From the Investors
Chip Hazard of Flybridge Capital Partners outlines how to develop, manage, and retain top-tier talent in “Leading High Performers”
Tomasz Tunguz of Redpoint Ventures explores the growth mentality necessary for a startup’s successful evolution in “Ruthlessness and Grit”
Steven Sinofsky of Andreessen Horowitz uses the Palm Pilot as an example of how products evolve or get left behind, walking the reader through the five stages of product evolution—introduce, optimize, deliberate, succumb, mature/renew—in “Everyone Starts with Simplicity and That’s Okay”
Scott Kupor and Preethi Kasireddy of Andreessen Horowitz educate the reader on Customer Acquisition Costs and other SaaS metrics, and why growth hurts at first, in “Understanding SaaS: Why the Pundits Have It Wrong”
Taylor Davidson of kbs+ Ventures examines the future of mobile web in “Why Deep Linking is Back”
Nabeel Hyatt of Spark Capital shows how great CEOs are made through fearless, insatiable innovation in “When You Hit Your Big Fucking Goal”
Jason Heltzer of OCA Ventures lends some career advice for those thinking about switching sides of the table in “How to Bend the Arc of Your Career to VC”
From the Operators
Kathleen Meil of HelloCar responds to a post featured yesterday by Anthemos Georgiades of Zumper—“Kissing Goodbye to the O’Hare Test”— by building measurable criteria in “The ‘Oh Shit’ Test is Weak Too”
Kegan Schouwenburg of SOLS parallels the growth of the company with the founder’s evolving job description in “CEO is a Loaded Title”
Joshua Hynes of Stack Exchange empowers his design team by drawing some red lines ahead of time in “The Importance of Planning”
David Heinemeier Hansson of Basecamp agrees that time is money, but finds that building software works better with dollar constraints in “Drive Development with Budgets Not Estimates”
Erin Parker of Spitfire Athlete cofounded a strength training app that empowers you to achieve your goals. The app was 100% designed and built by Erin Parker (Stanford, iOS Engineer, olympic weightlifter) and Nidhi Kulkarni (MIT CS, Full-Stack Engineer, rower). Although the app can be used by all, they’re passionate about empowering women to build strength and feature incredible female athletes throughout the app.
Mattermark: How did you come up with your startup?
Erin: After injuries from multiple marathons, I wanted to learn how to strength train. In my search for answers to my questions, I realized the lack of high quality resources for women and ended up figuring a lot of things out “the hard way” through trial and error. I soon realized I wasn’t alone, that many women want to learn how to properly strength train, but that there’s really no trusted resource to consult. Spitfire was built out of wanting to solve that problem.
Mattermark:What is a recent milestone that your team celebrated?
Erin: We are featured on the app store under Best New Apps, Best Health and Fitness Apps, and have over 32,000 users.
Mattermark:If someone thanked you in a restaurant for creating your startup, what would you hope they say?
Erin: Many people have already thanked us for building the app. Here are some of the things people have actually said: “I have honest to God been waiting for an app like this since the beginning of App Store time. I can’t thank you two enough. As much as I like Nike Training Club, it just doesn’t motivate me like the words “spitfire” and “heroine”, something that your app actually embodies. The fact that both of you are programmers as well just like… Man. I’m going to be using this app till I’m 6 feet under probs. <3” – M
“Your app is the reason I’ve started strength training again. I knew turning 30 meant really needing to start taking care of myself again but I was honestly super intimidated to get back into a weight room. Knowing that this app is made by women and shows women doing the exercises makes me believe I can do this. :)” – TR
“I’m an avid runner, fitness enthusiast and this might come as a surprise — a guy. I’ve been looking for an app that offers what spitfire has, intense work out plans designed for what you’re looking in a workout. I did my first body weight work out today and it was AWESOME. Your app is great. Keep going and don’t let some billion dollar company like Nike try to buy you out.” – AT
Mattermark: Tell us about your team.
Erin & Nidhi: We’re a kickass two-person team. Fun Facts: Erin recently qualified for the USA Weightlifting American Open. She won a “First to 10,000” push-ups competition, can lift 2x her bodyweight and type 200wpm. Nidhi has competed 3 times in the Head of The Charles, the largest 2 day regatta in the world. Nidhi once climbed the tallest building in Cambridge 20 times (for MIT Bad Ideas Weekend), the equivalent of a vertical mile.