Funding Fireside – Sammy Shreibati of SaveUp.com

My company, Emissary, works out of a great co-working space called the Founder’s Dojo. We organize periodic fireside chats with great people in the startup world. Below are my (raw/unedited) notes from our first talk. The topic was pre-seed and seed funding, with Sammy Shreibati of SaveUp.com


Advice to entrepreneurs looking to raise?
Create momentum.
Don’t tell them who you’re talking to. They won’t collude but they’ll get together, share notes, etc. They’ll eventually get there anyway, but no need to speed the process up.
Expected value of that situation is not necessarily worse, but it’s not a better outcome for the entrepreneur.
***Getting to the first term sheet should be your goal***

SaveUp’s 1st round
Talked to 15 investors in 2.5 weeks
Mid-2011, “frothy” time when lots of deals were happening
TrueVentures (seed), Blue Run (series A for Paypal)
Mostly Sand Hill, some SF.
Felt good to go up to them and say we’re talking to others
Once you get first term sheet you’re good.
Pre-product: bought adwords for different keywords, sent traffic to email signups, showed analytics as proxy for interest. This also got Sammy to really believe in it.
Reminds me of http://www.paulgraham.com/convince.html
There was also a ton of literature on Prize Linked Savings which is the inspiration of SaveUp. That helped pre-product.

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Worth reading: A young black man’s reflection on the Trayvon Martin case

I hesitate to get into something so divisive. I didn’t follow the details of the case, and I’m not positioning this as my own opinion. But this man’s thoughts were so moving, I had to share.

“Man, I’m just glad I had a mom who gave me the realness from a young age. I can remember thinking she was so stuck in the past for telling me that I couldn’t do or say or wear certain things, that I could not stay out as late as my white friends could, that I could not “experiment” with any of the things my white friends did. I struggled so much with her for trying to impress upon me the fact that I was different. Because I’m supposed to be. I lived in a nice house, spoke more than one language, was well educated and well socialized and I did not understand why I needed to Continue reading

Notes from Duct Tape Marketing: Day 3

Yesterday through Friday, CreativeLIVE is broadcasting John Jantsch, the author of Duct Tape Marketing, on boot-strapping or optimizing the marketing arm of a small business. Day 1 notes here | Day 2 notes here | Below are my notes from Day 3 of these sessions.

Let me know what you think on Twitter at @staringispolite

The book on Amazon

Watch the session live here: http://www.creativelive.com/live1 They have “course materials” here: http://www.creativelive.com/courses/duct-tape-marketing-john-jantsch Continue reading

Notes from Duct Tape Marketing: Day 2

Yesterday through Friday, CreativeLIVE is broadcasting John Jantsch, the author of Duct Tape Marketing, on boot-strapping or optimizing the marketing arm of a small business. Day 1 notes here | Day 3 notes here | Below are my notes from Day 2 of these sessions.

Let me know what you think on Twitter at @staringispolite

The book on Amazon

Watch the session live here: http://www.creativelive.com/live1
They have “course materials” here: http://www.creativelive.com/courses/duct-tape-marketing-john-jantsch

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Notes from Duct Tape Marketing: Day 1

Today through Friday, CreativeLIVE is broadcasting John Jantsch, the author of Duct Tape Marketing, on boot-strapping or optimizing the marketing arm of a small business.  Below are my notes from Day 1 of these sessions | Day 2 notes here | Day 2 notes here.

Let me know what you think on Twitter at @staringispolite

The book on Amazon

Watch the session live here: http://www.creativelive.com/live1
They have “course materials” here: http://www.creativelive.com/courses/duct-tape-marketing-john-jantsch

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Attention humans: Let’s talk about Miss Utah

 

Now that we’ve gotten some distance from it, let’s look back on the Miss Utah video. I won’t link the video here. Instead, I’ll summarize: A celebrity judge asks Miss Utah, 21 year old Marissa Powell of Salt Lake City, for her thoughts on income inequality between men and women. Essentially, it looks like Ms. Powell’s brain thought “I got this: general job scarcity; get more men on board who are already in positions of power; educate the younger generation”, and then instead, her nerves staged a coup. Within earshot of The Internet. Sean Plott’s tweet above was virtually the only sane voice I saw on the topic. For days, as this blogger on ABC News put it, “people who will never be on a [public] stage in their lives, piled on.”

I can’t articulate exactly why this bothered me so much, but here are a few attempts:

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Notes from Design+Startup:Making

Just got back from a fun and inspiring night at IDEO, who hosted Design+Startup (an ongoing series of design and hacking talks with lots of pizza and booze mixed in). Big thanks to @madisonmount and @phineasb for hosting. Below are my notes from the event’s talks. They’re mostly in stream of consciousness form, though I do make some attempt to organize them. Many past events can be found in video form (nicely separated into separate talks) on First Round’s Youtube channel.

I hope these can be a helpful resource. Final note: I love talking design and hacking. If you went tonight, or want to discuss, find me at @staringispolite.

TABLE OF CONTENTS:
Kyle Neath on: TOOLS
Karen Kaushansky on: EXPERIENCE DESIGN
Vivian Barad on: MANUFACTURING
Brad Simpson on: DATA VIS / TELLING A STORY
Tobias Toft on: PRINTER ART SIDE PROJECT
Jeffrey Kalmikoff on: DOING EVERYTHING

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FF Chartwell – The Infographic Typeface

https://www.fontfont.com/how-to-use-ff-chartwell

FF Chartwell is essentially a clever hack on ligatures. For example, in some fonts an ‘f’ followed by an ‘i’ gets cluttered by the f’s bar overlapping with the i, or not aligning right. So fonts auto-magically replace the ‘f’ and ‘i’ with one glyph ‘fi’. (That almost certainly didn’t happen in your browser just now, but you can learn more about ligatures on Wikipedia)

Except in this case, using a feature of the OpenType standard, FF Chartwell turns the ligatures dial up to 11. In FF Chartwell Pies, text like “25+30+25+20” gets turned into a pie chart with those numbers interpreted as percents. In FF Chartwell Bars, those same numbers would get turned into a bar graph, and so on. The graphics you create inherit the colors of the text you typed, and the text is preserved, you can simply toggle those ligatures on/off to edit the original.

Learn how to use it (and buy it) here:  https://www.fontfont.com/how-to-use-ff-chartwell