Making Sense of Numbers in our Digital World

If you have an E-Commerce company or know someone who does they’ll probably find the benchmarks in this blog post pretty valuable.

We live in a world now awash in data. So the biggest challenge is not taking measurements but MAKING SENSE of them, in a way that drives insightful action.

Numbers do not speak for themselves. Working with numbers is fundamentally an abstract interpretative endeavor at every step of the way:

1. In the design of the metic
2. In the method of capture
3. In the contextual interpretation of the output
4. In the corresponding consequential actions.

The ability to know how to make sense of data and metrics is important not just for E-Commerce companies but for so many parts of our life that are influenced by data: finance, health, technology etc.

And context is always an essential sense making ingredient. And benchmarks are one of our favorites.

Here is a preview of some of E-Commerce Benchmarks.

1. Google Adwords was the paid acquisition channel with highest conversion rate
2. The average conversion rate was 1.4%, top performers 3%
3. The average Bounce rate was 57%, top performers 35%
4. The average monthly repurchase rate was 9%, top performers 16%

Read more here:

Compass E-Commerce Benchmarks for 2016

Irrelevant Academic Entrepreneurship Research

I’m going to an event tomorrow where there will be a lot of entrepreneurship researchers and academics and I’m feeling irritated by how inane, arcane and irrelevant most of their research questions are.

God…so many financial resources and brain cycles spent researching topics that will not hardly move the needle on anything important — and which essentially completely miss what’s most important:

How to maximize the economic growth and the job growth of the global economy with powerful new products and services that make everyone’s life more good, true and beautiful.

I’m looking forward to laying down a new paradigm of entrepreneurship and innovation at the level of the startup, the level of the startup ecosystem and the level of the global macro economic system. Most of the hard thinking is done, for me now, it’s all about the grind of developing business systems and writing.

And then over the next few years aligning an abundance of resources to establish a feedback loop between cutting edge theory and cutting edge practice.

As of January 1st, 2016, my writing on Entrepreneurship and Innovation has now become my #1 priority…and I’m Charged Up like Drake, ready to go Back to Back.

P.S. (In case I offend any academics, let’s have a discussion where you try to convince me your research is relevant and I try to convince you to pursue a different research question).

Thoughts On Art & Entrepreneurship

Alex Grey to Ken Wilber:

“Part of the trouble with art critics today is that they haven’t had mystical experiences, so their writing is always theoretical and rarely addresses the spirituality of art. When the art critic gets philosophical, they turn to the great philosophers of the 20th century, who are all sorting out the existential “realities” of life without God, or else getting lost in the complexities of language, questioning even the possibility of finding truth. Where is the spiritually inclined, philosophically minded artist to turn?” – (

This is equally true for Entrepreneurs.

Most startups are meaningfully impotent.

This is how I silently feel when I hear about most people’s startups and companies…

“Wow, that’s what you want to pour your heart and soul into?…Go upgrade your consciousness, have some mystical experiences and then go start a company…

Because right now the impact of your company on society is incremental, like God clipping his toe nails.”

An Evolutionary Developmental Lifecycle Model for Startup Ecosystems

Compass just released our first report focused on how individual Startup Ecosystems around the world can accelerate their growth and traction.

After the success of the 2015 Startup Ecosystem Ranking (200k reads, 13k downloads and global press coverage in major media e.g. CNN, Forbes, FT, TC, etc.), we’ve had a lot of demand to provide actionable insights on how smaller startup ecosystems can grow and compete with the top Startup Ecosystems.

We did just that with this new report, selecting Waterloo, Canada, as the best case of the David vs. Goliath dynamic on which to build a set of recommendations for David’s such as Capital Attraction, Talent Attraction, Government Tax Law Optimization, relevant to dozens of other emerging Startup Ecosystems.

In 2010 I built an Evolutionary Developmental Lifecycle Model for Startups, where the Stages are: Discovery -> Validation -> Efficiency -> Scale -> Sustain -> Maintain -> Decline

I will be sharing much more about the major evolutionary upgrades I have made to that model in my forthcoming book on Startups and its companion writing.

My main contribution to this report was, in collaboration with Jean-Francois Gaultier, the creation and articulation of an Evolutionary Developmental Lifecycle Model for Startup Ecosystems, where the Stages are:

Emergence -> Activation -> Regional & National Integration -> International Integration -> Maturity

It provides a framework for Startup Ecosystems in any location around the world to understand what stage of growth their at and what they need to do to continue evolve and stimulate economic growth and job growth in their respective regions.

The world is in the midst of a major economic transition where businesses founded on Industrial Era principles and economics are rapidly losing of all their ability to sustain themselves. The best hope for economies and societies all around the world to the Thrive in the 21st Century is to grow a Startup Ecosystem.

You can read the introductory blog post here:…

And download the full 70 page report here:…/the-david-vs-goliath…/

Max Marmer's photo.

Journaled Reflection on Integral Theory, Entrepreneurship and My Journey

Journaled Reflections on:

– The Societally Transformative Power of Integral Theory

– The Intersection of Integral Theory and Technology Entrepreneurship

– Highs and Lows on My 6 Year Journey to Develop a New Paradigm for the Management Science of Entrepreneurship and Innovation


Bold, eloquent profundity from my friend Zak Stein at the Integral Theory Conference this July on a debate panel on Human Development and Global Crises.

“Although we are sometimes in dialogues like this [pitted against each other], we are so fundamentally on the same team. And it is critical to understand how essential it is we get our acts together as a team, even though we have diverse perspectives. You have to understand we are in the midst of a compounding meta-crisis at the global level. One of the crises, is a crisis of Capability, which is an Educational crisis. And as the situation gets worse we’re going to have increasingly coercive measures used to change the nature of human capital. The most obvious one is psychopharmacology. Which is an actual physical intervention into the central nervous system of over 6 million children in the United States. And this is because we have a psychology that does understand development organically— or development at all. So there’s a way in which we are debating, but a much more profound way, in which one of our tasks is to change the way we think about what it means to change people’s minds. And that requires thinking deeply about developmental psychology, and developmental measurement, and trying to supplant what has become a Human Capital Management System on a global scale, that is decimating the life prospects of up and coming generations. So there’s an urgency I feel to align and to build a way forward for Human Development as a field, if only so that the Educational Systems of tomorrow are dignified.”


Zak is a trailblazer in the field of Developmental Psychology and it’s applicative dissemination in the worlds of Education, Business and much more.

I was at this debate live in July at the Integral Theory Conference. It was a true highlight: Zak, this panel, and this community of Integral Philosophers, Scholars and Practitioners, who are light years ahead of the mainstream Intelligentsia.

This differential between cutting edge thought and mainstream Intelligentsia has led to a world where the leaders of Education, Business and Politics are “in over their heads”, working with tools and models with insufficient requisite capacity to handle the enormous complexity of today’s 21st century world. As a result: Societal Chaos, all around, barely being held together by systemic inertia.

Essential aspects of the Future of Humanity live in the minds of those attended the Integral Theory Conference in July. Potent Visions waiting to virulently spread through Culture as a Memetic Virus as soon as the conditions are right.

A big part of my work right now is in setting the conditions for this Academic to Market transference by integrating Integral Theory’s cutting edge philosophical and psychology paradigms, methods and tools into the world of Technology Entrepreneurship — the most powerful engine of socio-economic progress. The co-arising of Integral Theory, Startup Management Science and a Transformational Ethic generating Societal Bliss like Peanut Butter and Jelly…or Shiva and Shakti.

What I am able to do with these Integral tools often astounds me in its power and its simplicity. Science fiction author Arthur C. Clarke who wrote 2001: a Space Odyssey famously said, “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”

Learning from brilliant Integral thinkers like Zak, Ken Wilber, John M. Smart, Robert Kegan, Clare Graves, Bill Torbert, Susanne Cook Greuter, Michael Commons, Daniel Schmachtenberger, Dustin DiPerna and so many more…I feel like I’m working with true 21st century Magic.

My work has been ramping up with exponentiating pace the last few months. I’ve started applying my latest Startup Science work with founders, in service to their vision, and in service to generating case studies and conceptual and methodological refinement.

I’ve put more brain cycles into the development of the Management Science of Entrepreneurship than anything else in the past 6 years; and to feel its present coherence, clarity, fractality, power, and precision in describing and prescriptively guiding transformational tech startups warms my heart with love, gratitude, and quite frankly relief — that all my intellectual wandering was not for naught.

I am in deep gratitude to my Intellectual Forefathers and Foremothers whose Giant Shoulders I stand on that make my work possible. At times I have felt incredibly isolated, alone and weary, journeying into the disorienting worlds of undiscovered and uncreated thought forms.

Attempting to build a new paradigm for the Management Science of Entrepreneurship and Innovation is not a quest for the faint of heart. But “No Man is an Island”, and my inextricable, interconnection to the aforementioned ideas and thinkers gave me the strength I could wander through the Intellectual Valley of Death, not get lost and make it out alive with Buried Treasure.

I don’t have any exciting new quantifiable results to share with you yet, but I know a Golden Thread when I’ve found it and I trust the autopoetic process of unfolding that is occurring before my eyes.

I’m very much looking forward to sharing and co-creating Magic with you all in the near future, so that we may Realize a more Perfect World.

A ho!

Entrepreneurship & Tantric Sex Share a Lot in Common

From a Spiritual Perspective Entrepreneurship and (Tantric) Sex share a lot in common.

Engaging in both show you the True Nature of your Awakening.

The True Nature of how far you’ve really come.


All your shit comes out.

You cannot hide.

And in both,

You give everything you’ve got,

To Breathe and Birth

New Life into this World.

And you Welcome this.

Because Owning your Shit,

Is an Unavoidable Step on the Path to your Liberation & Success.

Topics to Write about on Mental Health and Well Being

Most of my posts on Facebook recently have had undertones of confidence, aggression, and ambition.

I have also heard from many friends (over the years, and recently) that my Facebook Persona feels very different than my In-Person Persona; where my In-Person Persona has been reflected as much warmer, lighter and gentler.

Both are true aspects of my Being. But I am taking that reflection to heart, and receiving it as an opportunity to bring these two personas more into alignment.

In that spirit, one topic I’ve been wanting to write more about is the vulnerable and stigmatized topic of Depression and Mental Health.

I have a lot to say and share on the topic, so I thought I’d write up an outline of things I may write about in the coming weeks months. You’re welcome to talk to me about any of these topics if you see me in person or through private message.

[[Communicating asynchronously in fb comments or fb messenger on topics like these is my preferred method of communication right now — I’m really busy with the emergence of a number of projects right now beyond my book project, and don’t have much time for general ‘catch up’ coffee or Skype at the moment.]]

Topics on the subject Mental Health & Well Being:

– My personal mental health journey: the hypomanic highs and the major depressive lows

– The relationship between mental health and other factors in life. Moving beyond Biological Reductionism in the conventional Mental Health paradigm. Understanding Chemical Imbalance as a complex output of interdependent, irreducible factors such as: Biological, Psychological, Social, Environmental and Spiritual.

– The deep fundamental theoretical and practical problems with the Medical Establishment, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Big Pharma and the Psychotropic drugs they prescribe. And why I never have taken Big Pharma drugs in the past and hope to never take any in the future.

– The frequent conflation between delusional or psychotic episodes and authentic spiritual experiences.

– Learning how to manage hypomania in service of hyper-productivity and hyper-creativity.

– The role of philosophy and existentialism in mental health.

– The role psychedelics and entheogenic substances in mental health and depression in particular.

– The role of meditation; including basic mindfulness practice, and the larger perennial spiritual path that moves from ego-transcendence to stabilized Awakened Awareness and Enlightenment.

– How to Biohack your way to optimal health; I have built dozens of stacks that equate to functionally taking 100+ supplements a day (I haven’t done a proper count)

– The relationship between mental health and entrepreneurship: how to not only survive the startup roller coaster but train your body/mind to Jedi status capable of handling anything thrown at you with power, clarity, love and grace.

Let me know in the comments or through PM what topics on this list resonate most with you that I should write about, or topics you’d like my thoughts on that I missed.

I’m essentially an open book.

I’ve realized one of the deep gifts of the major and minor depressive episodes I’ve experienced in my life is my ability to hold and support others through theirs.