Michael Granados

Entrepreneur with a passion for smart design and effective communication. Co-founder of Medko.

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My Plans for 2015

The final quarter of 2014 was an especially introspective period for me, both personally and professionally. Closing my second year as a start-up founder, I experienced some of the most mentally-taxing periods of my life as well as great moments of clarity, focus, and optimism. I transitioned between exhaustion and rejuvenation more than once– sometimes within a few days of each other. But with that chapter officially behind me, I am moving into 2015 feeling especially excited/hopeful in regards to my future. These are some of the personal goals I hope to achieve in the next 12 months.

Get back in shape

I work almost exclusively in a sitting position and in addition to other bad habits (late night snacking, too much TV), I have lost the physique I used to have. I’ve been getting fatter because of my own choices, nothing else. By the end of the year, I was over how my body looked and...

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The Laboratory

One of the ways I think about the web is it being a giant laboratory. This is a laboratory where almost anyone can test an amazingly large number of hypotheses with hundreds, thousands, or even millions of people, all over the world, relatively quickly. Once you learn a few simple skills, the world’s largest laboratory becomes practically free to tinker in and the number of subjects who can be used in an experiment is limitless and borderless. That’s pretty cool.

The deeper I go with this analogy, the greater my appreciation for the web becomes – I realize what an empowering tool is at my fingertips and I am thankful I spent some time developing the necessary skills for my own experimentation. Being a “scientist” of the web is exciting!

When I say “experiment” I am mainly referring to testing potential business opportunities, after all, that is really what entrepreneurship is about –...

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Resources on Convertible Debt For First-time Founders

If you’ve never raised seed money before, the process is intimidating, finding beginner-friendly resources can be challenging, and the articles you do find can contain some investment jargon. Luckily, several awesome VC and angel investors have been willing to share their thoughts, knowledge, and insights on raising money on convertible debt (convertible notes) . Here are some of the resources I’ve used to help demystify the process and hopefully they can help you better understand convertible debt as well.

Overview of What Convertible Debt Is and How it Works

My favorite summary is a three part TechCrunch series. The ending of part 3 on “accredited investors” was confusing but all-in-all, these posts do a good job of clearly explaining the basics.

  • Part 1: Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Convertible Note Seed Financings (But Were Afraid To Ask)

  • Part 2: Convertible Note...

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Being a Parent

Today I had a disagreement with my partner on how to raise our child. We had differing opinions on what we thought was the best “approach” and championed strongly for each of our beliefs. The conversation had times of frustration, moments of confusion and doubt, and brief bouts of awkward silence. Fortunately, our discussion ended respectfully, leaving us each with a better understanding of our common grounds and a greater appreciation for the other’s passion.

The partner is my co-founder and the child is our startup.

I’ve probably heard/read 100+ times that having a co-founder is like being in a marriage, accompanied by all the ups, downs, fighting and growing. But after one year into my first company, I’ve never felt that analogy. Maybe it’s a subconscious desire to be a father, or maybe I’m just lucky, but I prefer to compare the co-founder relationship to parenting over a...

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When Pushing Forward

Entrepreneurs should always be pushing forward — pushing their skills, building up their product, developing the business model, and most importantly, pushing themselves as a person. But when you fully embrace the “keep pushing” attitude, it can be accompanied by an unwelcome psychologic side effect. You can become unaware that you are actually making any progress at all.

And that can be a motivational killer.

I have a constant thirst for improvement, both personally and for my startup. I spend much of my time looking ahead at where I want to be, gazing upon an imaginative horizon of future achievements. This can be an exceptionally driving force, but I have also noticed that this makes me feel exhausted, discouraged, and like I’m never getting closer. The “finish line” is still too far out of reach.

It’s similar to to being a child in the back seat during a family road trip, only...

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Inspired by Startup School and the Three Themes of the Day

The energy at Startup School was insane. The venue was massive and everyone in attendance was eager to soak up everything they heard from the amazing minds of today’s speakers. As a young founder and entrepreneur, it was indescribably inspiring to receive those stories and bits of wisdom. I’m on a mental high right now.

I noticed three common themes expressed by the speakers that I would like to share and those were: focus on the product, care about what you do, and the importance of dedication.

Focus on Product

Phil Libin started of this theme by talking about his quest to, “build something epic.” His mission at Evernote was to build something that he loved to use, something that worked great.

During an insightful interview between Jessica Livingston and Ron Conway, Ron mentions his affinity for founders that are more focused on their product then the other parts of running a...

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Great Mistakes

A few summers ago, I ordered some Italian food to-go but the young hostess working the takeout orders accidentally handed my dinner to the gentlemen in front of me. When I informed her of my order, she frantically rushed to the parking lot trying to avoid the error, but the gentlemen was already on his way home, blissfully unaware that my salads, gnocchi, and chicken cacciatore were his passengers.

Mistakes like these are a beautiful and unavoidable part of life. Humans are imperfect creatures and as long as we are involved in the flow of commerce, there will be oversights, accidents, and miscalculations. The goal for a business is to reduce the frequency of mistakes because total elimination is impossible.

Back inside Mary’s Pizza Shack, the hostess informed me they would rush my order between her multiple apologies. Having worked in a restaurant and not wanting to make her feel...

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Blogging on Svbtle

Writing is something I’ve never been naturally excited about. I have always found it tedious and challenging. I consider myself a speaker; talking to people is my preferred method of communication. But writing is very important, especially in the business and startup world.

I’ve followed the development of Svbtle with great attention as it is the brainchild of an old friend (and big inspiration) of mine. Now, I finally have a chance to test it for myself and I am very hopeful that the design and workflow will help me improve the quality of my writing. I’m not expecting Svbtle to magically transform me into a world-class blogger, that would be silly. The determining factor is all me. But Svbtle is a beautiful product with some features I’ve wanted in a blogging platform for a while now and if it can help me turn my thoughts into words on the screen, I will be very, very happy.

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Why You Should Strive To Give Amazing Pitches

The past two days I watched about 97 three-minute pitches from my young comrades in Start-up Chile. While there were many pitches I was very impressed with, I was also quite shocked by the number of weak pitches. I’m not trying to call out any one person or startup in particular but instead trying to explain the three reasons I feel delivering a good pitch is very important, especially for young founders: Execution, Respectability, and Practice.


All of the startups in our generation had about four weeks to prep for their progress pitches. By far, the biggest problem for those who presented was finishing within the three minute time limit. Three minutes is not a lot of time to talk about your game-changing, awesome idea but the pitch guidelines were very clear and many still failed to execute something they had complete control over. Just deliver the pitch in three minutes...

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Some of The Best Advice I’ve Ever Recieved

Not every high school gives seventeen-year-olds access to $2000 camcorders and Final Cut Pro like mine did. Looking back at it, I feel extremely lucky. In 2005, During my junior year, I became immersed in the fun and creative process of video production through my high school’s ROP Video class. I really enjoyed the entire process: story-boarding, shooting, editing, post-production effects, and finally, presenting. As I was approaching college two years later, I gave a career in Film and Video Production some serious consideration.

A few semesters into my junior college film pre-requisites, my dad met a guy named Sean on a weekend trip with some old friends. Sean is a partner of an experiential branding agency and had received his MA in Film Production from SDSU years back. As he and my father chat, my dad mentioned my interest in film production. Sean seemed interested. When my dad...

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