Mike Arsenault was the product manager of Spreadable, a powerful word of mouth marketing tool that was developed by the Grasshopper Group. The company, which is lead by David Hauser, has been building products that make it easier for entrepreneurs to start and grow their businesses. The parent product Grasshopper.com – a virtual phone system for entrepreneurs is their most popular and reputed product and serves over 100,000 entrepreneurs. With Grasshopper.com’s enormous success in its kitty, the Grashopper Group launched Chargify – a Recurring Billing System for entrepreneurs, which is also doing pretty well. However, they couldn’t achieve similar success with Spreadable and they had to shut it down.
We at Foundora were excited to see how Spreadable would evolve over time, ever since David Hauser had mentioned about it in his interview with us. But, when we heard about its shut down, we were simply curious to know how it happened, what went wrong and more importantly learn from them. We reached out to Jonathan Kay, the Ambassador of Buzz at Grasshopper and got an interview arranged with Mike to speak about the Spreadable story. Read More…
Abhi Lokesh & Alex Theodre, two friends from the University of Florida, started Fracture in 2009 when they realized that printing and framing pictures has remained just the same for a couple of hundred years. With Fracture, both Alex and Abhi are trying to bring a huge revolution in the way people save their memories; so, how are they doing it? well, the idea is simple yet very exciting – it makes it extremely easy & interesting for anyone to get their pictures from their digital camera to their wall (no, it’s not your Facebook wall but the actual brick and mortar wall). And its not just any other framed pictures – these so called Fractures are elegant, HDTV like fine glass prints.
So, unlike many other startups that provide intangible products, Fracture is a unique startup that provides a product that you can touch, feel, hold, scratch and even smell. That’s why its whole different ball game than the regular web based startups – that’s what excited us to learn more about them.
We are going to explore all the happenings at Fracture to learn more about their interesting business, challenges, and lessons learnt in this interview with Abhi Lokesh – the co-founder of Fracture. Our thanks to Matthew Bivens, the Marketing Director at Fracture for introducing us to their startup.
Tor Grønsund, entrepreneur, blogger, and lecturer, is the man of multiple ventures. Tor is the founder of Lingo Social, a software company based in Oslo, Norway. He is also advisor to EasyPeasy, an open source and web-based operating system for portable computers, and speaker at various Internet and startup events.
Through his entrepreneurial career Tor has co-founded Unplugd, a dorm-room startup turning private wifi routers into public hotspots, operated his own market research practice – both while still studying, worked with FAST Search and Transfer (now a Microsoft Subsidiary) and Schibsted ASA, followed by joining Ignitas, where he has been involved with various early-stage ventures.
Tor runs a blog, Startup Methodology – Methodologist, where he shares his insights, knowledge and experience with fellow entrepreneurs. On his blog, he writes on numerous interesting and worth-knowing-about startup methodologies such as Disruptive Innovation, Diffusion of Innovations, Agile Development, Business Model Canvas, Lean Startup, Customer Development and Rapid Prototyping. Read More…
Patrick Vlaskovits, the co-author of The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Customer Development, has been in the technology industry for over a decade now. Although he worked on a few startup that didn’t turnout successful, he continued with his entrepreneurial passion. During those days, he came across Steve Blank’s book, The Four Steps to the Epiphany and that changed the way he perceived startups and what building a startup meant. In fact, after rigorously applying the CustDev methods on a new startup idea, he began to understand the core of the methodology. Later Patrick, along with Brant Cooper, went on to write The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Customer Development – a “cheat sheet” to The Four Steps to the Epiphany.
Today, The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Customer Development is one of the best learning resources and must read book for tech co-founders. That’s not all! Patrick also co-organizes LA Lean Startup Circle and is again busy with his new startup. Read More…
David Hauser, is the co-founder of Grasshopper Group – a company that serves and empowers entrepreneurs via its powerful tools like Grasshopper and Chargify. Grasshopper Group was listed by Inc. Magazine among the 500 Fastest-Growing Private Companies in America; in fact there are many such accomplishments that it got.
David has had an inspirational journey with quite a few amazing recognitions such as Young People Who Rock by CNN, Among Top 5 Entrepreneurs Under 25 by BusinessWeek, and 40 Under 40 Business Leaders by Boston Business Journal and many more, under his belt. Working on his own company is not the only thing he does; his strong entrepreneurial spirit has allowed him to serve as a consultant for various companies as well as a mentor to emerging entrepreneurs. In other words he lives by his motto “Empowering Entrepreneurs to Succeed.”
Our thanks to Jonathan Kay, the ambassador of Buzz at Grasshopper Group, for arranging an interview of David with us on Foundora. In this interview, David speaks about his background and journey from GotVMail to Grasshopper Group, and speaks about the re-branding, his lessons learnt and much more.
Aibek Esengulov is the co-founder of MakeUseOf.com – one of the best sources we have on the web, for reliable information about useful tools, and applications. Today, with about 5.5 million unique visits per month, MakeUseOf.com is among the coolest technology blogs on the Internet. Aibek, who presently resides in United Kingdom, got his Bachelors in Computational Science from Germany and decided to launch his own company. However, his first project was a complete failure; but that did not stop him from pursuing his entrepreneurial dream and he started working on MakeUseOf.com. But just starting did not bring him success – he had to stick to his guns for nearly 2 long years before earning anything out of it.
MakeUseOf.com, since then, has been featured and recommended by a lot of mainstream websites and publications including Fast Company, Washington Post and PC Magazine – thanks to Aibek’s, his co-founder’s and his team’s consistent efforts.
In this transcribed version of the audio interview, Aibek shares his startup story, journey and speaks about his experience of launching, growing and leading a team of a bunch of technology geeks at MakeUseOf.com, with us. Read More…