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August 25, 2005

VV Show #11 - Scott Rafer of Feedster

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 Scott Rafer

If you thought you're an entrepreneur just because you started a software company in Silicon Valley, you're dead wrong, according to Scott Rafer. It's just too easy. Scott's the CEO of San Francisco-based Feedster, an RSS search engine and ad network that allows people to find blogs, jobs and more. Scott is no stranger to the startup world, having been an entrepreneur in several parts of the world. He's not afraid to speak his mind, either, as a blunt blogger and speaker.

Update (4/5/08): Since this interview Scott left Feedster, which is now out of operation. He joined MyBlogLog as CEO and sold it to Yahoo! within a year for a reported $10 million. He's now the CEO of Lookery.

Site notes:

1:30 Career start

3:00 Corporate entrepreneurship

10:00 Previous venture

11:15 Being too early in a market

15:15 Feedster involvement

17:20 RSS

19:40 The next Google?

21:35 Competition

24:30 Founder relations

27:15 Sales

31:15 Political views and causes

35:30 Audio vs. text

37:35 West vs. East Coast

48:10 Threats to Feedster

50:40 Speculating on the future

Official bio:

Scott Rafer is President and CEO of Feedster, a fast-growing blog search engine and advertising network. Feedster delivers more relevant, and timely information by continuously collecting data from nearly 7 million RSS content feeds. Before Feedster, Rafer co-founded WiFinder, the Wi-Fi hotspot directory; BookBroadband, the broadband hotel finder; Fresher Information, RSS indexing way too early; and FotoNation, a creator of connected photography solutions.

Previously, Rafer led the Internet products group at Kodak Hollywood and worked in investment banking at Needham & Company. For school, Rafer graduated from the Management of Technology program at the University of Pennsylvania.

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August 18, 2005

VV Show #10 - Brad Feld of Mobius Venture Capital

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Brad Feld

Some venture capitalists keep a low profile, preciously guard their e-mail addresses from needy entrepreneurs and put on a jacket for publicity photos. Not Brad Feld. Brad started his career building his own technology consulting company with nothing but $10 and a 19-year-old's ambition. He grew his business to the level that it was an appetizing acquisition target, worked a bit for the company that acquired his firm doing acquisitions for them, did some angel investing, and is now a managing director at Mobius Venture Capital. All along, he's been vigorously growing businesses -- and sharing his know-how through his popular blog -- and now on this show.

Show notes:

1:15 Life as an entrepreneur

1:55 Growing a consulting firm

6:45 Sold first business

9:50 Entrepreneur or investor?

12:00 Working with a CEO as an investor

13:45 Mobius Venture Capital

16:00 Pitching your business to Mobius

17:55 The business plan

20:20 What to look for in a VC

23:45 Term sheet

26:45 Lawyers

28:20 Geography

34:00 Always on?

35:30 Style

37:00 Today's agenda

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August 15, 2005

VV Show #9 - Jeremy Hague of Skylook

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Jeremy Hague

While some people still wonder if the fax machine has been rendered obsolete, Jeremy Hague is ready to write e-mail's obituary. Jeremy's brand new company, Netralia, recently released a product to rave reviews called Skylook. Many people use Microsoft Outlook to manage their contacts and send e-mail. Skype is used by 47 million people to make phone calls over the Internet. Jeremy's Skylook program allows users to integrate Outlook with Skype so they can quickly place calls to contacts, merge contact lists and optionally record phone calls. Based in Australia, Jeremy uses his own program do business around the world.

Show notes:

1:25 Career start

4:00 Description of Skylook

8:10 Call recording

9:45 Integrating two pieces of software from different manufactures

12:45 User feedback

14:45 Phone calls are back among techies

18:10 Business plan

19:50 Revenue

24:55 Managing time

26:05 Skype building in functionality

26:45 Young entrepreneur

29:15 Australian entrepreneurial culture.

33:20 Remote collaboration via Skype

35:20 Try Skylook

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August 8, 2005

VV Show #8 - Kelly Perdew, Winner of The Apprentice

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Kelly Perdew

If someone told us to listen to business insights from a former game show contestant back in the day when The Price is Right was the closest thing to a televised business competition, we would have laughed in their face. Since then The Apprentice has attracted many ambitious young professionals to do battle for a spot in the Trump Organization. The winners have all been entrepreneurs, and Kelly's resume has the word 'founder' repeated more than enough times to qualify him as a serial entrepreneur. Kelly is the winner of The Apprentice 2 and is seven weeks into his apprenticeship with the Trump Organization.

Show notes:

1:10 Career beginnings in the Army

3:25 Getting an MBA/JD

4:15 First venture

6:30 Worked at Deloitte Consulting (then called Braxton Group)

8:30 Worked at eteamz

12:25 If you were filmed while you were working on all these entrepreneurial ventures, would you come off the way that you did on The Apprentice?

13:35 Change

16:35 Pre-Apprentice enterprises

19:00 Risk of appearing on The Apprentice

21:00 Appearing on The Apprentice

24:00 The technology industry vs. real estate

24:40 Trump projects

26:55 Business vs. entertainment

27:30 On New York

28:00 Trump Organization

29:00 What's next?

30:30 Book deal

32:40 Apprentice's impact on America

36:20 To do list for today

36:45 The future

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