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July 26, 2005

VV Show #7 - Evan Williams of Odeo

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Evan Williams

A quick glance at Evan's bio might make it seem as though he just stumbles into all the newest, hottest trends. However, the only thing Ev stumbled into was traffic (the kind you get on the non-information highway -- where he discovered the value of listening to podcasts) on his commute. After trying his hand in Nebraska's tech entrepreneurial circuit (well, he was the circuit), Ev made the voyage out west to California. He founded Blogger, one of the most popular blogging services, sustained it throughout the dot com bust with few resources, and sold it to Google. After spending some time at Google growing Blogger, he's back on the trail again building his new podcast business, Odeo.

Odeo is a young startup with fuel. Ev announces in this show that Odeo has just received its first round of venture funding.

Update (4/21/08): Ev returned Odeo's funds to the investors and sold the company. He co-founded Twitter, which just raised its own funding and is on a fast growth curve.

Show notes:

1:40 First gig

2:35 Unusual places to build Internet companies

3:15 Moving to California

4:50 From employee to entrepreneur

10:35 From geeks to general audience

12:20 Google acquisition

18:20 Odeo thinking big

24:10 Other podcast players

28:05 Odeo's funding

28:50 Podcast industry

30:35 The better suitor: Yahoo or Google?

32:25 Next six months


View Venture Voice on Odeo.
Check out what podcast Ev's subscribed to on Odeo.

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July 22, 2005

VV Show #6 - Scott Heiferman of Meetup

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Scott Heiferman

Entrepreneurs need community. This entrepreneur makes communities. An Illinois native, Scott Heiferman came to New York while working for Sony in 1994. He quickly joined the avant-garde of the Silicon Alley community while growing his new media ad agency, i-traffic. After selling i-traffic to Agency.com (capitalized companies apparently acquire non-capitalized ones), Scott worked the counter at McDonald's. Scott left both the food services industry and the advertising business to create something unheard of: an on-line service that gets people to leave the computer.

Show notes:

1:35 Worked at McDonald's

3:15 Lessons learned

4:30 Previous ventures

5:30 Meetup thought up

8:15 Challenge of starting Meetup

9:55 First Meetups

12:30 The Presidential election

15:00 Scott's Meetups

16:20 Entrepreneurship geographically

18:25 Making Meetup successful

22:10 Media matters

24:05 Social networking?

25:45 Changing business model

27:00 Meetup in the future

28:00 Podcasters' Meetup in New York

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July 4, 2005

VV Show #5 - Joe Kraus of JotSpot (part 2 of 2)

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Jot Spot Team

We covered the past with Joe in our previous show, but it's clear he spends a lot of time thinking about the future. Many people muse about how they would do things differently if they had only the chance to do it all over again. Joe is doing it all over again by building his new business, JotSpot, from scratch. He shares his development strategy and vision for the company.

Show notes:

0:45 JotSpot elevator pitch

2:45 Getting non-geeks to use JotSpot

5:45 Listening to customers

6:50 Team dynamics

8:45 Excite lessons

9:20 Funding

10:45 New competition

11:15 Prices for JotSpot

12:55 Developer community

14:00 To do list

15:00 Non-profit work

17:45 Interesting opportunities on the Web

21:30 A blogger but not a podcaster, yet

23:15 Copyright and podcasting

24:10 Advice to entrepreneurs

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