Joe Marchese

Joe Marchese

Co-founder of Reserve, Human Ventures & true [X]. President of Advanced Advertising for Fox Networks.

THIS CHAT HAPPENED ON February 22, 2016

Discussion

Joe Marchese
Joe Marchese@joemarchese · co-founder, Reserve
Hi Product Hunters. I'm a multiple time founder and accidental media executive by way of acquisition. Happy to talk about founding companies, raising money, media, advertising, navigating big companies, or "other."
Nik Sharma
Nik Sharma@mrsharma · Director of Performance Marketing, hint
Hi Joe! Curious on your opinion of advertising in the next 12-15 months. Do you think you'll be focusing on monetization through native content (similar to BuzzFeed's style), or will it still be banner ads, and sponsored social posts? Looking forward to hearing your thoughts!
Joe Marchese
Joe Marchese@joemarchese · co-founder, Reserve
@mrsharma I am pretty bearish on what is happening to the ad market. I think that issues of fraud and viewability are driving it to a very bad place and that quality content is coming to a fork in the road as to if it can even be ad supported without some sort of market correction. Native is great, but it doesn't scale to tens of billions of dollars. The real thing that needs to be fixed in the measurement and market for attention. I talk about it more here:
and here: http://blogs.wsj.com/cmo/2014/11...
Nik Sharma
Nik Sharma@mrsharma · Director of Performance Marketing, hint
@joemarchese Agreed - scaling is the issue I've seen as well. Will def check out the videos. Thank you for the time and attention, Joe!
Megan O'Connor
Megan O'Connor@meganmoconnor · CEO and Co-Founder of Clark
Hi Joe. Long time fan, first time caller. Can you tell us why you found companies in NYC?
Joe Marchese
Joe Marchese@joemarchese · co-founder, Reserve
@megan_o_connor :-) See my answer to Natalie above. But long a short: The Human's and the center of the industries that are all getting eaten by "tech" ...also, I love living here!
Emily Snowdon (née Hodgins)
Emily Snowdon (née Hodgins)@emilyjsnowdon · Operations @ Product Hunt
Hi Joe thanks for being here today! What are three things every new founder should focus on?
Joe Marchese
Joe Marchese@joemarchese · co-founder, Reserve
@ems_hodge 1. Are they solving a "hate fix" or a passion project. (I think the latter tends to be tougher to make a business) 2. Their founding team and resources. Nothing ends where you start it, but with great people and enough resources, you can find your space. 3. Why do they want to be a founder. (relates to #1)
Kenny Herman
Kenny Herman@kenny_herman · Tech Entrepreneur + Angel Investor
Hey Joe, big fan. As you have a ton of access to interesting companies, can you tell us about 3-5 that we likely haven't heard of that get you excited - and why?
Joe Marchese
Joe Marchese@joemarchese · co-founder, Reserve
@kenny_herman Thanks Kenny! There are a lot of companies I am excited about. Of course the ones I helped found, but outside of Human companies and Reserve, I am a huge fan of Alfred and The Skimm. Also, Operator and some of the other amazing companies coming out of Expa. They just have so much talent and resources there, that they can tackle the biggest challenges.
Danielle
Danielle@danielleabes
Hi Joe! What's your favorite restaurant in NYC on Reserve? What's one of your favorites not (yet) on Reserve?
Joe Marchese
Joe Marchese@joemarchese · co-founder, Reserve
@danielleabes Favorite(s): Carbone and ABC Cocina. I don't eat at restaurants not on Reserve ;-)
Natalie Fratto
Natalie Fratto@nataliefratto · VP Strategy + Development @ Common Legal
Hey Joe! I worked with Brandon and Darsh @ the beginning of BlockBeacon in LA. Recently moved to NYC - want to hear your thoughts on Silicon Alley vs the Bay area - what's awesome about the NYC scene? What sucks about it here?
Joe Marchese
Joe Marchese@joemarchese · co-founder, Reserve
@nataliefratto HEY! I could not be any more bullish on NYC for tech right now. Mostly because so many other industries (Media, Finance, Fashion, Food) call New York home and these industries are ALL becoming "tech" industries. Gives access to so much more talent and partnerships. Read more hear from Human CEO Heather Hartnett: https://medium.com/human-venture...
Andrew Ettinger
Andrew Ettinger@ettinger · 👟 @wearAtoms // ex @Twitter @ProductHunt
Why did you, as a co-founder, join the board and not the executive team?
Joe Marchese
Joe Marchese@joemarchese · co-founder, Reserve
@andrewmettinger Because I have a full time job attempting to save the media world :-) And more to the point, I figured out that something I love to do is help amazing CEO's co-found their companies. And I will do more of it. All the experience, connections and resources I have access to can help, but I don't want to be an investor, I like helping others found companies.
Emily Snowdon (née Hodgins)
Emily Snowdon (née Hodgins)@emilyjsnowdon · Operations @ Product Hunt
Have you had any mentors in business? Do you mentor others?
Joe Marchese
Joe Marchese@joemarchese · co-founder, Reserve
@ems_hodge I try to help any founder I can. I am partial to ones I can help in NYC and businesses that I can apply my specific experience areas to. Also, those founders that know something something that I wish I had known as a founder: When asking for help, be specific. Asking for "help" doesn't really get you anywhere. And pitching you business at every chance doesn't either. Sometimes trying to be helpful is the best way to get help.
Erik Torenberg
Erik Torenberg@eriktorenberg · Former Product Hunt
Joe. Now I have you right where I want you. firing away.... What's something you used to fervently believe that you now see as fundamentally misguided?
Joe Marchese
Joe Marchese@joemarchese · co-founder, Reserve
@eriktorenberg That Trump could never get the Republican nomination.
Tiffany L. Rider
Tiffany L. Rider@tiffanylrider · Operations & Digital Strategy
Hi Joe! Found this discussion thanks to @mrsharma - THANK YOU! Joe, I'm heading up ops/digital strategy for Ben Swann's Truth In Media project. I have a very specific question for you about managing advertising sales. --> Our team closed our biggest ad campaigns in the past two months due to the serious momentum we've built in terms of site traffic and social engagement/reach. We want to continue building on that momentum and ramp up sales, so we've brought on a couple of commission-based execs with good Rolodexes. What we're working on now is doing post-mortems on those big ad campaigns and creating case studies to show how we can create value for clients. All that said, we don't have a strong system for managing all of our lines in the water. We're kind of small for Salesforce, so I was thinking of using Asana to track our work for current clients and prospects. What tools do you recommend for a small, nimble team to track sales?
Joe Marchese
Joe Marchese@joemarchese · co-founder, Reserve
@tiffanylrider @mrsharma We use Salesforce. And I think that does scale to smaller orgs. But even google docs and spread sheets are good for small teams to track sales accounts. I use them for specific tracking of contacts and accounts by project.
Tiffany L. Rider
Tiffany L. Rider@tiffanylrider · Operations & Digital Strategy
@joemarchese We have a Google docs spreadsheet that we started with. We'll stick to that for now and I'll investigate Salesforce further. Thanks for the feedback!
Nik Sharma
Nik Sharma@mrsharma · Director of Performance Marketing, hint
@tiffanylrider @joemarchese Hey Tiff, feel free to glance over @Gravity4's CRM product as well - http://CRM.me is the link. Let me know what you think, maybe we can get you setup there :)
Emily Snowdon (née Hodgins)
Emily Snowdon (née Hodgins)@emilyjsnowdon · Operations @ Product Hunt
What's one thing that scares you?
Joe Marchese
Joe Marchese@joemarchese · co-founder, Reserve
@ems_hodge For media: that we might be in a content bubble and advertising failing to support quality content will make it even worse when it bursts. For start-ups: macro economic trends only. Although I think that great entrepreneurs can raise more in bull markets and do more with less in bear markets due to lower talent and capital costs.
Erik Torenberg
Erik Torenberg@eriktorenberg · Former Product Hunt
How did the Expa partnership come about? can you talk about that?
Joe Marchese
Joe Marchese@joemarchese · co-founder, Reserve
@eriktorenberg Garrett and I knew each other going back a number of years. It just so happened around the time he was starting Expa, Greg and I were starting Reserve. We were catching up over lunch and the rest is history. It was such a fateful lunch because without Expa's support and resources, there is no way Reserve gets as far as it has already. I would start any company with Expa.
Erik Torenberg
Erik Torenberg@eriktorenberg · Former Product Hunt
Are you long NYC? Why double down there? (besides the obvious reason of it being the greatest city in the world :)
Joe Marchese
Joe Marchese@joemarchese · co-founder, Reserve
@eriktorenberg I am all in on NYC. Literally. All of my investments go through co-founding new companies with Human and all of the companies Human co-founds and supports will be NYC based for the foreseeable future. The access to talent and that unique nature of the multiple industries based here make it something that I could not be more excited about. Also, as I mentioned earlier, I really like living here :-)
Erik Torenberg
Erik Torenberg@eriktorenberg · Former Product Hunt
If you could go back in time, what advice would you give to your 25 year old self? Conversely: if you were 25 in 2015, what would you do? start a company? in what space?
Joe Marchese
Joe Marchese@joemarchese · co-founder, Reserve
@eriktorenberg Humm...second question is easier: NOT ADVERTISING SUPPORTED MEDIA. The industry is such a mess. And most ad tech has created such a cesspool that the business is terrible. If you want to survive on advertising, you have to hit X volume of "impressions" and quality has zero bearing on this. Until the market corrects, I would stay away. I would focus on services that people pay for. I would love to find a great subscription service. All things that give people back their time for a fair price. Put another way, using tech to give everyone a level of service that wealthy people take for granted. I also want to do more in the social impact space with tech.
Erik Torenberg
Erik Torenberg@eriktorenberg · Former Product Hunt
How do you navigate a company like Fox to get things done at similar caliber to a startup? Does your approach change?
Joe Marchese
Joe Marchese@joemarchese · co-founder, Reserve
@eriktorenberg It is very, very different. But having the right attitude helps a ton. The biggest difference with a big company like Fox and a start up, is that there is a lot that you need to protect in a $50B+ public company. With start-ups you can just keep swinging for the fences. But the great part about Fox is that it is, and has been, a risk taker and willing to lead as the industry changes. It is why I was excited for myself and the team to go there with the acquisition. We were not selling the company, true[X], at all, in fact the year we got acquired was our best year ever (until this one). But there are only so many chances to be at the center of an industry when it is fundamentally changing, like media is right now, and getting to be a part of the change from the inside is just as exciting as I thought it would be.
Emily Snowdon (née Hodgins)
Emily Snowdon (née Hodgins)@emilyjsnowdon · Operations @ Product Hunt
What is the best advice your've every received? Flip side, what's the worst?
Joe Marchese
Joe Marchese@joemarchese · co-founder, Reserve
@ems_hodge Best: When you are a founder things are never as bad as they seem, but they are never as good as they seem either. Try to keep an even outlook. Worst: You need an "experienced" exec to help grow a start up. The second you don't have faith in the founder, you might as well close up shop IMHO.
Brian Carano
Brian Carano@bcarano
Any plans to bring Reserve to Cleveland, Ohio?
Joe Marchese
Joe Marchese@joemarchese · co-founder, Reserve
@bcarano For sure! Just a matter of time. The team brought Reserve to 7 cities in just the first year. And things are only going to speed up. Not sure on specific timing as they have a lot of places to get to. But Cleveland is on the list to be sure!
Emily Snowdon (née Hodgins)
Emily Snowdon (née Hodgins)@emilyjsnowdon · Operations @ Product Hunt
What has surprised you the most about building your companies?
Joe Marchese
Joe Marchese@joemarchese · co-founder, Reserve
@ems_hodge How hard it is to do things that seem obvious. Changing people's behaviors is hard, even when it seems obvious that things will/need to change. That is true in B2B, with true[X], or watching the Reserve team show people a new way to book reservations. Some stuff just seemed so obvious to the teams it was like "why hasn't someone else done this????" Then you start and you realize there are always so many more moving pieces and entrenched behavior/emotions. That's what makes it hard. But we always say that "if it was easy, someone else would be doing it" that's what makes a great start up. Doing it the right way, even if it is the harder way.
Ben Tossell
Ben Tossell@bentossell · Makerpad.co
Hey what are you favourite questions to ask founders?
Joe Marchese
Joe Marchese@joemarchese · co-founder, Reserve
@bentossell Why do you want to be a founder? Also, checking with them to make sure they realize that the idea they have now is not what their company will end up doing. I really can't think of a company that ended up just executing on a founders original vision. You have to be able to evolve the vision as things change around you and you learn. It is nailing the perfect mix of being vision-flexible, without changing what you are doing every 6 months. You need a north star, but to realize that how you get there isn't going to be a straight line.
Nik Sharma
Nik Sharma@mrsharma · Director of Performance Marketing, hint
@joemarchese 100% agree. Never thought if that, but you're completely right. Curious @bentossell as to how PH how many times you've seen @ProductHunt pivot since you've been a part of it?
Ben Tossell
Ben Tossell@bentossell · Makerpad.co
What advice would you give to your 20 y/o self?
Joe Marchese
Joe Marchese@joemarchese · co-founder, Reserve
@bentossell oh man....that's a scary one. Invest in Google :-) Let me answer this another way. A lot of people ask me what I would do differently now that I know what I know now, and my answer is "not much" because everything I did, mistakes and all, have gotten me here. There is plenty I regret having to do and not moving fast enough. Always being more worried about competitors than I needed to be. But it all has made up the experience I get to put into my work and companies today.
Corley
Corley@corleyh · COO @ Product Hunt
Hey Joe, thanks for joining us today! Who are the people in your life that have had the most impact on you? And who do you look to for inspiration and ideas?
Joe Marchese
Joe Marchese@joemarchese · co-founder, Reserve
@corleyh Beth Comstock was someone I was fortunate enough to meet very early in my career when she was at NBC. She is probably the most giving of her time to early entrepreneurs and among the industry titans. She has always been a great sounding board and offered amazing advice.
Caroline McCarthy
Caroline McCarthy@caro · VP Communications, true[X]
Hi Joe, nice to meet you, big fan. What is your favorite tip for training for marathons? What is one piece of marathon training advice you followed that turned out to be horrible?
Joe Marchese
Joe Marchese@joemarchese · co-founder, Reserve
@caro Ha. Very funny. But I do love telling people that the secret to running is this: Lie to yourself. What I mean is that nobody really likes running, but if you can tell yourself I am just going to go for a short, slow run, once you get going you can start to tell yourself "well, I am out here, might as well go a little further, and a little faster." Plus, I use running to do other things. I read my entire email inbox(es) before going for a long run and sort through things in my head. If there is a problem you can't solve on a run, either the run wasn't long enough or there ins't a solution to the problem.
Eric Friedman
Eric Friedman@ericfriedman · Partner @ BlockTower
Hi Joe, great to see you doing this! When thinking about early stage cos, how and when should they think about press? With so many things to focus on how can a small team compete with big companies, budgets, PR teams, and the like?
Joe Marchese
Joe Marchese@joemarchese · co-founder, Reserve
@ericfriedman I think press is fine the second you have a story you want to tell. I do think that that every company changes over time, so you don't want to be too specific, but press should be considered a tool, like any other, to make recruiting, fundraising, BD, user acquisition easier. Especially if you are a first time founder. But you need to know which one of the areas you are trying to help and what the message is going to be.
Erik Torenberg
Erik Torenberg@eriktorenberg · Former Product Hunt
Joe. Why start Human Ventures? You were already a successful operator, you're an exec at Fox, you're on boards. What is the goal with Human?
Joe Marchese
Joe Marchese@joemarchese · co-founder, Reserve
@eriktorenberg Human is the culmination of realizing that I think being a great co-founder and helping other CEOs is such a rewarding and repeatable process. Human is going to allow that to scale so that I can do my day job, but keep empowering others. Also, the thesis of giving NYC tech a center and bringing together great founders with talent and resources is not just rewarding to do in its own right, but helps me be a better exec in the media world.
Vlad Ciurca
Vlad Ciurca@vladciurca · Executive Producer, Techsylvania
Hi Joe. If you're interested in checking out other tech ecosystems, we'd love to invite you to visit Lonely Planet's top region in the world for 2016 and join us at: http://techsylvania.co in May. We have some of the best engineers in the world here and also a cool trip for a limited number of speakers called Dracula's Nights :) Let me how should we connect if you're available. Thanks, Vlad