Danielle Morrill

CEO & Cofounder of Mattermark

THIS CHAT HAPPENED ON July 21, 2016
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Discussion

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Danielle Morrill
@daniellemorrill
Hi, I’m Danielle Morrill, the CEO and cofounder of Mattermark, a startup company dedicated to organizing the world's business information. Besides my role as CEO and cofounder of Mattermark, I’m an angel investor, poker player, and software developer. I’m also an avid blogger, lover of spreadsheets, and enjoy making graphs about unicorns.
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Andrew Ettinger
@andrewett · Product Hunt
Hey Danielle! What similarities do you see in playing poker and being the CEO of a startup?
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Danielle Morrill
@daniellemorrill
@andrewett Tons, this is one of my favorite startup metaphors. The waiting, the reading people, the betting or folding, the repetition, the managing of your heart rate and being on tilt. Poker requires both situational awareness but also self awareness. I think it is a lot like golf, a game that continues to reveal more layers as you mature as a person.
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Andrew Ettinger
@andrewett · Product Hunt
@danielle_morrill I played competitive junior/high school golf. As I've matured, I've realized so many things about the game and its real life similarities that maybe I didn't appreciate at the time. Nonetheless, I think learned behaviors like being methodical, staying composed, and only focusing on what you can control have remained with me.
Snah Desai
@s_haverford · Prod Ops Testing Team Lead, Google
@andrewett @danielle_morrill I had the same experience after playing golf during my junior and high school years and as I continued into college and playing for fun as well.
COSTAS ANDRIOPOULOS
@candriopoulos
Hello Danielle, and thank you for taking our questions today. What kind of tools/websites do you use or consult to identify emerging trends or experts to help you with Mattermark or your investments?
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Danielle Morrill
@daniellemorrill
@candriopoulos It's definitely no single source, it's really about reading across a broad set of periodicals, books, Twitter feeds, blog posts, private emails, old strategy docs/decks... I read a ton, I read pretty much anything I can get my hands on. A lot of business writing is regurgitating other people's thoughts, so I always try to track ideas back to their source. I think a lot of the people who were thought leaders 20 years ago in tech are still the most important thinkers of our time, and even though they aren't in the spotlight anymore I think it is incredibly important to track them down and try to learn from them. It's like being alive in Florence during the Renaissance as a young painter -- you want to make sure to learn from the masters, and they're still alive -- there aren't 100s of years between us and our heroes right now. Seizing that opportunity is crucial.
Ali Hanif
@alihanif101 · Founder @ HANALI
@danielle_morrill I would love some examples of important thinkers from 20 years ago that you find even more relevant today
COSTAS ANDRIOPOULOS
@candriopoulos
@danielle_morrill Thank you very much for taking the time to answer my question. I appreciate it.
[deleted user]
@deleted_user
Hello Danielle,

If Joe the Plumber from small village gets seed money to start his company, how soon will he get under Mattermark's radar? Are Mattermark's entries fully automated with no human editing?

Thank you.
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Danielle Morrill
@daniellemorrill
@victorpolyushko As soon as that seed funding gets announced, or the company ends up in the news, we are definitely going to find it. Aside from news, there are a lot of other ways that we monitor the Internet to discover new companies... a lot of this is our "secret sauce" of the massively distributed web crawling we do. There is some human editing around exception cases that get flagged, but the vast majority of data in Mattermark is there without human intervention. This is part of what makes it possible for us to scale our business with software margins of 80% unlike other companies who have tackled similar problems in the space with massive outsourced teams doing manual data collection and cleaning.
Shiva Singh Sangwan
@shivagg · VC analyst @socialleverage
Hello Denielle,
Can you name 5 startups that haven't raised series A yet and you are bullish on them.
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Danielle Morrill
@daniellemorrill
@shivagg Zapier, AppLovin, Everlane, Andy OS, Wag... and many more

The bigger list is at the link below. I used a Mattermark search to quickly find the Pre Series A companies in the Bay Area that haven't raised in the past 12 months -- and ranked them by Growth Score:
https://mattermark.com/app/data?...
Dave Ewart
@clickbyclick · Head of Digital Marketing for NA, Oracle
The rising tide lifts all ships... are the recent tech IPO successes a leading or trailing indicator of a thawing startup nuclear winter. Are you seeing lift in growth scores?
Mohsin
@mohsin585 · Founder, Dormillo
@clickbyclick Flux In The Fundraising Market by http://tomtunguz.com/q22016-vent...
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Danielle Morrill
@daniellemorrill
@clickbyclick I don't think we've been anywhere near nuclear winter, but we have been covering a lot of these trends over on our blog www.mattermark.com/blog
Nancy Miller
@nancefinance · Reformed clutter queen, @nancefinance
Hi Danielle, You get a lot done in a day. How do you organize yourself and how much do you delegate? Thanks!
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Danielle Morrill
@daniellemorrill
@nancefinance I delegate everything I can, and make sure I am doing things that are directly connected to achieving my OKRs at all times. This is hard, but I color code the things on my calendar with these themes to make it easy for me to see how much time is getting divided up. I start my day at 5:30am and end it at 9:30pm, and probably spend 1-2 hours actually at my desk. I triage emails using Sanebox, but responding to people is still a challenge. Slack is also a big driver of on-the-go workflow for me.
Sarim Haq
@sarim_haq · Growth Hacker @ Caspy
Hey Danielle, I saw a mention of Machine Learning on Mattermark's landing page. Can you please tell us where you are using Machine Learning? Thanks.
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Danielle Morrill
@daniellemorrill
@sarim_haq We don't talk a ton about this publicly, but machine learning is a very important part of how we are building Mattermark.

Some public posts we have done on it:

Introduction to Neural Networks, Vector Reduction and Natural Language Processing by Mattermark
https://www.hakkalabs.co/article...

The Human Algorithm: Automating Startup Data Collection at Mattermark
https://mattermark.com/the-human...
Sunny Clark
@sunny_clark · CEO ComplexNerve
Can you make any comment in using Mattermark as a timing tool on which industries to invest or get into. Its my opinion that any well funded start up can clone any app in 3 months, so it seems to me the best way to compete is the timing of the product and not necessarily the product itself (Think about VR being around since the 1990s but Oculus Rift coming in 2012 and then getting acquired for 2 billion 2 years later). Can you make a comment on that if you agree or disagree and why? Thanks for your time
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Danielle Morrill
@daniellemorrill
@sunny_clark Cloning an app is easy, but building the RIGHT app and getting customers and building a brand is the harder part.

I think timing of *market* is more important than the product itself, and maybe that is what you are saying. Why did Webvan fail where Instacart is succeeding? The market is different 20 years later, because of a bunch of exogenous factors that Webvan couldn't control. But Webvan couldn't survive long enough to take advantage of them.

We always want to think we have entered the market at the perfect moment, this is one of the downsides of taking outside investment... sometimes the time horizon for the return they want doesn't line up with the way a market is unfolding. This is an important consideration for any investor getting into a company, and frankly is something founders should consider, too.

Mattermark is the kind of company you run for a lifetime, because we are still at the earliest days of knowledge work and the B2B portion of the Internet. It requires patient capital, as the market unfolds.
Jackie Stone
@jackiestone1 · CMO, MiMedia
When you are investing in a company, what are the top 3 things that draw you to invest?
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Danielle Morrill
@daniellemorrill
@jackiestone1

1. existing or obvious potential for friendship with the founder
2. clear need for the product myself
3. X-factor

I am not really investing to make money when I angel invest, I am investing in the chance to live in the future as it ought to be.
Jackie Stone
@jackiestone1 · CMO, MiMedia
@danielle_morrill thanks for your response. I love that you invest to live in the future. I also love Mattermark and we are proud to be on your site!
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Danielle Morrill
@daniellemorrill
@jackiestone1 Thanks Jackie!