Discuss on Hacker News
When you ask successful entrepreneurs about how to discover the next great startup idea, many suggest solving a problem you face on a regular basis -- to build something that ‘scratches your own itch.’ Nat Turner, co-founder of Flatiron Health, has a different approach. He has built a unique methodology to systematically find the next great thing without being what he calls “a visionary founder.”
It’s already worked once before -- with his first company, Invite Media, which sold for a reported $80 million to Google in 2010. Now he’s back at it again with his second venture-backed company, Flatiron Health. He's recently raised his first round of $8 million, led by First Round (that’s us) and Google Ventures.
At every step in his career, Ayr Muir made the “right” choice: MIT, Harvard Business School and McKinsey - could there be a more ideal career path? Then Ayr decided to leave his high-paying consulting job to start flipping burgers.
What Muir didn’t tell most people was his secret ambition - to build a health-conscious and environmentally-friendly fast food restaurant chain that will someday eclipse McDonalds in size. To achieve this, Ayr realized early on that his assumptions would almost always be wrong and that the only way to succeed would be to take ego out of the equation.
Culture is one of those things in Silicon Valley that has become nebulous. Everyone wants to have a great culture, but few really understand what it means and how to build it, outside of ping-pong tables and weekly happy hours. Justin Moore, CEO of Axcient, believes that culture, more than anything else, is the key defining attribute of success in tech and must be built starting on the very first day of a company’s life. “This is not about fuzzy, holding hands around a campfire, kumbaya stuff. That’s not what values and culture and mission is about. This is about building an organization for success. This is about winning. This is about doing the tactical things to make sure your organization and your people are aligned around the same thing,” Moore shares.
In a new series on First Round Review, we're asking Founders and CEOs what they wish they knew before they started building their current company. The goal is for each to share one tactical and actionable lesson that's often ignored. Jud Valeski, CEO of Gnip shares his here, first...
Being a founding CEO is hard. It’s an emotional roller coaster filled with incredible highs and unimaginable lows - sometimes in the same day.
Max Levchin has built, managed and invested in some of the strongest technical teams in Silicon Valley history. While his approach to hiring engineers can be unorthodox at times, his results are undeniable. In this First Round CEO Summit interview, Max shares insights on the unconventional hiring philosophies that PayPal and Slide implemented to attract and retain great people.
From starting his first company at Y Combinator to raising $12.5 million in two rounds of financing in just six months, Zach Sims, Co-Founder and CEO of Codecademy, shares his early lessons learned in raising capital.
The most pervasive challange for startups today is hiring. It's the most talked about, blogged about and generally frustrating topic in tech. However, Andrew Stoe, Head of Talent at Asana, believes that very specific types of recruiters can help transform a company into a recruting machine - and get over the hiring hurdle. Hint, it's not just looking for someone with "Google" on their resume.
What began as a crazy idea for a consumer storage product in the cloud has evolved into one of the fastest growing enterprise services on the planet. As CEO Aaron Levie casually puts it, “In 2007, we decided to focus on the enterprise. Five years later, that's what we do. We have a few hundred people down in Los Altos just trying to build a different kind of enterprise start up.” In this First Round Town Hall Levie shares with founders what he has learned about building in the enterprise and strategies for winning in competitive marketplaces.
Box is the quintessential startup success story. What began in the proverbial garage now enables over 150,000 businesses to share files and collaborate anywhere in the world. In this First Round Town Hall, Aaron Levie shares what he’s learned about scaling a company as a first time Founder and CEO.