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October 31, 2005

VV in the Long Island Business News

Long Island Business NewsVenture Voice is featured in the Long Island Business News complete with a photo of host Greg Galant. View a PDF of the article here.

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October 25, 2005

VV Show #18 - Mena Trott of Six Apart

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Mena Trott

At age 28, Mena Trott is a veteran blogger and an accomplished company founder. Six Apart, the business she started four years ago with her husband Ben, now has over 100 employees. Its stable of popular blogging products (including Movable Type, TypePad and LiveJournal) are used by writers of all types -- from the most influential bloggers to children who communicate after school. She's still pushing her company forward as president and developing some very ambitious new technologies.

Towards the end of the interview, VideoEgg co-founder Kevin Sladek jumps into the conversation to announce a partnership with Six Apart. Venture Voice covered the launch of VideoEgg during our DEMO coverage (show #14 and show #15). Starting today, VideoEgg and Six Apart will add video capabilities to TypePad.

Show notes:

Show recorded at the BlogOn Conference. Under embargo until today.

2:30 Six Apart's four year anniversary

5:05 Transforming a hobby into a business

7:15 Starting a business with a spouse

9:05 First investor

11:45 Change

12:55 Management team

16:15 Six Apart's software

17:40 Blogging to market a product

20:40 New product: Comet

21:45 Ambition for the future

24:40 Communicating with employees

26:30 Announcing video integration into Six Apart product TypePad

29:00 What Six Apart is all about

Kevin Slavek & Mena Trott

30:00 VideoEgg co-founder Kevin Sladek joins the interview

31:40 Striking and managing partnerships

34:30 VideoEgg is moving to San Francisco

35:50 Parting thoughts

37:00 Venture Voice wrap up

37:15 Events to check out

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October 17, 2005

VV Show #17 - Jason Fried of 37signals

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Jason Fried

The business world seems to keep getting more complicated, but Jason Fried is all about keeping things simple. When founding 37signals, Jason and his two partners staked their careers on simplicity. They wrote a manifesto to convince others of their philosophy of keeping design on the Web simple. Their project management software, Basecamp, has become a hit for its ease of use. Their blog is intently followed by thousands of (mostly) admiring readers, and has led to a book. Jason tells how he's grown his business simply, too, without taking on any venture capital or debt despite many offers. He also drops a couple hints about the next few products his company will launch.

Show notes:

1:45 Start of career

3:10 Start of 37signals

7:50 Building Basecamp

10:00 Making Basecamp into a business

12:10 Getting the word out

15:30 Philosophy and vision

22:00 Economics of 37signals

22:45 Launching other products

25:45 New products in development

27:00 37signals changes

28:30 Startup style

30:50 Funding

34:15 Business development and customer service

40:25 Exit plan

41:45 Ambition

44:30 Other thoughts

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VV in the New York Times

Thanks to our supportive listeners and top-notch guests, Venture Voice has received a great write-up in the New York Times.

Thanks to everyone who has listened so far. Keep your ears and eyes open -- it only gets better.

Posted by Aaron at 10:55 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

October 4, 2005

VV Show #16 - Tom Szaky of TerraCycle

Download the MP3.


Dropping out of college to start a technology company is almost a cliché. But is technology the only industry that can seduce an ambitious student into entrepreneurship? Tom Szaky dropped out of Princeton because he saw an opportunity in trash. At 19, he started developing an alternative to Miracle-Gro by using the excrement of worms that eat compost. To keep costs down, he reused soda bottles to package his product and located his business in Trenton, New Jersey. He's now got seven-figure funding and is pushing six-figure revenues by selling TerraCycle in select locations of Wal-Mart, Whole Foods and Home Depot. TerraCycle is planning on a full national rollout over the next three months. For this show we ventured into the heart of New Jersey to bring you on a tour of the TerraCycle factory. We talk with several TerraCycle employees and have an in-depth discussion with Tom about trash and cash.

Show notes:

1:40 Tom Szaky's description of TerraCycle

2:40 Tour of the factory with Abraham Diez

6:35 TerraCycle size

7:50 How Abraham got involved

9:05 How VP of Human Resources Elaine Gaughran got involved

10:20 How Bryan Chen got involved

11:45 Thoughts on Tom

13:34 How Tom got into this business

16:45 Initial funding through business plan competitions

18:15 Venture funding

21:15 The trick of winning business plan competitions

23:10 Interns

26:15 Trenton, NJ

29:30 Where you can buyTerraCycle

32:15 Working with investors

33:15 College drop out

36:45 Schedule for today

38:30 Watching TerraCycle grow

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