Blog

By Derek Andersen

Last month I had the opportunity to sit down with Bing Gordon, founding team member of Electronic Arts, partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB), and a board member at Zynga and Amazon. Sitting down with Bing was a complete guilty pleasure for me as an ex-EA underling and personal admirer of his distinguished career. The community didn’t disappoint as about 300 people showed up to listen to him talk and kick off our 2013 global community event. Full transcript and video below. [00:00:00] DEREK:  Welcome to StartUp Grind!  I think you went shopping before… [00:00:06] BING: I schwagged up. [00:00:09] DEREK:  Well, welcome. [00:00:10] BING:  Thanks.  Nice to see you again. [00:00:11] DEREK:  Yeah, it’s good to see you. [00:00:13] BING:  I was kind of curious whether you’d be sprouting a toupee since the last time I saw you.  You know, some people, when they go into Startup Land, they trade in everything they believe in and most people start doing everything they believe in. [00:00:26] DEREK:  I had one for a while.  It just wasn’t a good look for me.  So…

By Derek Andersen

Excited to be at SXSW for the Startup Grind panel, led by Startup Grind Austin Chapter Director Andi Gillentine. The discussion will include Jim Butler (Manager at City of Austin), Susan Davenport (Sr VP Global Technology Strategies Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce), Kevin Koym (Founding Partner Tech Ranch Austin), and Bijoy Goswami Founder BootstrapU. Andi just made us cheer loudly for these people in true Startup Grind style. It’s a little early but we did it. Jim Butler is first up. Austin works with the University of Texas which is close to downtown. They work with the school on the curriculum to service, promote, and grow entrepreneurship. Small business development program provides classes, events, and other resources to help. Austin works on improving arts, music, and make Austin into a place that’s not solely focused on business. 

By Derek Andersen

Interviewing Ryan Smith was a major guilty pleasure for me. I first met Ryan at school in Provo Utah. We used to play massive networked Halo team games at least weekly and multiple times per week during finals (yeah grades were not so good). When I first met him he was already working on Qualtrics with his dad. Provo, a town of just over 100,000 people is a buzz with talk about Qualtrics. They’re sucking in talent and growing like crazy. Watch this edition of Startup Grind Utah when we talk through how they grew from doing $100K per month in the basement, to a company with 300 people and $70MM in funding.

By Derek Andersen

Four years ago I finally convinced Erica to let me quit my job. I couldn’t have picked a worse time. It was mid-2009 and the world was in the midst of an economic panic. We just had our first child six weeks earlier. What a strategy! Have a child, quit your job, start a business. Just what every girl dreams for her family. Working from a 500 sq ft apartment in Palo Alto, Erica never complained. Listening to pitch calls from the living room with a 2-month old baby I’m sure was just the life she envisioned. The first business failed in 5-months. I didn’t sell a thing. No money, no funding, no business. Nothing. The next business was angel funded. It failed in nine months. One year in I was back at square one with some scar tissue and what Steve Blank calls “experience.”

By Derek Andersen

For a long time I’ve tried to really understand what ‘community’ means. It’s become such a simple phrase to throw around. Everyone has a community. Someone recently told me that Nike and Coke have ‘communities.’ I wear A LOT of NIKE, but come on. In the startup world it’s abused even more. So I won’t describe what I saw last week at Startup Grind 2013 as a community, I’ll describe all the amazing things that I saw and you can figure out what that ‘community’ is if it even is one. It’s our entrepreneurs and founders helping each other around the world. We had attendees from over 20 countries. China, Australia, Canada, Ireland, Mexico, South Africa, Scotland, to name a few. We had founders and speakers from Brazil, Atlanta, Singapore, Boston, and so many more. They all gave of their time and energy to support these amazing people. We had 25-Chapter Directors that gather local entrepreneurs on a monthly basis in their local cities. We had some of the most interesting conversations I’ve ever seen. Steve Blank and George Zachary interviewing each other. Mark Suster interviewed Clayton Christensen. It’s Dave McClure, Bing Gordon, or Naval Ravikant at their best. It’s Jermaine Dupri telling us about …

By Derek Andersen

In a replay of one of my favorite Startup Grind interviews of all-time, Tony Conrad (True Ventures and About.me) delivers great insights on being an entrepreneur in this era and time, how About.me and WordPress were founded, and why you should know Branch Rickey. Full video and transcript included below. ——— STARTUP GRIND INTERVIEW FEATURING TONY CONRAD, August 2011 [00:00:15] I’d like to introduce Tony Conrad everyone. Come on. Tony Conrad [Applause]. Cat calls out there. That’s kind of new. I can tell you MG did not get any cat calls.

By Derek Andersen

[00:00:07.13] DEREK: Let me introduce Mike. Mike is a founder, Mike is an entrepreneur. He’s also been a senior executive at companies like Microsoft, Twitter and Palm. He’s an investor in a number of companies including Cloudera, Gumroad, Code Academy. He’s currently a partner at Kleiner Perkins. Let’s give a big warm Startup Grind welcome to Mike Abbott, here we go. [00:00:45.16] DEREK: Welcome, that was a lot of build up there.

By Derek Andersen

[00:00:01.28] Welcome to the Startup Grind. We are really excited to be here. We really appreciate Charles. Doing this with Charles tonight, it’s a guilty pleasure for me because I worked at EA for four years and have been a huge fan of his products and his work for a very long time. Charles attended the University of Berkeley California. He was originally born in Taiwan and moved here at a very early age. He and his brother co-founded Red Octane in 1999 and we’re going to hear this whole story and it is just absolutely fascinating, but eventually as you all know in 2005 he went on to build Guitar Hero, which became one of the most successful video games of all time. I checked the MPD data today and in North America it did over 30 million units, more than double that worldwide and grossed over five billion dollars, so really, really incredible. Charles, after getting acquired by Activision in the last year or so has founded two game companies, which are housed here — Green Throttle as well as Blue Goji, and we’re going to see some of those products towards the end of tonight. But, let’s …

By Derek Andersen

Afew months ago we realized all these amazing entrepreneurs are doing incredible things around the world and while most of them didn’t know each other, they really had a lot in common and could help build each other’s companies. As we grew from 10 to 20 to 30 and now 40 Chapters in 15 countries, I’ve met hundreds of great entrepreneurs leading the cause and helping one another succeed. In figuring out the best way to connect them, we decided it would be to bring them together. I am pleased to announce Startup Grind 2013, a global community event! A small batch of tickets are available now. On Tuesday February 5 and Wednesday February 6 our entire community will meetup, and where better to host it than the heart of Silicon Valley? Not only will we have great Startup Grind networking and fireside chats but we’ll learn from the best and brightest entrepreneurs around the world as they educate and inspire us to push through 2013. Today we’re announcing the first or four phases of speakers. After each phase we will announce more about the event and more participants. Phase 1 speakers include:           Clayton Christensen, author of Innovator’s Dilemma Bing Gordon, KPCB Mark Suster, …

By Derek Andersen

Late last week I got a sneak peak at EastDez, a newly funded eCommerce platform, if you’re in the space you should add them to your radar. Very strong team, top tier Sand Hill investors. We’ll be writing about it fully soon, but there’s nothing publicly available about them yet. It seems funny that only a few years ago Zappos investors were scrambling to get Amazon to buy the ecommerce giant. Now these companies, which thrive with real revenues have been popping up in every incubator and startup house around the world. From things like The Honest Company, to Dollas Shave Club, and many others, ecommerce is hot once again.