Helping startups navigate politics; taking polling to new levels

“I Voted,” stickers are seen at a polling place Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2017, in Alexandria, Va. Republican candidate for Virginia governor Ed Gillespie faces Democrat Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam in Tuesday’s election. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

By Jason Middleton

Saving Startups from Politics

The political weather outside is frightful. Navigating the storms, politically speaking, can be tough for startups — as if they don’t have enough moving parts to contend with, right?

Enter Bradley Tusk. Tusk is a political strategist with a pedigree. He helped Michael Bloomberg win an independent run for mayor of New York and worked at the state level in Indiana. Now, he’s brought his talents to the world of startups and venture capital.

Tusk’s new book, “The Fixer: My Adventures Saving Startups from Death by Politics,” is perfect for the innovating class.

“The Fixer” goes behind the scenes on how Tusk aided in stopping the taxi industry from killing Uber in its infancy, held insurance companies at bay while startup Lemonade launched in each state and pervented online sports betting sites FanDuel and Draft Kings from falling victim to the regulatory death grip casinos tried to put them in.  

He spends the first two segments of this week’s show talking with us about how his skill set — and that of his team — fits into helping startups in identifying potential political obstacles (and potential growth).

Tech Meets Polling

One could forgive Change Research for titling its victory-lap email “Nailed It!” It was well earned. Change Research was the only polling firm to correctly predict the winner of the Democratic gubernatorial primary in Florida, Andrew Gillum.

Here’s a snippet from the email that Change Research blasted after the accomplishment:

Other pollsters said he’d finish second, third, even fourth in Florida. We’re proud to share that this upset wasn’t surprising to us: the results were almost exactly as we forecast in polling we conducted for his campaign.  

Mike Greenfield, CEO and co-founder of Change Research, joins us this week in the latter half of the show to discuss what sets the Palo Alto company apart!

We’ll start you off with a preview. For one, the firm is less expensive than traditional phone polling companies, plus it also delivers results much quicker. And, apparently, their data dives produce results that can help campaigns of all sizes and budgets.

For context, here’s a New York Times article about just how difficult political polling — and phone polling, specifically — can be.

Please click through any of the above links for more information. Visit our show page to view all our podcasts (see this week’s segments mentioned in the article below) or find them on iTunes, Stitcher and/or Google Play.


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