Guy Kawasaki moderated a panel at CommunityNext entitled “Founders Panel - How They Got to over 5 Million Members and What Is Next”. In his own words, "This is the most amusing panel that I’ve ever moderated, and the speakers defied many conventions of tech entrepreneurship—in particular the ones that venture capitalists believe are 'proven.'" The panel includes:
- Akash Garg of hi5
- Sean Suhl of Suicide Girls
- Max Levchin of Slide
- James Hong of HotorNot
- Markus Frind of PlentyofFish
- Drew Curtis of Fark
The hour long video is up on Google. It is simply awesome. Each of the panelists is crisp and clear. They all tell brilliant stories. The stories all strike home.
- The panelists all made slightly different references to it, but at the end of the day you have to care about what you're building. You have to have passion. Build what you know and love.
- Each company is small and focused and they fret about maintaining the cultural integrity of the team while they grow it.
- Listen to your customers. They will tell you what needs to be done, especially when they start to know "your product" better than you do. (There was a great caveat about NOT listening to your customers, but this was more in the context of "how" to listen to your customers.)
Each was asked to tell the story of how they got going. Apparently drinking is often involved. If you're involved in a start-up or think you want to be, the video is definitely worth the hour of your time.