas Dieden.

Posted by Xue Mei Rhodin on 17 February 2015


This month's guest is Jonas Dieden.

Jonas Dieden has years of experience managing team development at companies like IBM, Accenture and Connecta, and schools like Hyper Island. Jonas is a Civil Engineer in Industrial Economy, and an expert in team development. He is certified in UGL, Susan Wheelan's GDQ and CTT. 


Startup Cabin Meetup is a new meetup in Stockholm for entrepreneurs and startup founders.

We meet every last thursday of the month for an evening of business development, coffee/beer and peer-to-peer feedback. This is the place to meet other founders and learn from each other, great mentors and specialists from Startup Cabin's network.

Startup Cabin Office Hours

Startup Cabin will offer free advise slots each meetup for individual feedback from business angels and mentors. Book if you are serious about growing your startup the year to come. Startup Cabin's Office Hours are limited. First come, first served, so be sure to book well in advance. Book Startup Cabin Office Hours here: 

Book Office Hours


This month's guest is Jonas Dieden.

Jonas Dieden has years of experience managing team development at companies like IBM, Accenture and Connecta, and schools like Hyper Island. Jonas is a Civil Engineer in Industrial Economy, and an expert in team development. He is certified in UGL, Susan Wheelan's GDQ and CTT. 


 In this meetup, you'll learn:

•  An introduction to team building methods

• Learn to give feedback in a motivating way. 

• Start building your team with a great culture.


Meetup schedule: 

• 20 min talk by Jonas.

• 20 min Q&A session.

• Work on you startup. 

• Get peer-to-peer feedback.

• 5 Open Office Hours slots for private meetings with advisors. 
Sign up quickly before they are taken.

This event is for entrepreneurs/founders.


Go book it!

Attend the next meetup.

Topics: Marketing Strategy

Twitter PR strategy to get your startup seen

Posted by Torsten Mueller on 03 February 2015


Many startup founders desperately try to get PR for their startups, as it’s not an easy thing to do at the start. But here’s some advice that I collected during these last years while trying to create some publicity for my startup. For a few of those steps, our product Tame can help you do the job faster and more convenient, but if you’re a cash strapped founder, don’t worry – all this can be done manually on Twitter and free tools as well.

Getting the attention of journalists is difficult. It has always been. I’ve worked as a journalist and I can tell you first hand that they are always busy. If anything, the journalist’s workload has only increased with the advent of the social web. Hence, if a journalist follows you on Twitter, that doesn’t mean he automatically reads your tweets.

Hardly anyone follows their entire timeline activity. For this reason, the platform is rather serendipitous at any given moment, someone might log in and find something interesting. For our purpose, though, we need to make sense of all this information, and not rely on luck alone to hope our tweets are eventually discovered. We could certainly talk for hours on each of those aspects, but I just wanted to elaborate a little on the points we touched upon during the podcast.

1. Don’t just dump your pitches

So, if you’re trying to get some PR for your startup, don’t rush into it right away. Consider a few things before sending a pitch to a journalist. A mere dump of material into a journalist’s mail inbox won’t get you far, since there is no limitation on how much data one can put into the trash. I know from experience that sometimes up to 80 percent of emails that can reach a journalist inbox are not even opened. And with Twitter, it’s not too different: as many journalists have verified accounts, they are equipped with a few tools by Twitter to filter their incoming messages and simply avoid being spammed.

2. Get on the beat

Journalists working on a beat are constantly looking for updates, which is why Twitter is such a valuable platform for them. What has worked for me and many others is to go ahead and identify the topics that the journalists you are targeting regularly tweet about. You should also know and closely monitor the hashtags and main actors of discussions in your field of expertise. If there’s a debate and you can add your expert view, seize the opportunity and engage with journalists directly.

3. Position yourself as an expert

Needless to say, it is helpful if you become an expert yourself, or in other words: let your own voice be heard. Start commenting on relevant issues, and if you have the capacity, you might start a small blog and occasionally post longer opinions or share some of your internal research. Use the right hashtags and engage in conversations with influential users and opinion leaders.

4. Build relationships

Ultimately, a lot of your success in PR boils down to relationships, which are hard to get if you just started out. Obviously, it’s easier at the beginning to get the attention of bloggers in your field than of the lead
editor of the NYT. However this lead editor might read some blogs during his daily routine.

5. Get help

If you don’t have connections and no time to invest building them, you can get help from a PR agency, who cannot guarantee you a publication, but are usually well connected and can always count on a journalists response at least. They also come in handy when it comes to refining your pitch and story telling. Consider, however, that PR is expensive and relationships your PR agency has, only rarely or to a very limited extent transfer to your person.

6. Become a storyteller

When finally sending your pitch, be creative. A good way to start is to think about stories and content you can tell or produce to get the attention of the media. A flat “This is my startup x and we’re doing y and this is why we’re better than any previous startups out there” won’t do the job. Your job is to identify anything that’s valuable to a journalists’ business: it can be the fact that something is new, but it’s even better if there’s an interesting background story, or something out of the ordinary, quirky, a surprise element.

7. Be patient

Success doesn’t come overnight. Building relationships takes time and includes meeting a journalists in person and taking the conversation from Twitter to a face to face meeting. Usually conferences work well for this purpose.

It's going to take some intentionality to pursue journalists and creativity to sell your story, and making good use of Twitter will get into the right conversations with the right people who will get your startup seen.

What's your favorite PR strategy that has worked for you? Tell us in the comments.

Download podcast


Topics: Marketing Strategy

Inherit the earth: How to do huge things before you feel ready

Posted by Steve Ferris on 24 December 2014

Inherit_the_earth_featured_image“In times of change, learners inherit the earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists.”

― Eric Hoffer

We live in a time where knowledge and individual power is accelerating at hyperspeed. We can work smarter, grow faster, and win more than ever before because we're the learners. Here's how we can do the big things even when we don't feel ready.

When we were kids we would dream. We would desire the craziest things and see no reason why it couldn't be so. "I'm going to live in this tree house we just built out of rotten wood." "I'd like a pet whale for Christmas." Nothing crazy about that. Somewhere we developed a limited perspective. We gave up on impossible dreams we had as kids, but why? 

There has been a lot of brainwashing that you have to "pay your dues" before you can do anything of substance. This often means you need to wait your turn. Other people have been working longer than you, and they should get their chance first. Who cares? If we can hack our way ahead we should. Paying dues sucks, and if you can get more done with less effort and time, by George you ought to do it. Here are a couple ways to charge ahead and tackle those enormous ideas and impossible dreams.

Get a mentor.

Mentors can guide you around hidden traps, and show you your blindspots. They have experience that can cut years off your journey if you apply it now. A mentor can be anyone who has done what you want to do. They can be personal mentor, or a mentor from afar. By this I mean that you can learn from them through their books, blogs and YouTube videos. If you have a personal mentor, it does not need to be a formal mentor/mentee relationship. If you can be honest with them and they are willing to be honest with you, that's ideal. Your relationship could just be an occasional email where you tell them what you're doing and allowing them to offer feedback. Asking them out for coffee can look like a black hole of time commitment, and will scare potential mentors away sometimes. Just reach out to ask, and don't require too much from them.

Big ideas are just a lot of little steps.

Don't be afraid of really big ideas. When the idea strikes, just figure out the next step. Maybe you have an idea for something that you have no experience with. It may seem that you should leave it to someone else who knows about it. But that could also be your life changing opportunity you gave up because you were too afraid to try and figure it out.

Richard Branson was running a music empire. One day he had his own idea of how airlines should be, and the same day he secured the 1st airplane of the Virgin Air fleet. He didn't back away like many of us would. He got on the phone and started to ask around about what the next step would be. He worked up a deal to lease a plane so he could try his concept out. The rest is history. He's got Virgin Air and even Virgin Galactic.

Just start to talk to people about your ideas. Even if you are unsure where to go with them yourself, someone will know what the next step is.

You don't need permission

No has to tell you you're ready, you choose that. Learn as much as you can and start applying what you know. Get social and start sharing your dreams with people who are smarter than you. Odds are much better that people will get excited to help you bring your vision to life than try to steal it.

What do you want to bring to the world this year? Is it overwhelmingly huge? Great, go for it. What's the next step? Send an email? Make a phone call?

Topics: Marketing Strategy

You're 2 Steps Away from Becoming an Idea Machine

Posted by Steve Ferris on 23 December 2014


Wouldn't it be sweet to be able to always have multiple ideas to solve whatever problems life threw at you? What if you could be that person everybody came to because your thinker light bulb was always turned on. Yes, that would be sweet, but we don't need to wish for that. Your "idea muscle" works the same as any other muscle. These idea workouts will turn you into an idea machine.

I've been having a great time reading "Choose Yourself" by James Altucher. One of his points is creating a daily practice of being healthy, well-rested, positive and grateful. This foundation sets you up for greater creativity. There are two practices in particular James says we should do.

Step #1: Write 10 ideas everyday

Pick anything. 10 ideas on how to make a better bike pedal, how I can make new friends, how my mom can travel more. It can be anything. Don't try to think of great ideas, just focus on getting 10. This will make your brain sweat a bit. Over time you will have accumulated 1000's of ideas. A few of those will be great. In your daily life, this brain workout will cause your overactive brain to settle down and stop running all over like a confined 4 year old child hyped up on candy.

Step #2: Read or skim multiple books a day

Pick a few books that are totally unrelated. A biography of someone you admire, a novel, a business book and a book about something that interests you, but you have no knowledge about it, tribal masks? When you are throwing all these unconnected ideas into your brain, it will start to draw lines of connection and creating new ideas. It's like all those ideas start making baby ideas. Amazing, freaky stuff is happening in our heads.

Here is James Altucher saying more about his process.



or read his blog, where he says everything better than I did.

How have you come up with great ideas? Tell us in the comments.

You should also read...

Topics: Marketing Strategy

5 Easy Brain Hacks You Can Do Now

Posted by Steve Ferris on 22 December 2014

Brain_hack_featured_imageIdeas are the currency of this age we live in now. Your brain is your biggest asset, so you should pamper it as much as you can to keep it in prime shape. These simple brain hacks will help to reduce brain fatigue and keep your thinking focused and clear. 


Easy enough? Now go be awesome and make some money!

What's for go to brain hack when your mentally strained? Tell us in the comments.

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Topics: Marketing Strategy

Read more with these great ebook startups

Posted by Steve Ferris on 21 December 2014

Readers are growers. People who have a habit of reading are better positioned to advance in life. It's the effect of ideas spreading. You and I don't have all the great ideas, but lucky for us we live in an age where we can steal as many as we need. These digital book services are a great option to make it easier to find new ideas.


This San Francisco startup launched in 2013 and now offers a half million ebooks and audio books for your choose from. For $8.99 you get unlimited access on any device. They also have an open publishing platform with over 60 million documents. 


While this isn't a subscription service with books from your favorite authors, it offers another value proposition in the fact that can expose you to great new writers and give a place to connect with them. Wattpad is a reading and writing social network. You can read 75+ stories and even write your own. Follow your favorite authors, comment on the writing and grow your own following. They stress that it's "Free reading not e-reading." You can access all of it on any device. Stories can be downloaded and read offline as well.


They have been called Netflix for books. Their service learns your reading tastes and makes reccomdations for you. You can choose fom over 500,000 books to read on any device you want with no commitments. You can read unlimited books for $9.95 a month. A couple things they've worked hard on is their handpicked collections to help you find new interest, and their design that is 100% targeted to making it easier to find and experience books.

I'll add more ebook startups as I find ones with great value. My personal opinion is I'm going to drop my Kindle Unlimited subscription and sign up for Scribd. I love audio books, and that added selection makes that the best buy for me. 

What's your favorite book service? Tell us in the comments.

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Get your mind and body to the next level in 2015 with these wellness startups.


Topics: Marketing Strategy

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