That’s right. Shelby.tv is live in the App Store again and open as a public beta on web and mobile web…
And it. Feels. Great.
The new Shelby.tv iPhone app is the best product we’ve built to date. It’s fast, elegantly designed, and filled with great content personalized just for you.
Our goal is the same as it’s always been… to be the best way to discover and enjoy videos. Videos that are just like you: edgy, quirky, smart, ridiculous, and sometimes just plain beautiful.
If you have an iPhone, there’s literally no reason not to give it a try.
Download in the App Store, today.
Surviving the Climb
I posted some stuff on Medium. I don’t know how the Internet rules on cross-posting from Medium to Tumblr to all-of-teh-platforms, so… here.
Surviving the Climb — Part 1 of 3: How one startup is surviving the Trough of Sorrows, the Crash of Ineptitude, and the Wiggles of False Hope…
Surviving the Climb (In Your Head) — Part 2 of 3: What went on in our heads as a company without a product…
Most People Won’t
From an interview with designer/artist/soul searcher Elle Luna:
So I was using Uber all the time in San Francisco, even though I hated the design. And then I went to the Crunchies awards ceremony and at a post-ceremony event, where I was in a ball gown, I saw the CEO of Uber, Travis Kalanick, sitting at the bar. I was three whiskeys deep at this point and I walked up to him and said, “I use Uber all the time and I absolutely hate the app. I think you should bring me in to fix it.” He replied, “Oh, yeah? What are the three things you’d fix about it?” I said, “I’d redo the logo, redo the entire app, and change the rating system.” I think there was something about being in a dress that empowered me to say such things (laughing). And do you know what he said? He said, “Be at the Uber office at 9am on Monday.” I told him I couldn’t do it alone and he said he’d have a team for me.
I thought the offer was bogus, but I went to Uber’s office on Monday at 9am, laughing to myself, and Travis led me back to a project room with two other designers—they were from outside of Uber and he had flown them in from New York! We took on the Uber app and redesigned it in three weeks. In fact, one of the guys he flew in from New York, Shalin Amin, ended up staying on full-time. The app is gorgeous and last night it won the Fast Company 2013 Innovation By Design Awards for the transportation category, beating out Mars Rover and Tesla.
Most people want to be fit, most people aren’t.
Most people want to build a successful business, most people won’t.
Most people want to be the best version of themselves, most people aren’t.
Most people have dreams they want to fulfill, most people won’t.
Everyone wants to quit something, build something, be something, do something. Most people won’t.
How many things have we wanted? How many opportunities have we craved? How many broken things have we wanted to fix?
And how many of those have we shrunk from. Hid from. Or, excused away.
We’re not alone.
Most people won’t.
But every once in a while someone puts themselves out there. Makes the leap. Faces rejection or failure or worse. And comes out the other side. Better. Changed. Bolder.
Most people won’t. Which means those that do change everything.
This is everything. Exactly. Everything.
Posting About the Video Industry
I spend a lot of time reading and thinking about the online video and TV industries. Lately, I’ve been writing about it a bit more, but haven’t cross-posted here.
3 Reasons Why Google’s Chromecast May Succeed
What Future Do YouTubers Have at Growing Their Audience… When YouTube Keeps Changing the Game?
So, if you’re interested in this stuff, you can either follow the Shelby.TV blog directly, or if you like when I post about video industry stuff here, let me know and I’ll crosspost.
I had a great conversation with Gwen Moran who writes for Entrepreneur. Just reposting here:
It’s a gutsy move to start a business in a territory dominated by a behemoth like YouTube. But New York City-based Shelby.tv co-founders Reece Pacheco and Dan Spinosa have carved out a growing niche for themselves against a seemingly insurmountable competitor. They have attracted rock star venture capitalists and mentors like Brad Feld, co-founder and mentor at super-incubator TechStars and venture capitalist Fred Wilson, co-founder of Union Square Ventures.
Pacheco shared some of his dos and don’ts for leading companies against sizeable competitors.
1. Don’t obsess about what the competition is doing.
Race car drivers are told to keep their eyes on the track because if you look at the wall, you’re going to crash into it, Pacheco says. Businesses with big competitors should do the same. The more attention you’re paying to your competitor, the less you’re paying to your company. Focus on your goals and objectives and don’t obsess about what the other company is doing, he says.
2. Do build your advantage.
The weakness of many big competitors is that they don’t do everything well. Pacheco says a critical part of leading your startup to success in an environment with a dominant player is to focus on your key strengths and build your company around them. In Shelby.tv’s case, the social media component, which harnesses contacts’ Likes and shares on Facebook, Twitter and other social media to help curate a personalized video stream leads to users spending an average of 30 to 40 minutes on the site. While YouTube has an unwieldy amount of content, Shelby.tv suggests videos you likely want to see because your friends and contacts like them.
3. Do surround yourself with good people.
In addition to his power mentors, Pacheco also runs a CEO peer group with business owners in various stages. There, he shares challenges and gets support from fellow entrepreneurs. Shelby.tv hires carefully, looking for talented, committed team members, and take good care of their employees.
It can be daunting to compete with a huge company and employees worry about job security and being able to trust the company leaders. He holds meetings with his team members every six weeks. “You’ve got to rally your team. Be honest and say ‘We’re going to get through these challenges together. They trust you and they’re willing to stick by you through challenges,” he says.
4. Don’t let fear of failure hold you back.
The current version of Shelby.tv is the second iteration of the company. The company actually shut down its operations in July 2012 to build a more social-media focused video brand. While some thought that spelled doom for the company, Pacheco and Spinosa stayed focused on the product they would want to use, themselves. And it worked: The team raised $1.5 million in funding for its first iteration, then raised an additional $2.2 million for the next round.
"You can’t be afraid to scrap what you’ve done and do something new, especially when you’re competing against a big company. Go in a new direction," he says.
Read more: http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/227179#ixzz2a4K3pRwu
StartupManagement.org - Learning As You Go
I remember having dinner with my family some time after we raised our first round for Shelby.TV.*
My mom just looked at me at one point and said, “Where’d you learn how to do all of this? I don’t remember you studying this in school.” **
And she’s right, I didn’t.
“I taught myself and learned from people in the industry,” I told her at the time.
Yup. I read blogs.
From guys like Fred and Brad and Mark and Paul and Ben and Dixon, to any of the other awesome founders, creators, and investors who blog about their best practices, there is a litany of posts scattered across the web.
Launching a startup was a painstaking process of research, trial, error, more research, meeting veterans, finding mentors, more iteration, and more trials … but I wouldn’t have gotten anywhere without the knowledge I’d picked up from these guys.
And the truth is, if you ask any first-time founder they’ll admit they had no idea what they were doing when they started their company. Such is the life of a startup founder. You have to just dive in and learn as you go.
This morning I was excited to discover that budding startup founders now have a great resource to turn to, one which is aggregating all of this awesome knowledge into one place.
StartupManagement.org is a site curated by my friend William Mougayar, a serial founder himself and fellow member of the AVC community (another place where I have learned a TON over the years).
He just launched his MVP*** today and I suspect it will grow into a great resource and community for founders and startup enthusiasts alike.
Startup Management is also curating an awesome video channel using Shelby.TV. It’s filled with great founder talks and interviews with the likes of Jack Dorsey and Mark Pincus.
So for those of you who need inspiration beyond the written word, check out Startup Management on Shelby and feel free to follow to get all of that content in your Shelby.TV stream.
Congrats to William and the Startup Management team!
*Technically this is the third round of funding I’d raised across two startups, but it was by far the most significant at $1.5M.
**I studied studio art, sociology, and graduated with a degree in Art Semiotics. Interesting? Yup. Tactically applicable? Nope.
*** If you don’t know what I mean by MVP, then StartupManagement.org is definitely for you.