Cover image of Traction: How Startups Start | NextView Ventures
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Traction: How Startups Start | NextView Ventures

Updated about 15 hours ago

Business
Technology
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From early-stage VC NextView Ventures, Traction is a show about all the creative, clever, unusual, and downright brilliant ways entrepreneurs scrap their way to early results. These are stories you don't often hear despite being crucial to every startup.Founders, startup execs, media members, and investors are interviewed, with a unique spin and sound.Subscribe for these shows and more content like it at ViewFromSeed.com

Read more

From early-stage VC NextView Ventures, Traction is a show about all the creative, clever, unusual, and downright brilliant ways entrepreneurs scrap their way to early results. These are stories you don't often hear despite being crucial to every startup.Founders, startup execs, media members, and investors are interviewed, with a unique spin and sound.Subscribe for these shows and more content like it at ViewFromSeed.com

iTunes Ratings

134 Ratings
Average Ratings
126
4
1
0
3

Great content

By crazyivanCO - Sep 22 2017
Read more
Love what these guys put together. Very well done!

Relevant!

By JoshRut27 - Jun 29 2017
Read more
Great questioning. I always get a new idea to put into practice!

iTunes Ratings

134 Ratings
Average Ratings
126
4
1
0
3

Great content

By crazyivanCO - Sep 22 2017
Read more
Love what these guys put together. Very well done!

Relevant!

By JoshRut27 - Jun 29 2017
Read more
Great questioning. I always get a new idea to put into practice!
Cover image of Traction: How Startups Start | NextView Ventures

Traction: How Startups Start | NextView Ventures

Latest release on Oct 04, 2017

The Best Episodes Ranked Using User Listens

Updated by OwlTail about 15 hours ago

Rank #1: #32: Where Brand Marketing Fits (Nancy Go, Wayfair)

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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 28 2016

37mins

Play

Rank #2: #42: Hacking Growth with the Right Process (Sean Ellis & Morgan Brown)

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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!

Jun 06 2017

38mins

Play

Rank #3: #27: The Biggest Reason Startups Fail (Reboot Series)

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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

Aug 11 2016

20mins

Play

Rank #4: #43: Vetting & Working with Cofounders (Wayne Chang, Jeff Seibert)

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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 20 2017

40mins

Play

Rank #5: #2: Founding LinkedIn, Elon Musk & Ancient Silicon Valley (Lee Hower, NextView)

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LinkedIn Co-Founder Lee Hower -- Imagine being on the founding team of not one, but TWO of the startup world's biggest legends: PayPal and LinkedIn. Lee Hower experienced exactly that. In the episode, he shares his stories of how LinkedIn scrapped towards early results back before most of the tech we all use today was even around -- it'll sound pretty archaic to most young entrepreneurs today.

Lee also shares what it was like to get hired by Elon Musk, as well as work alongside the great Reid Hoffman twice.

If you like the show and want more episodes and related content, subscribe at ViewFromSeed.com. You'll receive new episodes of Traction as soon as they're available, along with more stories, resources, and advice for seed-stage startups from entrepreneurs, VCs, and industry experts.

Let me know what you think of the show -- tweet me (Jay Acunzo) @Jay_zo

May 26 2015

29mins

Play

Rank #6: #34: Growing the Supply Side of a Marketplace [Mike Russell, Paintzen]

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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

Jan 06 2017

31mins

Play

Rank #7: #35: Biz Dev Roles - What the Actual Heck? (Kristen Craft, Ovia Health)

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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 22 2017

28mins

Play

Rank #8: #39: Building Something Special in Somewhere Crowded (Ellen Chisa, Lola)

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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!

Apr 19 2017

26mins

Play

Rank #9: #12: The Book of Traction (Gabriel Weinberg, Duck Duck Go)

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In this episode, Gabriel Weinberg, CEO of Duck Duck Go and author of Traction, the book (no connection to this show), shares the story of building a search engine to compete with Google, battle privacy concerns, and gain initial traction with an atypical product. You'll also hear...

1) The framework behind the popular book, Traction: How to get traction and seek explosive growth for your startup ... with an actual plan and purpose. The framework is called "Bullseye."

2) Common pitfalls to avoid when testing various channels and moving through this traction framework, including what timeframe and dollar amount to focus on while testing.

Follow Gabriel @yegg and learn more about the second edition of the book, Traction at tractionbook.com

And let me know what you think of the show -- tweet me (Jay Acunzo) @jayacunzo.

*NEW: Check out the NextView platform of resources for startup traction. Visit nextviewventures.com/platform or subscribe

Oct 29 2015

49mins

Play

Rank #10: #23: Make a Life, Not a Living (Jesse Middleton, WeWork)

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Go inside the thinking behind a $16B startup -- worth more than
Twitter, Pinterest or Dropbox as of this recording. Today's guest,
Jesse Middleton, is a co-founder of WeWork Labs, the company's
global startup incubator, and currently the head of WeWork X, which
includes Labs and also the new WeWork investing and M&A
activities. Jesse was also among the first to join the co-founders
of WeWork when it started. 

Jesse shares insights on everything from mission and hiring to
community development to the scrappy and clever tactics they used
early on at WeWork. We also peer ahead to the future of what WeWork
could be doing globally.

Follow Jesse at twitter.com/srcasm and visit wework.com to learn
more.

Follow Jay at twitter.com/jayacunzo and check out his new weekly
show for creatives and makers, Unthinkable, at Unthinkable.fm,
soundcloud.com/unthinkablepod, or on iTunes at
bit.ly/unthinkablefm

Lastly, you can subscribe to the NextView weekly newsletter
about startup traction at bit.ly/nvsubscribe

May 03 2016

55mins

Play

Rank #11: #30: Working IN vs ON Your Startup (James Reinhart, thredUP)

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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

Nov 01 2016

29mins

Play

Rank #12: #16: Building Startups City-by-City (Justin Robinson, Drizly)

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Justin Robinson, co-founder of mobile startup and liquor delivery app Drizly, talks about some of the ridiculously non-scalable things they had to do just to get their business off the ground in the right way. In addition, he'll share some tactics and stories around being a location-based startup and all the challenges that come with trying to gain traction anew in each market. This episodes includes...

1) The huge (if stereotypical) mistake Justin and his co-founder Nick made when they started, and how that ironically helped them

2) Why they spent six months working for a liquor retailer and the comical but powerful things that led to

3) How expanding from your home city to other locations differs

4) How to gain credibility in an industry populated by traditionally-minded partners

Follow Justin @glassrobinson and visit drizly.com to learn more.

And let me know what you think of the show -- tweet me (Jay Acunzo) @jayacunzo.

You can also subscribe to receive every episode plus weekly insights and resources about gaining startup traction: goo.gl/ybmG2V

Jan 06 2016

37mins

Play

Rank #13: #10: Can't Code? Smart Ways to Execute Regardless (Vin Vacanti, Yipit)

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NYC's Vin Vacanti of Yipit -- In this episode of Traction, we tell the story of Vin Vacanti, co-founder/CEO of Yipit (daily deals aggregator) and YipitData (analyzes web data for institutional investors). This episode features a really great story with some very tangible lessons and tactics that Vin willingly shares, including...

1) Why Vin and his co-founder taught themselves to code long before it was common -- and well before any tools existed to shortcut your learning the ropes. As a result, Vin has a great framework for deciding if this is a viable path for your product.

2) Exactly how Vin launched Yipit.com and built his list to the initial 10K and 50K users.

3) Why Vin decided to pivot the business (read: launch a second startup) and what he learned going from B2C to B2B.

Listeners should also check out Vin's blog, ViniciusVacanti.com

BONUS: Subscribe to nextviewvc.com/blog by September 10, 2015, for a special mini-episode with Vin's framework for non-technical founders to decide whether they need a technical co-founder, featuring a special guest!

Let me know what you think of the show -- tweet me (Jay Acunzo) @Jay_zo

Sep 02 2015

34mins

Play

Rank #14: #20: How Startups Sell to the Enterprise (Joe Coleman, Contently)

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The prospect of selling a new product from an "unproven" business into a large corporation can seem daunting. But startups launch all the time as enterprise-focused entities. Still, that doesn't make the situation any easier, so in this episode, Joe Coleman, cofounder and CEO of Contently, gets way into the weeds of selling into the enterprise.

We also hear some valuable lessons around marketplace businesses and what it's like to be educating the market at the same time you're selling into it.

Follow Joe at twitter.com/joedcoleman and visit contently.com to learn more.

And let me know what you think of the show — tweet me (Jay Acunzo) @jayacunzo. You can also subscribe to receive every episode plus weekly insights and resources about gaining startup traction: bit.ly/nvsubscribe

Mar 08 2016

40mins

Play

Rank #15: #11: Arguing with VCs (Danielle Morrill, Mattermark)

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Danielle Morrill, CEO of Mattermark -- In this episode, Danielle 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 that way at first 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 at mattermark.com/app/newsletter

Let me know what you think of the show -- tweet me (Jay Acunzo) @jayacunzo

Sep 23 2015

42mins

Play

Rank #16: #21: How Startups Sell to Main Street (Angus Davis, Upserve)

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Last time, we heard from a CEO about how startups can sell to big brands and enterprises. This time, Angus Davis, the founder and CEO of Upserve (fka Swipely) shares stories and tactics around selling to Main Street businesses. As a startup that sells to later adopters of technology or very small businesses, how do you think about product, marketing, and sales?

Angus also shares some lessons learned from an impressive entrepreneurial career that spans Netscape, TellMe (which he co-founded and sold to MSFT), and Swipely/Upserve.

We also go inside his management meetings, which are impressive and amazingly collaborative.

Follow Angus at twitter.com/angusdav and visit upserve.com to learn more.

Follow Jay at twitter.com/jayacunzo and check out his new weekly show for creatives and makers in business, Unthinkable, at Unthinkable.fm, soundcloud.com/unthinkablepod, or on iTunes at bit.ly/unthinkablefm

Mar 23 2016

49mins

Play

Rank #17: #25: The Technical Side (Yoav Shapira, CTO/Investor)

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NextView's Rob Go talks with Yoav Shapira, a longtime tech leader in the Boston startup community. Yoav was first employee at CarGurus, a founding executive of HubSpot, CTO at Happier, CTO at Jana, and more. Today, he shares the evolution of what it means to lead a startup from the technical side.

Jun 29 2016

44mins

Play

Rank #18: #3: Stalkers at Whole Foods, Sneaky Products & Inventing a Brand (Ken Chen, NatureBox)

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NatureBox Co-founder/CMO, Ken Chen -- If ever there was a sneaky way to learn and gain initial traction, this is it. NatureBox currently ships millions of healthy snacks to consumers everywhere, but they all started with a single observation, a single hack using some free tools, and a single weekend of effort. Fastforward to 2015, and they're a Series C startup some would call a success, relative to most startups that launch.

Ken Chen, co-founder and CMO of NatureBox, reveals the story of how he and his co-founder Gautam Gupta launched and began building an actual brand -- a rare thing for startups to care about from Day 1, but a crucial thing for NatureBox to achieve.

Like the show? Subscribe at ViewFromSeed.com to get every new episode plus more exclusive resources and stories from entrepreneurs and VCs.

Let me know what you think of the show -- tweet me (Jay Acunzo) @Jay_zo

May 26 2015

26mins

Play

Rank #19: #7: Traction by a Thousand Cuts (Kathryn Minshew, The Muse)

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Kathryn Minshew, co-founder and CEO of career platform The Muse, shares tactical details from her scrappy founding story. Today, The Muse generates over 4 million monthly views and offers job postings from and visual windows into hundreds companies, ranging from Uber and Facebook to HBO and Adidas.

STARTUP LESSONS YOU'LL LEARN:

- Tactics to build audience for a startup

- What the very FIRST step to building an audience of millions should be

- Clever uses of channels blogging, email, social, and more

GREAT STORIES YOU'LL HEAR:

- Kathryn's fight for early traffic through some very non-scalable means

- How the first promotion discussion of her career led to an uncomfortable moment and, in a positive twist, some national press for The Muse

LINKS MENTIONED:

- Kathryn's company: TheMuse.com

- Kathryn's Twitter: @kmin

- Snow Fall (New York Times): http://www.nytimes.com/projects/2012/snow-fall/

COMMUNITY CONTRIBUTIONS FROM:

- Casey Henry, Growth Expert & Marketing Analyst, Wistia - @caseyhen

- Andy Crestodina, Author & Co-founder, Orbit Media - @Crestodina

- Giuliano Iacobelli, CEO, Stamplay (500 Startups) - @Giuliano84

Get all episodes of Traction, plus exclusive resources and advice for seed-stage startups at ViewFromSeed.com or follow @NextViewVC.

Let me know what you think of the show -- tweet me (Jay Acunzo) @Jay_zo

Jul 22 2015

48mins

Play

Rank #20: #4: Chicken, Egg or Farm? An Unusual Launch Problem (Brad Hargreaves, General Assembly)

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General Assembly CEO Brad Hargreaves -- When Brad set out to create General Assembly, he had to face both an unusual and a difficult decision: the "Chicken, Egg, or Farm to Put It All" problem. Listen for an explanation, as well as his story of how GA gained its first few results on the way to a global organization in the education space.

Also on the show:

  • Horrible improv comedy
  • When students walk out.
  • A centuries-old industry tells Brad to operate one way while a handful of potential customers tells him another. (What would you do?)
  • In a credibility-driven business, Brad finds a clever way to make GA credible from Day One.
  • The toughest city for GA to land and build (as well as the only place where they couldn’t)
  • And our closing segment for all episodes, Alpha-Beta-Scale — three questions about the entrepreneur, from their early life to today to something unusual they think about the future.

Like the show? Subscribe at ViewFromSeed.com to get every new episode plus more exclusive resources and stories from entrepreneurs and VCs.

Let me know what you think of the show -- tweet me (Jay Acunzo) @Jay_zo

Jun 09 2015

38mins

Play