One-on-One Coaching

As needed, just-in-time support for journalism entrepreneurs

Journalism Entrepreneurship Coaching

I regularly provide “on demand” and “just-in-time” support for journalism entrepreneurs who are preparing for a product launch, or significant audience growth.

For more than a decade, I’ve been coaching journalists who are working to create innovative new products, platforms, and properties.

My coaching draws from 20 years of experience working with online publishers and digital-first newsrooms, as a software developer, data journalism trainer, product manager, and chief technology officer.

To further my understanding of how tools from the Lean Startup movement can be applied to journalism, I spent a year at Stanford digging into how entrepreneurship is taught by people like Steve Blank, author of The Four Steps to the Epiphany, and the person credited with launching the Lean Startup movement. I also invested countless hours into shadow coaching a wide range of startups with creator of the Lean Canvas, Ash Maurya. I am now a certified Lean Stack coach.

Specific challenges that I help news startup founders with:
  • Validating a business model
  • Talking to customers
  • Testing with customers
  • Market size evaluation
  • Market testing
  • Working through technology stack questions
  • Launch strategies
  • Planning for fundraisers or crowdfunding
  • Growth/performance marketing

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Thank you so much for your support of our little budding news organization. Your advice & expertise is so valuable to me – it’s helped us sharpen our focus! — Kara Guzman, Santa Cruz Local

One-on-one coaching schedule:
  • I can typically accommodate 60-minute coaching sessions on Tuesday and Thursdays
  • I work to be available from 9AM Pacific / 12PM Eastern to 5PM Pacific / 8PM Eastern
  • With enough notice, I can often make myself available at a time that works for you
What’s unique:
  • My coaching practice is exclusive to people working in the field of journalism. Working to improve the success of journalism startups is my laser focus – what I wake up thinking about, and my last thought before bed
  • I maintain an up-to-date database of hundreds of unique news startup case studies—for-profit, non-profit, and everything in between—to help you find the inspiration you need to move forward
  • I have an enormous resource library, curated over the last ten years, ready to answer most questions you’ll have

Your personal coach

Everything that the Journalism Entrepreneurship Training Company offers is delivered personally and passionately by me, Phillip Smith. I am a certified Lean Stack coach. I’ve enjoyed a 20-year career as a technology and business entrepreneur. I’ve mentored more than a dozen reporter-led startups to help them build a path to sustainability. Much of what I know I learned as the CTO of an award-winning digital newsroom.

Let's talk

The path to your 1000 true fans starts today.
I can't wait to hear about your project, and to help you get there.