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November 22, 2005

VV Show #20 - Joel Spolsky of Fog Creek Software

Download the MP3.

Joel Spolsky

While some entrepreneurs fret over new business ideas, Joel Spolsky of Fog Creek Software focuses on hiring the best and brightest for his New York City-based software company, and then figures out how to make a profit with the products they create. He bootstrapped his company to profitability and built a loyal following of fans along the way. While Joel developed Fog Creek's first product called FogBugz that tracks bugs, he let his 2005 summer interns develop their own product called Copilot that has already hit the market. Joel's out to prove he can put capital to work, scale his business, and maybe even revolutionize venture capital along the way.

Update: Joel returned for a second interview on Venture Voiceover three years later in 2009.

1:30 Starting career at Microsoft

6:00 Gaining versatile skills in a big company

9:15 Starting Fog Creek Software

15:00 Trying to build a content management system

16:35 Bootstrapping a company with Aeron chairs

19:30 Project Aardvark

23:00 Recognizing good business opportunities

28:00 Fog Creek Software management training program

32:30 Competing for smart students with Paul Graham's Y Combinator

33:45 Avoiding venture capital

40:45 Ambition

51:15 Venture Voice listeners started podcasts

Posted by greg at 12:06 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

November 8, 2005

VV Show #19 - Derek Sivers of CD Baby

Download the MP3.

Derek Sivers

Many would-be tech titans dream day and night about how their hot new idea will change the world. Derek Sivers just wanted to have his independent band's CDs sold over the Web. No one would do it, so he built his own music store. CD Baby now generates $25 million a year in revenue and is the single largest digital distributor of music in the world according to Napster. And he did it without a dime in venture capital. Derek holds true to some very basic beliefs in business and a desire to keep revolutionizing the music industry.

Show notes:

1:30 Career as a musician and the birth of CD Baby

9:00 The importance of automation

10:30 Advice for starting a business

11:45 Training for business in the circus

15:00 Rebellion

18:30 Building a business in an unconventional way

20:30 Is building a business easy?

24:15 Company size

24:40 Steve Jobs encounter

28:00 Competition

34:15 No investors

40:40 Working with musicians

43:30 Location

45:45 Rebelling

Posted by greg at 12:31 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack