I build & invest in startups. I write a newsletter based on questions people ask me. Business, investing, culture, and life. Ask me anything & never miss an update below.
I'm the Co-founder & President of XMTP.com. We are building a new communication protocol for the crypto internet.
Check out XMTP.com
I'm the Founder & General Partner of Logos Labs. We help build and invest in companies defining the future of work & living globally. Our companies have a combined valuation of over $1 billion.
Check out Logos Labs
I was CEO & Co-founder of Assist which was acquired by Conversocial in 2019. We spent 7 years at Assist building the future of AI and the talking internet with partners like Amazon, Google, Facebook, Apple, and Twitter. Our software powers Fortune 500 companies like T-Mobile, Fandango, 1-800-Flowers, Sephora, Best Buy, MGM hotels, and many more.
In 2017, I co-founded Squared Away to employ military spouses as executive assistants. We give the world their time back.
Check out Squared Away
I previously worked on Gist.com, which was acquired by BlackBerry for over $40 million. We were one of the first social CRM companies and grew to over 100 million people by 2010. I've been featured in the NYTimes, Wall Street Journal, NPR's All Things Considered, Forbes, USA Today, and more.
After Gist, I moved to San Francisco to build and lead product at Zaarly, a local marketplace for home services. This was the biggest failure of my career. We blew over $40m in venture funding, mostly driven by our own egos and lack of self-awareness. Looking back, this failure would change everything for how I thought about building companies in the future. Sometimes the darkest times are the ones that create the change needed in all of us. I was lucky to have great mentors and close friends to help me through it.
I like spending time with people who are in the arena. If you're struggling, need help, or just wanna talk about some crazy ideas, please reach out and say hello. It's hard doing your own thing. I'm so thankful for all those who have helped me along the way.
Send me a message on Twitter and thanks for stopping by,@shanemac
It was a simple idea then and it's a simple idea now. Over ten years ago I decided to start asking people one question they don't usually get asked. This simple idea has led to hundreds of interviews, a dinner series, and a personal mission to make the world a more curious place. Nothing has impacted my life and work more than working on this. Listen to ask on Apple Podcasts, Soundcloud, and Spotify. Some past guests include Simon Sinek, Gary Vaynerchuk, Steve Huffman, Chase Jarvis, Amanda Bradford, Jason Fried, Michelle Broderick, Grant Imahara, Ryan Carson, Brad Feld, Lewis Howes, Robert Stephens, and many more. Click below to follow and learn more about ask.
If we can make the world more curious, could everything be better?
Check out ask.
I write words. Ideas, questions, thoughts. I've been writing a blog for about 10 years and have about 45,000 readers. It's just a collection of my personal views on work and life. Here's some articles that people have said are helpful if you're curious.
The Day I Knew Twitter Had to Buy Periscope.
What if there was a single question you could ask to NOT hire someone?
A Christmas Miracle: Now $5.5 million in, here’s how we BARELY closed our first round in 5 days during the holidays.
Let's get real about company perks.
How to quit.
The truth you don't hear about raising seed money.
There's a dozen ways to order a coffee, why do stupid bots only allow one?
A bottle of Pellegrino and the one lesson I'll never forget that Seth Godin taught me.
I get asked to give speeches quite a bit. A long time ago I realized I don’t really enjoy giving them. Mostly because I hate talking at people when I don’t know what they really are curious about.
What I do love is having a conversation. A two-way back and forth. Start with questions. What do you really need help with? What would be the most impactful thing for you to leave with today? I've found that this leads to the stories that actually can change lives.
Over the last few years, I’ve really enjoyed this format and I think it delivers a ton more value than giving a “speech.” It can be a 1-1 fireside chat format or a Q&A with an entire group. I’ve had conversations with groups of 5 people, 70 people, or an audience of 10,000.
Here’s some feedback from people and links to some of my past conversations:
"Generous. Authentic. Passionate. Shane is adept at walking that fine line of inspiring and accessible. He's down-to-earth, listens and really considers people's questions with the aim of helping others learn from his own lessons. That journey he's been on is one people readily recognize, no matter where they are themselves. This is a leader who is both curious and humble, who keeps challenging himself on what the leadership role needs to be. The answer? It's less about being the hero and a lot more about giving people the space, environment, and opportunity to become heroes in their own right. I highly recommend a conversation with Shane Mac."
Kate Carmichael - Leadership Specialist at This is Remarkable
"What I liked about Shane’s conversation with my entire sales organization was the information he shared was authentic and fluid. Yes, a framework existed for the dialogue, but the flow went in any direction based on the curious nature of my team. Hands down, the best format for going deep and wide on topics. And a side note, the team has seen many speeches, but I have never seen them more engaged than with Shane’s conversation."
- John McKinney - President at Alfred Williams & Company
Listen to the entire talk here.
“Shane, your one hour conversation with our global partners generated more energy and actionable ideas than 10 TED talks. You were honest, vulnerable, and specific. Everyone loved it.”
- David Marquet - WSJ Best-selling author of Leadership is Language & Turn the Ship
Around, Former Navy Submarine Captain, creator of Intent Based Leadership
Listen to highlights from the talk here.
“Terrific conversation today - took a lot from it, and your take on perks has pivoted my whole take on that. Thanks!”
- Peter Russian - Global Consulting and Partnership Lead @ Turn the Ship Around
Here's some press & interviews that I've done over the years.
"Google's "Duplex" raises ethical questions" - NPR All Things Considered
"A More Efficient Approach To Hiring" - New York Times
"Messaging company Conversocial acquires Assist" - Business Insider
"This acquisition integrates marketing bots with real people" - WWD
"Raise money without asking for it" - Powder Keg
"The ethics of Google Duplex" - Mashable Podcast
"The Talking Internet is Here" - VoiceBot Podcast
I wrote the business book "Stop with the BS."
"Stop with the BS is a compilation of small, tactical strategies and advice that will make you think differently about the way business and careers work. You only have so much time to do what you want to get done, so make sure to focus on what is most important to you."
- Tony Hsieh, NY Times bestselling author of "Delivering Happiness" and CEO of Zappos.com, Inc.
"Shane has some stuff figured out that lots of people never get. What he wrote on this train ride, you'll be thinking about for much longer."
- Julien Smith, NYT Best-selling Author of Trust Agents
Check it out on Amazon here
I love music and mashups. I created the world's first live mashup show with wait what, the producer and DJ behind the Notorious XX. That debut album garnered 1M+ plays in 10 days and critical acclaim from New York Magazine, Rolling Stone, The New Yorker, and The Guardian UK, who dubbed it "the best mashup album of the year."
Check out a video from our last show
Inspired by Patrick Collison, these are some questions that I find interesting.
Want To Know What Your Brain Does When It Hears a Question?
Questions hijack the brain. The moment you hear one, you literally can’t think of anything else. And that can be a powerful tool. Behavioral scientists have also found that just asking people about their future decisions significantly influences those decisions, a phenomenon known as the “mere measurement effect.” Back in 1993, social scientists Vicki Morwitz, Eric Johnson, and David Schmittlein with more than 40,000 participants that revealed that simply asking someone if people were going to purchase a new car within six months increased their purchase rates by 35%.