So what did you learn from running a consumer internet company?

Ruth was number 20. I don’t know Ruth, and I didn’t know the other 19, but they all sent me emails/Linkedin messages that read something like this:

So sorry to hear about Bizzy. I am building a very similar service but with a twist/different monetization/different target audience: can you share your learning from Bizzy?

I answered few in writing, few via phone calls and even had couple of face to face meetings but when number 20 hit my inbox, I figured it time to have a permanent link I can send people to… Every answer here deserves a post of its own, and one more for the questions I haven’t answered yet, but let’s start with something… I also tried to write the answer in a more general way, so they are useful to the broader audience. So here are some of the questions I’ve been asked:

So what did you learn from running a consumer internet company?

High on Bizzy love…

Yesterday I shared with our users that the startup I founded, Bizzy, will be shutting its doors soon. Bizzy was a part of a larger public company so in this sense we did not have the same control over our destiny as a true independent startup has but in any event, closing the doors over something you built and loved is not easy.

There will be time for lesson learned and what’s next. Today, I just enjoy the public and private love we are getting from our users. I mean, it would have been horrible to tell your users you are shutting down and get no one to react… But in Bizzy’s case, we got hundreds of emails, tweets and phone calls from users all over the country and it really helps to keep our collective spirit high… Tomorrow we might wake up with a hang over, but today, I would like to share some of the funny/heart warming responses we got… Continue reading “High on Bizzy love…”

High on Bizzy love…

The Well Known Secrets of the VC world (Part 2)

OK, it took a while since part 1. It is kind of busy here in Project-X and weekends are the only time left for some writing. Before it gets too far from my VC days, I wanted to write the promised (but perhaps not anticipated) part 2 of my post, and get it out of the way. The last post covered some basics: What’s a good VC, getting meetings and the strange habit of VCs not to pass on deals. Today we will focus on what’s important- what will a VC look into when  meeting you. Continue reading “The Well Known Secrets of the VC world (Part 2)”

The Well Known Secrets of the VC world (Part 2)

The Well Known Secrets of the VC world (Part 1)

The news are all grim about VCs recently. They can’t raise money, they don’t invest…While it is not the best time for VCs and startups (and for the rest of us), money is still invested.  I spent the last 6 months as an EIR (Executive In Residence) with a venture capital firm, classically located on Sand Hill road. Destiny (and network) got me to spend my winter with Storm Ventures, one of the finest VCs I got to know. During this time I saw dozens of startups, attended many internal discussions and learned a lot. And, as my old grandmother used to say: “learning is solidified by writing”. So here are some of my learnings that many people know, but more don’t…

The Well Known Secrets of the VC world (Part 1)