It’s a big day for us here at ClickBrain and Captiva Companies. The first episode of our new Startup Lessons podcast (click play at the bottom of this post) is up and ready to go in audio and video versions. We are awaiting Apple approval of the podcast and will post a link when ready.
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What a great first show (despite my newly acquired Boston accent when I say “dot com”). We had more lessons in this podcast, than are likely to fit in your podcast show notes, but here’s the list of valuable Startup Lessons from the inaugural episode of Startup Lessons by ClickBrain.
Peter Pezaris has had a great run of exits with his co-founders of Glip with over $2 billion worth of exits. His latest startup is Glip a great communication/productivity tool, that we use at Captiva Companies.
You will learn big lessons about interface, acquisitions, documentation, team building, onboarding clients, how to push users to action for greater adoption and less churn, and much much more. Here’s the list:
- How the team at Glip invented social news feeds in a previous startup and sharing photos, videos, and media all in one place.
- What its like to have someone else take your innovation and run with it.
- How their product Glip evolved from a consumer social network.
- User adoption as the critical metric and how their subscription model sneakily creates 40% growth month over month from their primary target markets.
- How they hid great power behind the simplest of interfaces.
- How the lessons they learned in 2004 about feature adoption is a critical driver of their success with Glip.
- How user adoption is a primary design philosophy behind everything they do. The art and science of making it appear simple, but still be powerful.
- How they identified their 3 primary competitor markets and how they believe they are superior to even the largest players in each space including Skype, Yammer, Smartsheet, Trello, and many more.
- Most importantly why they believe they can even beat the biggest competitor of all – email and how their clients are abandoning email in droves everyday.
- The key metric about email that makes Peter confident they will win despite the naysayers.
- The surprising 3 primary markets they are targeting and how that is 50% of their client base and why this is a brilliant second level channel strategy.
- How they are experiencing excellent revenue growth despite a huge number of their users being free.
- How they are turning the concept of freemium pricing on its head without new users that were invited even knowing they are a freemium customer.
- How they built their first beta in just 1 year and ate the dog food and used Glip to build Glip.
- How despite having a team of 20 that are almost all developers, he as the CEO is still coding away on the product.
- How they’ve kept a team together for 19 years and multiple exits totaling over $2 billion and how others on their team have been with them for 13 years.
- Development tactics and tools:
Their philosophy despite being a web-based app is to banish one of the most critical components of the web and why and how they did it.
- How they planned for scalability from the beginning
- What tools they used to build a real time web-application – some are obvious and some not so much.
- What development framework they would love to be using right now, but can’t because it came too late after they built their own just like it on top of something else.
- How trying to guide your users or help them may be the worse thing you can do for your growth.
- Despite incredible compound growth rate of over 40% month over month, why it’s never good enough.
- The amazing secret tactic they used to take their social network from pitifully anemic growth to exploding growth with nothing more than deleting something.
- Tip: Startups if your idea is good stick to it and iterate and how to present to customers differently. Think of ways to push the user into the apps functionality rather than overwhelm them.
- Why sometimes documentation could be the death of user adoption.
- Why despite having between the founders, 4 exits totaling over $2 billion in exits amongst founders, they may take VC funding.
- Where they want to take this and who they have on their target list for potential acquisitions, but focused now on creating value.
- How he built a $10,000 company into a multi-million acquisition living on 99 cent whoppers and sleeping on the floor of his office. He didn’t have enough money in his ATM one day to withdraw cash and then the next saw a balance with 8 digits.
- Hear the really cool story of how they went from an initial $16 million offer to $46 million and a closing in just 30 days.
- His advice and thoughts about acquisitions and how dramatically different his were in terms of time to close and due diligence. One was a few pages of existing spreadsheets and another was over 300 pages of newly created documentation and how the process and attorneys slowed the process down to the detriment of the company.
- How to balance the process of raising money or being acquired and keeping your company afloat.
- Hear his best advice for any entrepreneur to get their startup running and to build a great team.