Planet Of The Apps Week 4 and 6

Chat with Clark founders Megan O’Connor and Sam Gimbel + SubwayTalent founder Bens Hilaire + Mend founder Elle Huerta + Friendish founder Chandra Arthur + founders of Special Guest Kristopher B. Jones & Damon Wayans Jr.

THIS CHAT HAPPENED ON July 21, 2017

Discussion

Elle Huerta@ellenhuerta · CEO+Founder, Mend
Hi Everyone I'm Elle, founder of Mend. Mend is a self care app for heartbreak, and we closed our seed round on the show alongside our incredible mentor Jessica Alba. #TeamAlba! Looking forward to your questions. Hi Everyone, I'm Bens Hilaire and I'm the founder of SubwayTalent. SubwayTalent is a mobile peer-to-peer marketplace application that connects event planners with live musicians to enable them to book talent for shows, private performances, parties and more. Although temporarily, I may not be as successful as everyone on this chat, I can still answer any questions you may have about chasing your dreams, taking risks or any advice you think I can give you about life in general. I am very open, honest and transparent, so please don't hesitate to ask me any question. Looking forward to hearing from you all! Hi Everyone we're Megan O'Connor and Sam Gimbel, co-founders of Clark, a virtual assitant for tutors - the fastest growing vertical in the 1099 economy. We recentently had the opportunity to share how big the potential of the independent education market is on POTA and invite you to ask us anything! Hi we're Damon Wayans Jr and Kris Jones founders of Special Guest App which aims to democratize how people book and experience LIVE entertainment. We believe the traditional booking process is broken - it favors managed talent and is riddled with friction leaving hundreds of thousands of talented entertainers struggling to get paid and do what they love to do. Ask us anything. Hi, I'm Chandra Arthur, founder of Friendish and app that helps people make friends based on shared interests. Feel free to ask any questions about my experience on the show working with Gary, our app Friendish or what it's like being a tech founder based outside of larger markets. I look forward to chatting with you!
Ryan Hoover@rrhoover · Founder, Product Hunt
I assume this is the first TV show most of you have been on. What was the biggest surprise?
Megan O'Connor@meganmoconnor · CEO and Co-Founder of Clark
@rrhoover THE ESCALATOR!
Kristopher B. Jones@krisjonescom · CEO, KBJ Capital (Special Guest App)
@rrhoover Is reality TV real? I struggled w/ that for at least the first several tapings of POTA. However, at the end of the day I realized I was cast to play myself (serial entrepreneur / investor) and once I realized that (and that I'm clearly not an actor) I was able to write my own script!
Bens Hilaire@benshilaire · CEO & Founder of Nezz
@rrhoover The biggest surprise for me was finding out "if a dev doesn't pass the escalator pitch they will not continue on the show." That news was told to me "the day of my pitch" so it added more pressure. lol
Elle Huerta@ellenhuerta · CEO+Founder, Mend
Nick Abouzeid@nickabouzeid · Words at Product Hunt ✌️
@rrhoover @meganmoconnor Was it an actual escalator? They don't show it on the show!
Ben Gold@bengold · Designer
How important is design in your product development process? Who is the best designer?
Sam@samgimbel · Co-Founder @ www.hiclark.com
@bengold Well this seems like a bit of a setup, but Clark focuses on user-centric design and instills design thinking in all of our processes so we can create only the features that matter to our users. I'm not sure who the best designer is, hmmm. I'll ask around and let you know when I find out.
Kristopher B. Jones@krisjonescom · CEO, KBJ Capital (Special Guest App)
@bengold I take a minimalist perspective and allow data to drive design decisions. For me it's more important to look at how users interact with the app and how we can use that data to make decisions about how to make it easier (and more useful) through development and design.
Bens Hilaire@benshilaire · CEO & Founder of Nezz
@bengold It's extremely important because design to me is like " the first impression" it's what get's the users to the door to test out your product.
Ayrton De Craene@ayrton · Code @ Product Hunt
Is there any backstage POTA gossip you can share with us?
Sam@samgimbel · Co-Founder @ www.hiclark.com
@ayrton We're keeping most of it a secret, but there are definitely some tidbits! On our shooting day we were the first to pitch and one of only 2-3 to move on to the next stage, so making friends was hard! But we still managed to get contact info for almost everyone. It's an awesome group of developers, through and through!
Chandra Arthur@chandraarthur · Founder at Friendish
@ayrton I think I can say this, but on my pitch day there was another app who had a similar concept to Friendish that I was slated to pitch right after. I figured if the judges loved his app idea and selected him to be on a team, they would never have chosen me. So through some magic working, I got to pitch a little later than originally scheduled! 😆
Kristopher B. Jones@krisjonescom · CEO, KBJ Capital (Special Guest App)
@ayrton @chandraarthur That's awesome!!!!! UPVOTE!!!!
Rachel@rpersk · Student
After having gone through the whole process of app development, what would you say has been the most important tool to your success?
Sam@samgimbel · Co-Founder @ www.hiclark.com
@rpersk Having a team to back you up. We were only able to do this because of the people we work with. My advice to other founders is to spend the time to intentionally hire the best people you can, because those will be the people who determine your culture if and when you grow. It's hard to overstate how important this is to building a successful product organization.
Elle Huerta@ellenhuerta · CEO+Founder, Mend
@rpersk Be nimble! I initially started Mend as a newsletter to get feedback on content. Then I built our web app (Rails) because I didn't know Objective C or Swift. I used that app as a platform for a bunch of mini product tests (most of those failed). It wasn't until I had done all of that testing/iterating that I landed on the idea of a "personal trainer for heartbreak" which evolved into our iOS app.
Chandra Arthur@chandraarthur · Founder at Friendish
@rpersk I'd say be patient and flexible. Building great products and teams takes a lot of time and commitment. Also get used to hearing no.
Kristopher B. Jones@krisjonescom · CEO, KBJ Capital (Special Guest App)
@rpersk Analytics.
Bens Hilaire@benshilaire · CEO & Founder of Nezz
@rpersk Have a great team that believes in the company's vision. There's a big difference between a team and workers. Having workers that come in and clock in just to be paid is a waste of the company's creative energy. Instead, find teammates that will want the best for the brand, will help the brand make money. They should understand the more users they help, the more money the company makes, which means the more money they'll make as well. The last tool I would say that helped is "be yourself" I know it sounds cliche, but trust me.... being yourself allows the universe to bless you with ideas and enhance your creativity.
Darian Adler@adler_darian
What was the biggest inspiration behind all of your apps?
Megan O'Connor@meganmoconnor · CEO and Co-Founder of Clark
@adler_darian great question! The inspiration for @HiClarkTutors actually came from my mom! She is a public school teacher in San Jose, CA and a tutor! She was our first user as well.
Elle Huerta@ellenhuerta · CEO+Founder, Mend
@adler_darian I built Mend because it's what I was looking for (and couldn't find) when I was going through a breakup in my twenties. So it was inspired by heartbreak!
Bens Hilaire@benshilaire · CEO & Founder of Nezz
@adler_darian Great question! For me, the idea for SubwayTalent started as a passion project after having all four of my cards declined in front of this girl I took out for a drink lol. I used SubwayTalent as a way to escape depression, and after launching, "what was back then a simple website," it received a lot of positive feedback and I was being contacted by artists asking to join our website and random people that kept asking me how much does it cost to book talents on our platform? As a musician, I personally know how difficult it is for undiscovered artists to make money off their passion and as an event planner, I know how hard it is finding quality talents to book to perform.... So from this depressing, embarrassing situation, @SubwayTalent was born as an app to connect event planners with quality musicians.
Kristopher B. Jones@krisjonescom · CEO, KBJ Capital (Special Guest App)
@adler_darian hundreds of thousands of talented people in the United States struggle to get paid for what they love to do. The traditional booking process favors managed talent and disproportionally stacks the cards against non -managed talent from making a career of it. Damon and I think the traditional booking process is broken. Our passion is to democratize how people experience and book LIVE entertainment. Special Guest App enables talented people to get paid for what they love to do, while making it dead simple for millions of others to experience LIVE entertainment easily and affordably in non-traditional settings.
Andrea Wijaya@winjaya_ · Person in Training
Elle is the master Mender here, but would anyone else have any advice to offer for the broken-hearted? Asking for a friend ;)
Megan O'Connor@meganmoconnor · CEO and Co-Founder of Clark
@winjaya_ Don't start a start up
Bens Hilaire@benshilaire · CEO & Founder of Nezz
@winjaya_ Find a passion project that will allow you to express your emotions by not hurting anyone. Don't be afraid of your emotions, dig deep, you'll be surprised how strong and creative you are.
Kate@katesegrin · Head of Social @ GitHub
What's been the best moment for each of you individually from being part of POTA?
Megan O'Connor@meganmoconnor · CEO and Co-Founder of Clark
@katesegrin The best moment for Clark coming out of POTA was when Aaron Batalion not only invested in our company after our pitch, but also joined our Board of Directors.
Elle Huerta@ellenhuerta · CEO+Founder, Mend
@katesegrin I loved pitch day with Nicole, Aaron, Alex and Jeremy - even though you don't get to see it all, that conversation was really fun (and very valuable). I'm thrilled to have Lightspeed on board.
Kristopher B. Jones@krisjonescom · CEO, KBJ Capital (Special Guest App)
@katesegrin having Jeremy Liew as an investor / advisor.
Bens Hilaire@benshilaire · CEO & Founder of Nezz
@katesegrin Honestly to me, it was meeting the other devs. Most of us still keep in contact, communicate very often and added each other on social media. All the devs I've met has been extremely supportive to one another.. I think that's the biggest blessing I received overall from the show.
Megan O'Connor@meganmoconnor · CEO and Co-Founder of Clark
@katesegrin @ellenhuerta Couldn't agree more!
Mike O'Connor@g2_mikeoc
For those of you who received an investment, how is that $$$ being put to use in the short term?
Megan O'Connor@meganmoconnor · CEO and Co-Founder of Clark
@g2_mikeoc With our Seed Round investment from LSVP we doubled our team on the engineering side. That human capital is developing our web experience and android app.
Elle Huerta@ellenhuerta · CEO+Founder, Mend
@g2_mikeoc I'm investing most of it in people (hiring), so that we can develop faster, improve the user experience and provide the best possible training content. We did also move out of our incubator into a new office.
Kristopher B. Jones@krisjonescom · CEO, KBJ Capital (Special Guest App)
@g2_mikeoc the irony of raising a pot of $ is that on the one hand it allows you to accelerate things like hiring and marketing. On the other hand - it buys you time so you don't have to focus on generating revenue as a priority (to fund the operation). Instead, the obsession is on fine tuning the product based on qualitative and quantitative feedback.
Bens Hilaire@benshilaire · CEO & Founder of Nezz
@g2_mikeoc Well I'm speaking based on investment I've received outside the show but for @SubwayTalent we've used the $$$ we've raised towards hiring great teammates to take the brand to the next level.
Nicholas Sheriff@nicholassheriff · Founder, Sheriff Ventures
Bens Hilaire I was wondering why you didn’t counter the offer from Special Guest? Behind every great company ever has in some way been partnerships, especially strategic ones. Microsoft + IBM, Google + Stanford…Tinder + Sororitys. I think sometimes we overinflate enthusiasm with success, as in the more enthusiastic we are it would in some way translate into a lot of the movable pieces in turning this into a business that produces revenue and turns a profit, being passionate is important it will help drive you to do what you need to do as a founder but it isn’t the only attribute you have to have. I’d strongly make emotion 3% of the business and just focus on being very very strategic about your decisions because, product market fit doesn’t care about your name, how passionate you are, or your net worth. It will choose anyone regardless. Damon Wayans Jr I’ve tested out the app, it doesn’t work for me in it’s current form but it shows promise, the only red flag for me really…How committed are you to this, you're the founder…the vision and steering the ship has to come from you and then trickle down? Has that commitment reshaped the business and if so in what way? Megan O'Connor and Sam Gimbel I love the product personally, you guys seem like you are very complimentary founding team….I’m curious as to how you guys view AI, machine learning in this space…do you guys view PhotoMath and Socratic as competitors or more as a vertical you can see being apart of Clark as a way to augment some of the value in the near future? Chandra Arthur I remember reading about sexual assault going up over 450% in the past 5 years directly being attributed to dating apps. As a product designer for the past decade, I’ve seen and talked to a variety of dating co, founded by men who feel the need perpetuate this view of men being predatory. Fast forward to today, it’s still an ever increasing celebration that we hunt, kill, rape and have no desire to foster meaningful and lasting relationships of any kind. As simple as your app might seem and with the issues it’s being plagued with currently I see it as a profound stepping stone to a very important and greater discussion as a society. This is literally what we need more of, I’m confident you’re the person to spir this on, and bring us as a society toward discovering each other in this ever increasingly digital reality. Elle I think you have something magical here, simply because we are in an awakening of self-care around this taboo that has always been mental health, we’ve shifted now more than ever in our history from an “unhealthy” personal mentally being one that’s drooling from the mouth in a straight jacket, to it actually being all of us. We all can use more mindfulness, I’d love to hear more about anything surprising you’ve discovered connecting with users of the product.
Bens Hilaire@benshilaire · CEO & Founder of Nezz
@nicholassheriff Truth be told, it's a long story and a lot of scenes that clearly explained why, didn't make the final edit but here's an article that covered everything about your question: https://technical.ly/brooklyn/20...
Leana Sottile@leana_sottile · Student
For Everyone: App development can be a long and complicated process, what do you think were your biggest challenges and how did you overcome them? Do you think you would have dealt with them any differently when looking back?
Sam@samgimbel · Co-Founder @ www.hiclark.com
@leana_sottile Being early-stage is very tough, especially as you're just finding customers. The lack of external validation for your ideas ("is this the right problem? is this the right solution?") can be crushing and you have to find a way to keep pushing and build confidence around the progress you're making rather than the answers you feel you need going in. You'd think that this changes once you find customers, but the truth is that you're still not sure whether they're the _right_ customers, and so doubt becomes your worst enemy. Developing a strong and cohesive mission is a great guard against this doubt trap, which doesn't ever let up until you've reached true product/market fit. The key is to experiment quickly and often with new and crazy ideas and get really good at measuring the outcomes of your efforts as well as strategically deciding which activities are worth doing and which you simply don't have enough information to embark upon. Founder time is the most valuable resource in the early days, so removing doubt from the equation and only focusing on inputs and outputs can be a great way to solve for this.
Chandra Arthur@chandraarthur · Founder at Friendish
@leana_sottile Our biggest challenges at Friendish were and still are + engineering. Execution is everything and the product is not there yet + brand. My story of how I came to build Friendish is solid, our brand story is not Looking back I would've definitely handled things a bit differently. If I could do things over I maybe would've pitched our current version as a prototype and pitched more of the vision of Friendish and had a designer friend mock that up to show the advisors and partners at LSV.
Bens Hilaire@benshilaire · CEO & Founder of Nezz
@leana_sottile Yes, truth be told I'm going to be completely transparent and honest and say in the beginning I did a bad hire that pushed our app back from launching, lost some money because of it... but I believe in failing forward, the outcome of that bad hire made me hustle hard to make up for lost time, which brought me to the "Planet of the Apps" show. Now when we hire new teammates in our company, we have a very depth hiring process and so far, I am extremely proud and happy for the teammates we have in our company. Goodness gracious, they are beyond amazinggggg!!!!!
Leana Sottile@leana_sottile · Student
Also for everyone: What is the next big step you all are taking to pursue success and better your career. Going along with that, what is the biggest piece of advice would you give people who are trying to do the same?
Megan O'Connor@meganmoconnor · CEO and Co-Founder of Clark
@leana_sottile At @HiClarkTutors we are launching V1 of our product this fall during Back to School and expanding our users beyond our beta set of tutors. In addition, our parent product will launch this fall, meaning we have services for both tutors and their clients out in the market. Very excited for this next step!
Bens Hilaire@benshilaire · CEO & Founder of Nezz
@leana_sottile Right after the show, our next step was adding developers on our team to enhance and maintain the app, which we did. Now the next step for us is to focus on our users and solve their core problems. The best advice I can give you is "create a great product for your users, not a product to impress investors."
Emily Hodgins@ems_hodge · Operations @ Product Hunt
Hi everyone thanks for joining us today! What can you tell us about the advisors? How did they each help you with your Planet Of The Apps journey?
Kristopher B. Jones@krisjonescom · CEO, KBJ Capital (Special Guest App)
@ems_hodge Will.i.am is a big thinker + he's been in the entertainment business his entire life. His insights have been incredibly valuable as Damon and I attempt to democratize the experience and booking of LIVE entertainment.
Megan O'Connor@meganmoconnor · CEO and Co-Founder of Clark
@ems_hodge Gary V was our advisor and we had the opportunity to work with him out of Vayner Media in both LA and NYC. From the first time we meet him, Gary told us the biggest opportunity for @HiClarkTutors was to own our mission, which is to turn every teacher in America into a tutor, and let that mission be our brand.
Chandra Arthur@chandraarthur · Founder at Friendish
@ems_hodge Gary is as real as they come! He helped me take the blinders off and get to that raw/honest place you actually have to be at to begin building something great.
Elle Huerta@ellenhuerta · CEO+Founder, Mend
@ems_hodge I had an MVP for Mend and some initial traction when we began filming with Jess (~7 months ago), so I was very much focused on product/tech. Jess helped me think beyond lean MVP/beta and dive into some of the bigger questions around brand, design and voice. She's an expert brand builder and storyteller, and I learned so much from her that will be invaluable in this next phase of growth.
Niv Dror@nivo0o0 · VC at Shrug Capital
What's something about your episode that us viewers might not know? 🤔
Sam@samgimbel · Co-Founder @ www.hiclark.com
@nivo0o0 1. that was the first time I had ever worn a suit jacket. 2. We worked with Gary V. EXTENSIVELY behind the scenes on audience development, which was our main takeaway from the whole process. A lot of that was cut for time, but it played a huge part in our eventually successful pitch to LSVP.
Kristopher B. Jones@krisjonescom · CEO, KBJ Capital (Special Guest App)
@nivo0o0 We taped what felt like 100 hours of footage that was captured in a 25 minute episode. There is a vault somewhere at Apple with a ton of extra footage! I want Apple to give away the key to the vault for free so more people can benefit from the POTA experience.
Elle Huerta@ellenhuerta · CEO+Founder, Mend
@nivo0o0 I'd say 95% of my VC pitch to Lightspeed is not in my episode. Due to limited time, there's just a lot you don't get to see unfortunately!
Megan O'Connor@meganmoconnor · CEO and Co-Founder of Clark
@nivo0o0 @samgimbel and like @ellehuerta said most of our VC pitch to Lightspeed is not on the show. We had a great conversation about the opportunities in growing the tutoring market.
Bens Hilaire@benshilaire · CEO & Founder of Nezz
@nivo0o0 Viewers might not know I wrote my "60 Secs pitch" literally 2 Hours before I went on the escalator. Weeks before that, I wrote a pitch that I spent weeks memorizing but when I landed on the set, I felt like that pitch wasn't me. Being this my first time in the tech industry, I felt like I needed to be as close as to what people consider a "tech entrepreneur" in order to be accepted or receive funding. So I was always afraid to be myself. In the beginning, I always had my dreads in a pony tail, always hidden my tattoos, always tried to be all stiff and talk as proper as possible, but after a while I realized I was so uncomfortable trying to make people in the tech industry feel comfortable because I didn't want to scare them or be judge. So I said "F*** It" I'm going to be myself. I let my Dreads flock, talk and move my way, and re wrote my pitch two hours before I went on. The outcome to that is what everyone saw when I came down that escalator. I've received so many love and positive feedback about my pitch, so I'm glad I decided to be myself. The moral of the story is "be yourself because people going to judge you regardless in the tech industry or any industry."
Rachel Saya Jacobson@rachel_jacobson · Student
What keeps you motivated when you go through all the obstacles when creating an app?
Sam@samgimbel · Co-Founder @ www.hiclark.com
@rachel_jacobson in our case it's thinking of the struggle that educators go through on a daily basis and how much of that we can assist with by changing the game around tutoring. Results take a long time to see at scale, so we try to focus on a vision and an eventual goalpost of success to keep momentum up. But it's also important to stay grounded, so we try to stay focused on our current metrics and the immediate problems we can solve for our users.
Chandra Arthur@chandraarthur · Founder at Friendish
@rachel_jacobson you always have to bet on yourself and hold yourself accountable.
Elle Huerta@ellenhuerta · CEO+Founder, Mend
@rachel_jacobson Menders. Our community is incredible, and their feedback keeps me going.
Bens Hilaire@benshilaire · CEO & Founder of Nezz
@rachel_jacobson Everyday when I'm faced with an obstacle, I tell myself out loud "Bens, this is bigger than you. This journey is not about you." I'm always thinking about the millions, and billions of users @SubwayTalent will be able to help and inspire one day. Also, I always tell myself "not a lot of kids that look and sound like me have gotten this far in this tech industry, so continue no matter hard it gets because one day, some kid out there might be seeking for hope or some one that looks like them for inspiration, just like you used to look for hope and some one that looks like you in the tech industry back when you were young. Another thing that motivates me is my parents, knowing my mom has breast cancer and dad have prostate cancer, I make sure every single day counts when I get up in the morning. Knowing they're constantly in the hospital back in South Florida and I'm all the way in NYC, I feel bad because God forbid, I can get "that phone call" any day or any min now (knock on woods). I've received that kind of phone call a few months ago when I lost my cousin in a car accident, and I still haven't forgiven myself for not spending more days and time with him back in South Florida. So all these things keeps me going because if I give up on my goals and dreams, I would let a lot people down and that would be very selfish of me.
Michael Porter@michael__porter
How are you expanding your teams now? What are the top skills you're looking for?
Sam@samgimbel · Co-Founder @ www.hiclark.com
@michael__porter Great question! We're filling out our last couple roles for fullstack Javascript engineers, and we're specifically focused on developers who can solve a broad variety of problems across our entire ecosystem. We focus on adding new perspectives to our already awesome culture, so we're looking for folks who can help us bring expertise not just in Javascript development but also in engineering process, evaluating risk, and so forth. Our stack is Ruby on Rails, Node, and React. You should apply here: https://boards.greenhouse.io/cla...
Elle Huerta@ellenhuerta · CEO+Founder, Mend
@michael__porter We're hiring engineers and a growth manager - we're looking for teammates who are passionate about our mission to mend broken hearts around the world. You can read more about the skills we're looking for and apply here: https://angel.co/mend/jobs
Bens Hilaire@benshilaire · CEO & Founder of Nezz
@michael__porter We've hired engineers and the top skills we're looking for are teammates that will know how to fail forward and not backward.
Alessandra Henderson@acphenderson · MIT Sloan
What differentiates Clark from other tutoring apps on the market?
Megan O'Connor@meganmoconnor · CEO and Co-Founder of Clark
@acphenderson Great question. The short answer is we are educator first - meaning the @HiClarkTutors services help tutors launch and scale a tutoring business. The bi-product of that is tutors who get to focus on student outcomes instead of all the friction that occurs when you are running a 1099 business.
Nick Abouzeid@nickabouzeid · Words at Product Hunt ✌️
What have been the biggest challenges to setting up your respective businesses? How have you overcome these?
Kristopher B. Jones@krisjonescom · CEO, KBJ Capital (Special Guest App)
@nickabouzeid raising capital. While we were successful in raising $1.5M during the taping of the show (and $500K via Lightspeed) my partner Damon and I went out on the road to raise money w/out a finished app. That's not an easy thing to do, especially when you add in the time element of the show.
Elle Huerta@ellenhuerta · CEO+Founder, Mend
@nickabouzeid Being a solo founder has been difficult at times. It can be lonely, so you have to find other founder friends and mentors. In the beginning, I was told by everyone that incubators don't accept solo founders, that it's impossible to raise VC funding, etc. I overcame it by working really hard and demonstrating the opportunity through real traction. That way, when I applied to my incubator or went out to raise a seed round, no one cared that it was just me - it was more impressive than worrisome.
Bens Hilaire@benshilaire · CEO & Founder of Nezz
@nickabouzeid A solo founder trying to raise money. So far I've been hearing so many excuses from investors such as "my projection numbers are too high which means I'm a dreamer and not being a realistic CEO..... Or my projection numbers too low...... Or they won't invest because I'm not a coder, and doesn't have a technical co-founder.......Or this is my first time in the tech industry so no......Or the idea for an app to book live musicians is a bad idea that won't work..... there are so many excuses, it's hard for me to take any of them as feedback because after a while they're trying to find any reason to say no. You can present to them a billion dollar idea and they will say to you "well, the fact that we live on planet Earth, we can't invest at this time" lol hahaha
Nicholas Sheriff@nicholassheriff · Founder, Sheriff Ventures
@nickabouzeid @benshilaire Seriously Bens I have and still are there my numbers are too good literally someone said that ( I'm too far along the seed stage so they won't invest ), oh and I'm too early? Lol You'll hear it all. They also at the same time will fund in the hundreds of millions kids with no experience, no background ( most only finished high school ), and are pushing a stupid concept with no product fit ( just an idea not even a prototype ) and they will all raise seed funding $1.5-$5 million....so you really just have to keep on moving on! As long as you believe in what you are doing and have numbers to confirm some of the basic of that belief ( product market fit ) you can survive once they wake up and be more reactionary ( focus on vanity metrics )...as most vcs do, only the good ones, smart ones as you've seen on the show actually focus on substance and market fit and care little about vanity metrics unless in some sense it paints a credible pic about if the team is somehow having issues.
Bens Hilaire@benshilaire · CEO & Founder of Nezz
@nickabouzeid @nicholassheriff lol haha you've nailed it, man. VC's should change their names to "Professional No-Tellers" hahaha because they do an amazing job finding excuses to tell us no. I personally think that's an amazing skill to have lol. But on a more serious note... keep pushing my man, and never give up on your vision no matter what. I'm here if you ever need any support. Just hit me up on Twitter!
Kenzo Nawa@kenzo_nawa · M.S. in HCI
Are startups dying?
Kristopher B. Jones@krisjonescom · CEO, KBJ Capital (Special Guest App)
@kenzo_nawa most start-ups fail. However, I can't recall a more opportune time to start a business! In addition - success leaves clues. So while start-up success is difficult there are lots of books (Lean Start-up, Traction, etc) that serve as guides and shows like POTA that help expose the failures and successes of start-up life.
Sam@samgimbel · Co-Founder @ www.hiclark.com
@kenzo_nawa should designers code?
Elle Huerta@ellenhuerta · CEO+Founder, Mend
@kenzo_nawa Statistically speaking, most are, yes ;p
Bens Hilaire@benshilaire · CEO & Founder of Nezz
@kenzo_nawa Naw because for each problem an entrepreneur solves, their solution will create another problem. In other words, where there's a problem, there will always be an entrepreneur with a startup to solve it.
Chandra Arthur@chandraarthur · Founder at Friendish
@kenzo_nawa @samgimbel i feel like we're entering an era where everyone should code. As a non technical founder that has been a constant challenge that technical founders don't face.
Joey Nappa@joey_nappa · College Student
With apps like SubwayTalent and Special Guest should talent agents and managers be worried about finding future clientele or will resources like these help them in ways they hadn't expected?
Kristopher B. Jones@krisjonescom · CEO, KBJ Capital (Special Guest App)
@joey_nappa At Special Guest we field calls every day from talent agents (and agencies) and we are inclined to work with all of them (not against them). At the end of the day we think the world is a better place with more talented people getting paid to do what they love to do. Everyone involved (talent, venues, agents, all of us) will need to remove the unnecessary restrictions we place on experiencing live entertainment. For instance, Damon and I believe in redefining how LIVE entertainment is experienced by re-imagining where it is experienced. Moreover, we believe that artist discovery is too fragmented and difficult leaving the artist to be both artist and entrepreneur. But they don't want to and most aren't good at it. Special Guest is the platform that democratizes the way people experience and book LIVE entertainment and we are game to work w/ anyone - including agents - to help more talented people get paid and experience entertainment. Tks for the Q!
Bens Hilaire@benshilaire · CEO & Founder of Nezz
@joey_nappa Honestly, talent agents and managers should be worried. I would also add record labels should also be worried as well. Of course knocking off record labels will take some yearssss but I honestly think they should be worried as well!