From the Investors
Jay Acunzo of NextView Ventures brings you the first in a series of Growth Guides, blueprints designed to help young startups execute quickly and successfully, in “Content Marketing for Startups”
Tomasz Tunguz of Redpoint Ventures reinforces the importance of CS teams and measures their impact on renewal and upsell rates in “The Four Challenges Facing Customer Success Teams in SaaS Startups”
Andrew Parker of Spark Capital sees a future where distributed startup teams will no longer be at a disadvantage in “The Next Silicon Valley will be on the Internet”
Shahin Farshchi of Lux Capital asks entrepreneurs to be realistic about their target audience in “Where’s the Money in the Internet of Things?”
Semil Shah of Haystack Fund looks to Uber and WhatsApp for successful cross-promotion efforts in “Attacking Mobile Distribution with Cross-App Promotions”
From the Operators
Jason Baptiste of Onswipe wonders, “If every single place and most individuals were Beacons, what would developers build?” in “The Final Mile – Making the Real World Through the Platform of iBeacons”
Peter Reinhardt of Segment.io was skeptical before he was successful in “Careful with That Koolaid”
Adora Cheung of Homejoy sits down with First Round Capital to share how her startup launched in 30 cities in six months by paying attention to both sides of the marketplace
Cameron Moll of Authentic Jobs does the math on how one unfortunate typo brought his profitability rate down to 7.6% in “The Economics of a Kickstarter Project”
People Are Talking About: The Zendesk IPO
Even as the Dow and the S&P 500 experienced their worst declines in a month, Zendesk hit the market running, rising 49.2% by the closing bell. Given the pop, Eric Blattberg of VentureBeat wonders if the company left $11.1 million on the table by not pricing at the high end of its range in “Zendesk Raises $100M in IPO – And Traders Love It”
“We, as a company, have been extremely determined about going public. We believe it’s in our DNA, it’s in our destiny,” says CEO and cofounder Mikkel Svane. Jeremy Owens and Heather Somerville of the San Jose Mercury News deliver a quote-rich overview of the IPO landscape in “Zendesk Calms Jittery IPO Market with Strong Gains on First Trading Day”
Christoph Janz of Point Nine Capital hasn’t watched an IPO this closely since his acquirer went public ten years ago in “It’s a ZEN Day!”
Alex Conrad of Forbes takes you with Zendesk from Denmark to San Francisco, via Boston, in “Charles River Ventures Wins Big On Zendesk’s IPO, But For Boston Venture It’s Bittersweet”
Bill Griffin, founder of Crowdwish. Crowdwish’s purpose is to join together the world’s hopes and ambitions, collate and quantify them, then use their critical mass to help bring those dreams closer to reality.
Mattermark: How did you come up with your startup?
Bill: I know this sounds completely ridiculous, but I wanted to create a site where people could come and ask for literally anything and get a meaningful and freshly generated response. That was the brief and it took me a while to figure on how it was going to work, a bit longer to design, then about six months to build.
Mattermark:What is a recent milestone that your team celebrated?
Bill: Three users have contacted us in the last ten days saying what we did for them made them cry with happiness. Too emotionally manipulative a response? Thought so. We just launched our iOS app and it’s a thing of beauty. Thousands and thousands of wishes on the site? Got featured in this email? Those any better?
Mattermark:If someone thanked you in a restaurant for creating your startup, what would you hope they say?
Bill: Like I said, they would probably be crying. Through the midst of their tears, they would grasp me firmly by the hand and say ‘Brother, you made my wish come true, and for that you have my eternal thanks, admiration and respect. Please may I invest?’. ‘Sorry friend, first round’s closed’, we would reply curtly before turning away to tweet about what just happened.
Mattermark: Tell us about your team.
Bill: There are quite a few of us now. There are no office oddball activities; we’re too damned focused for that stuff. Our ping pong table lies untouched. Foosball unloved. We’re busy. The proposition of the site means that there is no downtime as every day we are working on making an outcome happen that we have to go live with at 7pm GMT. It can be stressful but occasionally we let the interns out to collect our burritos as a special treat.