VCs

All Those E-mails From Pinterest Are Very Good For This Guy

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/all-those-e-mails-from-pinterest-are-very-good-for-this-guy-2012-3


SendGrid CEO Jim Franklin

SendGrid has sent 30 billion e-mails in the three years it’s been in business — and none of them are spam.

SendGrid is an e-mail cloud service hired by Pinterest, Foursquare, Hootsuite, Spotify, job sites, daily deal sites and many other companies.

About 40,000 Web applications use SendGrid, says its CEO  — and Boulder startup icon — Jim Franklin. And none of it is spam because users sign up these e-mails, such as job openings, friend requests and the like.

Franklin says it even coaches its customers on how to do e-mail so people don’t report it as spam.

“One person sending e-mail to another is easy. But an app sending out e-mail is hard. E-mail is a problem for developers,” explains Franklin.

So it’s no surprise that SendGrid is growing at 10% annually — it now sends out more than 3 billion emails per month — and it recently landed Microsoft Azure as a partner. SendGrid will now be the default e-mail service for any app using Microsoft’s cloud, Franklin says. New Azure developers qualify for 25,000 free e-mails a month.

The company is one of the shining stars of the blossoming Boulder startup scene. It began in Boulder’s TechStars accelerator program in 2009 and has boomed from there. It recently landed raised $21 million in Series B funding in January — for a total of $27 million raised so far

As SendGrid uses Rackspace, Web apps that also use Rackspace qualify for 40,000 free e-mails per month.

All who know SendGrid are expecting an IPO in as little three years. One of its VCs, Bessemer Venture Partners, has done over 100 IPOs, notes Franklin. That’s if the company doesn’t accept an acquisition offer before then, says Franklin. 

And if you’re interested in one of the 30 job openings at the company, you might also want to know that the company motto is the 4H’s: Honest, hungry, humble, happy.

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Thursday, March 1st, 2012 news No Comments

Source: http://gizmodo.com/5887838/please-stop-making-more-pinterests

Please Stop Making More PinterestsPinterest! It is the hottest social media whatever the hell it is out there. Is there a Pinterest button on this site yet? (No? Jeremy, please get on that!) Because Pinterest should be everywhere, and everything should be Pinterest.

Pinterest! Pinterest! Pinterest!

Journalists! If you are writing a story about something, and you do not mention Pinterest, what are you thinking, really? I don’t care what your story is about, you still need to mention Pinterest. Steve Jobs? Mention Pinterest! Mitt Romney? Mention Pinterest! Genocide? Mention Pinterest! What do you mean that’s in poor taste? Mention it, Goddamn you! Mention Pinterest!

Similarly, if you are starting a company and it is not a Pinterest clone, I feel bad for you son. All the big baller VCs in the valley need a Pinterest hook right now if you expect them to relate to you. If your turd factory isn’t a Pinterest spin-off you might as well not even share your poop with me. Because I won’t care! Each and every elevator pitch is now required to begin with “It’s like Pinterest for _____

You don’t believe me? To fucking wit:

Chill: Pinterest for Video
Gentlemint: Pinterest for men
Linterest: Pinterest for Jeremy Lin!
Urbantag: Pinterest for places!
Sinterest: Pinterest for porn!
Grooblin: Pinterest for social events!
Stylesays: Pinterest for fashion!
Polyvore: Pinterest for fashion!!
Usabila: Pinterest for designers!
Shopalong: Pinterest for Shopping!
Pinspire: Pinterest for Pinterest!
Currently Obsessed: Pinterest for Stalkers!
Etc: Etc Etc

But clearly, there are some market holes. So, hang on, I’m going to start like 20 businesses for you real quick. Please immediately launch Pinterests for: Magazines, blogs, dead people, cats, the gays, sexual positions, fires, trees, the homeless, gingers, medical professionals, Latvians, figs, horses, websites about Barack Obama, air travel, banana slugs, butt plugs, anger, fear, hate, sadness, crying alone in the park, other emotions, cars, guys who like to have sex with cars, Mitt Romney’s old man balls, javascript libraries, the Taliban, pure uncut molly experiences, Skrillex, butterscotch, and of course women. That there isn’t a Pinterest for women yet just fucking amazes me. It’s obvious. Billion dollar idea.

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Friday, February 24th, 2012 Uncategorized No Comments

There’s Only One Way To Make A Ton Of Money And Be Happy Selling Your Start Up

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/theres-only-one-way-to-male-a-ton-of-money-selling-your-start-up-2012-1


Venture Capital Ad

There is a common belief that venture capital has become a necessity to get start-ups off the ground.

The seemingly endless flow of funds is very appealing to the up-and-coming company looking to sling-shot themselves to instant growth.

While VC funding can give an important vote of confidence and is absolutely necessary for large infrastructure projects, there’s another side to VC funding— it can actually become a huge hindrance. As I’ve discussed before, skipping venture capital can leave your company with the freedom to grow in a sustainable way, creating more value for all stakeholders.

This means when you do sell – as my company AdoTube did recently— you are able to reap all the rewards of selling a healthy profitable company while being a big part of its future. Read below for the 5 reasons why skipping the VC can leave you with more money and probably more importantly a better company legacy.

1.       VCs just want their return

Venture capitalists have a portfolio of investments consisting of multiple start-ups, and therefore only care about average portfolio results. On the other hand, founders have all their eggs in one basket. Not only is this company their brainchild, but it is also their savings on the line. While founders are interested in the eventual payout, providing a product or service that consumers are excited about can be even more important. This focus on the long-term can lead to a greater eventual pay-out as well as a better company legacy.

2.       It’s easy to waste VC money, diminishing overall value

It is easy to overspend when it is not your money. When a small company comes across millions of venture capital, a lot of that cash can get thrown out with the bath water. Keeping the company small and growing it with your own sweat, blood and hard earned cash can lead you to be thriftier in your decisions. When AdoTube started, we made sure every purchase would earn us back revenue, otherwise why waste the money? Ultimately, this allowed us more value for our investment and helped us get a better return.

3.       VCs go big or go bust

Multiple rounds of VC can put founders in a situation where the company either becomes extremely successful or goes bust. Venture Capitalists’ are looking for the big payday, and if the instant pay-out is not immediately apparent, the company can come to a screeching halt. Founders, on the other hand, can take their time building the company up growing it organically. Without venture capitalists looking for their end return, there is still a lot of middle ground available to time a company’s growth spurt with the market.

4.       VCs don’t care about company culture

VCs aren’t incentivized to make deals that are best for the company and the founders. They are incentivized to sell for the most money. The problem is that while every founder dreams of retiring to the Caribbean after they sell, the reality is that their role with the company is often far from over. Founders are often needed to stay on board to steer transitions or integrations are also often the best person to run the newly acquired company. Culture is paramount in making sure all of this happens smoothly and benefits everyone.

5.       VCs don’t know what’s best for the company

Venture Capitalists don’t understand your business like you do. They study revenues and look for synergies with other companies. VCs can even value companies differently depending on how they might merge with another. Valuing a company based on this can take away from the goals of founders, forcing companies to work more like a widget factory than a company. A simple sale could also mean the instant death of your company, destroying all the value that you created (just talk with the guys at Foursquare). While the VCs walk away with a pay-day the company that you spent years creating is gone in an instant.

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Thursday, January 12th, 2012 news No Comments

Dr. Augustine Fou is Digital Consigliere to marketing executives, advising them on digital strategy and Unified Marketing(tm). Dr Fou has over 17 years of in-the-trenches, hands-on experience, which enables him to provide objective, in-depth assessments of their current marketing programs and recommendations for improving business impact and ROI using digital insights.

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