Many founders I interviewed on Mixergy told me about how their companies virtually disappeared after they sold them. But 4 years after selling Reddit to Conde Nast, Steve Huffman is so proud of how much its grown that he’d be happy to still own it.
After years of persevering through rejection when he called on customers and investors Alexander Straub funded his company, Mondus, a business to business marketplace, by winning an entrepreneurship contest. A year later, he exited after selling 40.7% of the company.
Alexander went on to invest and launch other businesses, including, most recently, Truphone, which uses VoIP technology to revolutionize mobile communication, Empora, a fashion search engine and Straub Ventures, a venture capital firm.
How do you build a company that others are eager to buy?
That’s the big question for this interview. Joining me is Sandy Kory, Managing Director of Horizon Partners. It’s a boutique investment bank that helps bootstrapped growing Internet and tech companies raise money and sell their businesses. Since he helps founders achieve their big exits, I invited him to talk about what he learned as he helped sell companies.
How much of your revenue is coming from lead generation? With lead gen, a company gets paid every time it gets a user to do things, like fill out a form for a mortgage request or ask for a local contractor or apply to a college.
Jay Weintraub is the founder of LeadsCon, a premier conference and trade show for lead generation, the premier and the largest. I invited him to Mixergy to teach how the leads business works and to talk about how the most successful companies use lead gen to grow.
A shocking thing happened when Brian Pipa and his friend launched Teenormous, a search engine for tshirts. Social media juggernaut Gary Vaynerchuk launched a similar site with his brother AJ, and the two of them got links from mega-blogs. Meanwhile, Teenormous was either ignored or seemed like a copycat.
Despite the competition, Brian and his co-founder kept working on Teenormous. Good thing they did, because today the site is doing over $750,000 in annual sales, and…
How do you generate massive press by making yourself an expert?
That’s what I asked Lauren Berger, founder of Intern Queen, a site where students can find internship listings and learn how to make the most of their opportunities. By doing her own publicity Lauren generated over 100 articles since 2008, including in The Wall Street Journal, New York Post, and Yahoo Business. In this program, she teaches how she did it.
A few listeners told me that they can’t stand when I “waste” their time by asking interviewees about the companies they started as teenagers. But I keep asking because it’s interesting to see what an entrepreneur can do…
In 1995, Cynthia Typaldos launched GolfWeb, a site that offered reader reviews and social networking. She sold that company to CBS Sportsline and followed it up with RealCommunities, a platform for social networking.
Today she runs Kachingle, a site that helps readers give voluntary contributions for digital stuff that they love.
Adam Edmunds says when an investor first heard him present his idea at a business plan competition, the investor “came running up to me, and I still remember he was so adamant about how crappy my idea was, he had like spit coming out of his mouth and just going off about how this was not going to work.”
In 2004, Michael Evans jotted a business idea on a mustard-stained napkin. He wanted to build a web site to connect hungry customers with local restaurants that delivered. This year, GrubHub, the company he launched, will do $70 million in food orders.
In this program, you’ll hear how he got traction for his business by going door to door and selling his idea to local restaurants during the day, and then heading home to build his site at night. You’ll also hear…
When you’re building a new business, “it is hard enough to fight an IBM or a Google or a Microsoft or a YouTube” says Fred Destin. You shouldn’t also have to “fight the jargon of the people who are funding you. So what I’m trying to do is help entrepreneurs get inside the mind of the VC so they understand how funds are managed, what investors look for, and how not to get screwed.”
That’s exactly what he did in this interview. Fred is a venture capitalist with Atlas Venture.
How did Tynt convince 600,000 web sites to rethink two of the oldest computer actions, copy and paste?
That’s what I invited the company’s founder, Derek Ball to talk about. You’ve seen Tynt in action if you ever pasted text that you copied from a web site and noticed that an attribution link somehow ended up after the text you pasted. If you’re trying to get traction and grow a new idea, listen to how Derek did it….