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Traction: How Startups Start | NextView Ventures

In this story-driven show from seed-stage VC NextView, tech startup founders, executives, journalists, and investors share how they gained initial traction against the odds. Every startup hears that they should do things that don't scale -- scrappy, atypical, whatever-it-takes things. Traction asks a simple question: What ARE those things? With a unique sound that avoids the boring, typical talking head format, Traction features some of the most interesting early-stage stories, tactics, and theories from some of the best entrepreneurs today. For all episodes plus exclusive resources for early-stage startups, subscribe at nextviewvc.com/blog.
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Traction: How Startups Start | NextView Ventures
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Now displaying: Category: general
Oct 4, 2017

In a very special episode of Traction, we sit down as a team and discuss the new mission of the firm and talk through B2C and B2B examples of the Everyday Economy. We learn what commonalities exist among founders who are redesigning that economy, and the NextView partners share their perspectives on the next big wave of internet innovation. Plus, we share some news about the future of the show.

Subscribe to get all NextView content at nextviewvc.com/blog

Follow the NextView team on Twitter:
David: twitter.com/davidbeisel
Rob: twitter.com/robgo
Lee: twitter.com/leehower
Ginny: twitter.com/ginnymineo

Listen to Jay's podcast about questioning conventional thinking at unthinkable.fm

Thanks for listening to Traction!

Sep 5, 2017

On the podcast today, NextView cofounder Rob Go sits down with Andy Rachleff, VC veteran and the president, CEO, and executive chairman of Wealthfront. They talk about how Andy came up with the term product-market fit, how he applied his own lessons (and updated them) in building Wealthfront, and the mental models founders can use to unlock their real unfair advantage in a tactics-obsessed world: how you think.

Follow Andy on Twitter: http://twitter.com/arachleff 

Follow Rob on Twitter: http://twitter.com/robgo 

Subscribe to the newsletter, The Next View, to get 1 new link and 1 strong opinion on tech each week: http://nextviewvc.com/blog 

Aug 15, 2017

Today, Samantha Howe of Grove Collaborative shares her in-depth knowledge of a massive trend in marketing: working with influencers. You'll hear how to get started, approach influencer in your space, and measure impact. Jay and Samantha also rant against some of the less effective but common tactics permeating this approach to marketing.

Follow Samantha on Twitter: https://twitter.com/howesocial 

Follow Jay on Twitter: http://twitter.com/jayacunzo 

Check out the latest from NextView's refreshed brand, including the introduction to the Everyday Economy: http://nextview.vc/eetraction 

Here is NextView's pitch to founders: http://nextview.vc/pitchdecktraction 

Lastly, subscribe to get all of NextView's content at http://nextviewvc.com/blog 

Jul 25, 2017

On the show today, Fareed Mosavat shares his experiences on growth teams for Slack, Instacart, and RunKeeper. We learn from his approach but also extract valuable lessons about where growth jobs actually fit into your overall organization.

Follow Fareed on Twitter: https://twitter.com/far33d 

Follow Jay on Twitter: https://twitter.com/jayacunzo 

Subscribe to get all of NextView's content at http://nextviewvc.com/blog (including the Hitchhiker's Guides to Boston: http://bostontechguide.com/ and NYC: http://startupguide.nyc/ 

Listen to Jay's other podcast, Unthinkable: http://unthinkable.fm or iTunes http://bit.ly/unthinkablefm

Jul 11, 2017

Today's episode features a fast-rising company led by Shan-Lyn Ma. Her startup, Zola, is changing the way people purchase gifts for brides and grooms. Anyone who has ever experienced the insanity of wedding season -- whether attending as a guest or planning your own -- knows just how stressful the whole experience can be. Shan-Lyn and her team are using some unique insights and past experiences to rethink it, and boy, is it working right now.

We talk about tough early beginnings, clever market validation tests, and what Shan-Lyn believes about the future of startups and venture capital.

Visit zola.com to learn more about the company, and follow Shan-Lyn on Twitter: twitter.com/shanlynm

Subscribe to get all of NextView's content at nextviewvc.com/blog

Jun 20, 2017

Wayne Chang and Jeff Seibert are the cofounders of Crashlytics, which Twitter acquired in 2013. Today, as angel investors, they see dozens of entrepreneurs every quarter, and they've joined the show today to help us answer some tough questions: How should you structure communication with your cofounder? How do you work through difficult decisions, especially if nobody on the founding team is a domain expert? What would the pair do differently next time around? And what are they exploring as their next venture?

Follow Wayne and Jeff on Twitter: https://twitter.com/wayne and https://twitter.com/jeffseibert 

Follow Rob and Jay on Twitter: https://twitter.com/robgo and https://twitter.com/jayacunzo 

Subscribe to the NextView blog for future episodes and more resources for seed-stage startups: http://nextviewvc.com/blog 

Thanks for listening!

Jun 6, 2017

Sean Ellis and Morgan Brown are entrepreneurs, growth experts, and co-authors of the book Hacking Growth. Today, we talk about this notion of growth hacking and debunk some myths, then walk through a smart process you can use to start running a growth engine strategically, instead of seeking false silver bullets.

Their book, Hacking Growth, on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Hacking-Growth-Fastest-Growing-Companies-Breakout/dp/045149721X

Follow Sean and Morgan on Twitter: https://twitter.com/SeanEllis and https://twitter.com/morganb 

Subscribe to the NextView blog for future episodes and more resources for seed-stage startups: nextviewvc.com/blog

Thanks for listening!

May 23, 2017

Christina Sass is co-founder and COO of Andela, a company that locates, trains, and staffs world-class engineers in Africa for hire by tech companies in the US and elsewhere. They've sparked a movement, cracked the code on finding great coders, and have attracted investors like Mark Zuckerberg.

Visit andela.com to learn more, or follow Christina at twitter.com/sasschristina

Subscribe to the NextView blog for future episodes and more resources for seed-stage startups: nextviewvc.com/blog

Thanks for listening!

May 9, 2017

Will Ahmed is the CEO and co-founder of WHOOP, a fitness tech startup working with high-performance athletes. Their users include LeBron James, Michael Phelps, pro teams like the Boston Red Sox, and thanks to a deal with the NFL Players' Association, every pro football player across the nation.

Visit whoop.com to learn more, or follow Will twitter.com/wahmmys

Subscribe to the NextView blog for future episodes and more resources for seed-stage startups: nextviewvc.com/blog

Thanks for listening!

 

Apr 19, 2017

Ellen Chisa is VP of product at Lola, a travel company combining the human element of travel agents with smart technology. While some entrepreneurs build their products in markets that feel wide open for the taking, travel is one of those industries with tons of noise and competition. So how does one gain a foothold? How do you break through, build something BIG and DIFFERENTIATED? All that, and much more, in this episode.

Gotham Voices (NYC) newsletter: http://nextviewventures.com/blog/gotham-voices/

Subscribe to the NextView blog for future episodes and more resources for seed-stage startups: http://nextviewvc.com/blog

Visit http://lolatravel.com to learn more about the company and their product

Follow Ellen on Twitter: http://twitter.com/ellenchisa

Thanks for listening!

 

Mar 28, 2017

Adam Marchick, CEO of VoiceLabs, sees the disruptive force on the horizon that is voice technology. Whether it's voice-based apps or voice inputs and outputs, all of us in tech should be watching this trend, and Adam is at the forefront of it. 

Adam has led a remarkable career, spanning six different startups and seven-plus years as an investor. Today, NextView business school intern Jenny Jao from HBS discusses the major lessons he's learned and why his trajectory was, in his words, "like catching a tiger by the tail."

Subscribe to the NextView blog for future episodes and more resources for seed-stage startups: nextviewvc.com/blog

Visit voicelabs.co to learn more about the company and their product

Follow Adam on Twitter: https://twitter.com/adammStanford

Thanks for listening!

 

 

Feb 23, 2017

Chad Laurans is the CEO of SimpliSafe, a large and growing tech company located in the Boston area. Years ago, in the span of 30 days, three of Chad's friends were robbed. The companies that should serve them well in those moments were anything but helpful, comforting, and simple to work with. That led to Chad's thriving business today.

Today, we discuss how Chad built an Internet of Things-like product before that phrase existed, before the hype helps your marketing or fundraising, and before anyone was thinking about the connected home.

Subscribe to the NextView blog for future episodes and more resources for seed-stage startups: http://nextviewvc.com/blog

Visit http://simplisafe.com to learn more about the company and their product

Follow Jay on Twitter: http://twitter.com/jayacunzo

Listen to Jay's show about creativity in business: http://unthinkable.fm

Thanks for listening!

Feb 14, 2017

Dan Reich is the CEO and co-founder of Troops, a company bringing artificial intelligence to your sales team's workflow, right in Slack. (Disclosure: NextView is an investor in Troops.)

Today, we discuss Dan's smart process hiring his early technical talent -- both leadership and front-line developers.

Subscribe to the NextView blog for future episodes and more resources for seed-stage startups: http://nextviewvc.com/blog

Follow Dan on Twitter: https://twitter.com/DanReich

Follow Troops on Twitter: https://twitter.com/Troops

Visit http://troops.ai to learn more about the company and their product

Follow Jay on Twitter: http://twitter.com/jayacunzo

Listen to Jay's show about creativity in business: http://unthinkable.fm

 

Jan 22, 2017

Kristen Craft is VP of business development and marketing at Ovia Health. For this episode, Jay sat down with Kristen while she was head of biz dev at video platform company Wistia. They talk about what business development roles actually do for their companies, and when and why a founder would hire someone to lead up the function.

This is a deep, nuanced exploration of a job role that doesn't often fit as neatly into departmental categories as engineering, product, sales, or marketing. And Kristen is one of the best in the biz to discuss it.

Follow Kristen: http://twitter.com/thecrafty

Follow Jay: http://twitter.com/jayacunzo

Subscribe to the NextView Ventures blog: http://nextviewvc.com/blog

 

Jan 6, 2017

Mike Russell is the CEO and co-founder of Paintzen, a NextView-backed company based in New York. Over the last couple years, they've experienced strong growth for their marketplace business, and today, we dive deep into the weeds of how Mike and team grew the business. More specifically, we learn about the approach and tactics used to grow the supply side of the Paintzen marketplace.

Mike is a candid guy who was willing to share a ton of truth behind his business, as well as some very personal stories about a diagnosis that affected his life, an early customer and partner with a famous name, and more.

Visit http://paintzen.com to learn more

Dec 5, 2016

This episode features two veteran marketers going deep into the ins and outs of building an initial marketing team from scratch. On the show today, Jay talks to Mike Volpe, CMO of Cybereason and former CMO of HubSpot.

Follow Mike - http://twitter.com/mvolpe

Follow Jay - http://twitter.com/jayacunzo

Follow NextView - http://twitter.com/nextviewvc

Check out Jay's other marketing show - http://unthinkable.fm

Be sure to rate and review Traction on iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts. Thanks for listening!

Nov 28, 2016

When you hear "brand marketing," what do you think about? Maybe big brands, big budgets, or even big wastes of money and time as a startup, right? But what if brand marketing could help you get actual results, whether that's user acquisition or raising a Series A?

In this episode, we talk to the VP of Brand Marketing at ecommerce company Wayfair, Nancy Go. She shares how brand marketing is really sales at scale, and helps us understand how to think about this approach to distribution and communication for young companies.

Visit wayfair.com to shop their store.

Follow Jay at twitter.com/jayacunzo or go behind-the-scenes of his creative process every day at snapchat.com/add/jayacunzo

Subscribe to all NextView content at nextviewvc.com/blog

Nov 8, 2016

In this episode, we mix things up. Jenny Jao of Harvard Business School digs into the making of Traction with host Jay Acunzo. How does it fit into the overall strategy behind NextView Ventures? How should other entrepreneurs produce winning podcasts or content in general? What caused Traction to find early, well, traction...appearing high on the lists of Forbes, TechStars, and elsewhere, all after just a few episodes?

All that and much more in this meta-episode about making these very episodes.

Nov 1, 2016

What does the evolution from founder to CEO look like? And how does an entrepreneur balance working IN the business early to tinkering ON the business as it grows? How early does that mentality need to start?

Today, we talk to the co-founder and CEO of thredUP, one of the largest and fastest-growing companies in the NextView portfolio (and in general). The company's co-founder and CEO, James Reinhart, talks about the biggest decisions he had to make in starting the company, moving from an insight pulled from his life to a larger, highly scalable business.

Follow James at http://twitter.com/jamesreinhart

Visit http://thredup.com to shop their second-hand clothing store.

Follow Jay at http://twitter.com/jayacunzo or go behind-the-scenes of his creative process every day at http://snapchat.com/add/jayacunzo

Subscribe to all NextView content at http://nextviewvc.com/blog

 

 

Oct 26, 2016

Today, we talk to startup legend and self-made millionaire, Matt Ruby, founder of Vooza -- thought leader, disruptor, and the next Steve Jobs.

Alright, alright, so none of that is true -- but we DO talk to a guy named Matt Ruby who parodies the startup world through his video production company, Vooza. Not only are they hilarious, but they partner with some REAL startups to create hilarious videos too.

Follow Matt on Twitter: https://twitter.com/voozahq

Watch Vooza's videos at http://vooza.com

Say hi to Jay on Twitter: http://twitter.com/jayacunzo

Go behind-the-scenes on Snapchat: http://snapchat.com/add/jayacunzo

 

 

Oct 20, 2016

In this episode, Danielle Morrill, the CEO and co-founder of Mattermark, shares her company's origin story, including how they created an addicting, ubiquitous newsletter read by VCs and entrepreneurs everywhere. You'll also hear...

1) Why a TV show inspired Danielle to launch a media company, not software startup, and why she was disillusioned with Silicon Valley.

2) The domino effect of thinking and operating with that desire in mind, and how this led to the SaaS startup success that is Mattermark today.

3) Why Danielle would outright argue with almost every VC she called to sell early on in the company's history.

Follow Danielle - @DanielleMorrill and subscribe to the Mattermark Daily newsletter - mattermark.com/app/newsletter

Follow Jay - @jayacunzo - and let him know what you think of the show.

ORIGINAL BROADCAST DATE: September 2015

Oct 19, 2016

NextView's NYC podcast rolls on with NYC-based principal and host Tim Devane. Today, Shai Goldman, one of the most active community builders in NYC Tech, on his background, the evolution of the local startup scene ... and who he'd draft to an all-startup pickup basketball game.

 

Follow Tim and Shai @tdevane and @shaig

Sep 29, 2016

Rob's recent Shape of Traction blog post explores a big problem in gaining initial traction. You can find the post below, as well as David Beisel's Part 2. In this episode, Jay Acunzo talks with Rob about how to make heads or tails of this "traction" stuff.

 

SHAPE OF TRACTION, Part 1:
robgo.org/2016/09/07/the-shape-of-traction/

 

Part 2: HOW MUCH TRACTION DO I NEED TO RAISE VC?
genuinevc.com/2016/09/26/shape-t…e-round-financing/

 

Follow Rob and Jay - twitter.com/robgo and twitter.com/jayacunzo

Sep 13, 2016

In this episode of Gotham Alpha, AngelList's Eli Bronner joins NextView principal Tim Devane to discuss NYC Tech's growth and energy, why he chose to start a company in New York, how TechStars started in town, and what founders should know about building early teams through AngelList.

 

Gotham Alpha is the NYC-focused podcast from NextView. You can find it within the same feed as the firm's flagship pod, Traction.

 

Follow Eli at twitter.com/elikbronner

 

Follow Tim at twitter.com/tdevane

 

Follow NextView at twitter.com/nextviewvc

Aug 11, 2016

In Part 2 of our series of episodes with Reboot, Jay plays skeptic to Dan Putt's insistence that you should actively work on communication and the "softer stuff" at your startup. Don't miss Dan's response.

Then, the guys talk about the biggest reason startups fail (based on a study of 10,000 founders) and how you can avoid that same fate.

Once again, Dan Putt, Chief Product Officer of Reboot, joins NextView's VP of platform Jay Acunzo for this series.

Check out the Reboot podcast: reboot.io/podcast

Subscribe to the NextView blog: nextviewvc.com/blog

Follow the guys on Twitter:
twitter.com/danputt
twitter.com/jayacunzo

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