I’m getting some good feedback about the wrap-ups, so I’m keeping them going, even though this one is largely me defending us as we get punched in the teeth. Here goes…
2. Vin Vacanti is awesome. Glad to see him get some air time.
3. Love seeing Caren & Nestio do their thing. Such a great team. To have Cohen & Tisch behind Caren like that is such a strong signal. So proud of my ‘work-wife.’
4. OnSwipe… haha. All I can do is laugh… who knows what’s going to happen to OnSwipe in the long run, but they’ve been on a roll so far…
5. Were we really sick of HomeField? No. We were sick of not getting the traction we thought we should. HomeField, by nature, has a slow sales cycle, because it is seasonal and there are budget approvals involved for many of the teams. Waiting out weeks and months to test new features on users was frustrating as hell and we wanted to move faster. Eventually, we started to hit our stride, and that’s why we kept HomeField alive after all.
6. “Doesn’t surprise me that they’re using TechStars as an opportunity to pivot.” I’ll explain. We incorporated HomeField (actually the parent company was Overtime Media Inc) in November 2007. We bootstrapped and clawed and scratched our way to a product that people paid for and fast-forward through a lot of struggles, we’re in 2010 and investors like us, but keep asking “how does this get big?” Well, when we incorporated back in ’07 we said three things to ourselves. I. We’re probably going to fail. II. We’re probably going to change what we’re doing. III. We’re going to learn a ton along the way, so let’s go for it. That’s what we told ourselves to quell the nervousness we felt deep down and it worked.
So when a lot of smart people ask you “how else can we apply the tech you’ve built?” you start to consider it. That started back in 2008 or ’09, but we just weren’t listening. By 2010, we started to listen and started to look at the changing landscape of web video and thought “hey… I want X for video. I want Y for video. Well… HomeField is kind of Z for video…” And in the process of applying to TechStars, we started to synthesize some of these ideas because they were going to burn holes in our heads if we didn’t do something with them soon.
Alas, when we started TechStars, Shelby was a stowaway in our pocket and we started pitching it very soon.
Was TechStars the catalyst for this? Pretty much. Did TechStars the program or Fred or other mentors and VC’s tell us to build Shelby? No. Hell… none of them had faith in us at the time, but they let us make our decisions and were a sounding board throughout the process and for that I’m extremely grateful.
7. “It’s the 9th inning…” Athletes! Everyone drink!
8. ESPN sale… haha… Apparently Henry’s mom called him after this to ask him if he’d been holding out on the news. Practice (pitching) like you play (sports analogy - drink!), and at the time I was hoping we could move HomeField before demo day.
9. “We really believe in the humanization and the curation of this content… and that’s Shelby.tv.” Fuckin A we do. Welcome lil’ baby, Shelby!
10. But it’s not that easy… let’s see what our judges had to say first…
Tisch: “not the right team.” doh!
Fred: “other, better teams further along.” doh!
Cohen: “false passion.” doh!
Fred: “another pivot and they’ll fail.” maybe. doh!
Tisch: “hustler not business builder.” We heard you the first time. Apparently, I’m a hustler.
Some tough criticism from people I really respect. I’ll quickly respond that I. Tisch didn’t know us that well at the time so, his bad. He’s since apologized for the way this is shown here and I know he was just being hard on us so we’d perform. Still, during TechStars him and I didn’t get along for a few weeks because I think he was frustrated with us not listening to him… and maybe writing a blog post that basically said “f*** off.” II. Other better teams… yeah there is always competition out there. So what? No one had figured out the space and after all we’re ATHLETES (drink!). We like to compete. ;) III. False passion - negatory here, Cohen. Cohen knew us as the jocks of the crew and that consequently has stuck with us. I don’t blame him for that, but what he didn’t realized is we’re also really goofy dudes who love web video and not just game film. I think he gets it now. IV. Another pivot and we’ll fail. Possibly… at one point Tisch yelled at all the teams and said “no more pivoting!” haha. V. “hustler not a business builder” This I don’t really get, since I thought I had to hustle to build my business. ;) Whatever… that hustle has gotten me everywhere.
11. Glad to see Charles from exfm get some screen time while we hung at SXSW!
12. I have no idea what my making fun of Joe about getting a girl’s number has to do with anything… but Joe - whatever happened to that girl?
13. “that’s not the type of entrepreneur I want to invest in…” All right Tisch, we get it. Damn. haha.
14. What the hell am I doing in a tie?! Formal Fridays, that’s right.
15. Love seeing Quinten get some screen time! Dude dropped out of school to be an associate for TechStars. Now he’s killing it with OnSwipe… but hey Q - are you 21 yet? ;)
16. Alessio is a straight-up genius. Huge compliment from, Fred and well deserved.
17. Tobal!!! So f***ing funny in the background as Lee is talking. Hilarious compliment to his rather serious co-founder, Lee.
18. Veri = best domain ever. Well played, Lee. And yes, they deserved the trip to Twitter.
19. Jason and his “world domination.” Yeah… that’s Jason. I wonder what he’d do once he dominates the world. Would we all have to wear pink? Drink Red Bull non-stop? Any hints, Jason? ;)
20. “Vetted and vettedness…” And we wonder why fashion + tech don’t understand each other…
21. Tobal “you’ll do all the talking…” Never gets old… more Tobal!
22. Advice from Dick Costolo - GOLD. Don’t chase the easy custom-build cash. Build value. That being said… figure out revenue sooner than Twitter does.
“These guys came into TechStars and moved backwards…” I can almost guarantee Suster is talking about us… find out tonight at 9pm on Bloomberg.
p.s. - you guys know the show streams live on the web, too, right?