Today I learned that a high profile NYC consumer startup had a lot fewer active users than I would have guessed. In fact, fewer than I think most active observers of the NYC tech scene would guess. Their positive PR and buzz* create an outsized halo of success and mask how hard it actually is to acquire users, not to mention keep them.
I’ve recently begun teaching classes at General Assembly, and also mentoring the inaugural class of startups at the Kaplan EdTech Accelerator, powered by TechStars. It’s been a really rewarding experience to give back to the larger New York tech community and hopefully help a few entrepreneurs and companies in a small way. But it’s also been a great way for me to reflect on everything I’ve learned in my 2+ years at GroupMe, codifying and reviewing that knowledge so that I can be even better at my job. So to anyone who’s attended a GA class or with whom I’ve worked at TechStars, thank you!
FYI, I’m teaching another class at GA on Aug 7 on what BD at a consumer tech startup is, including how to work with product/engineering teams and the full sales cycle of closing deals. Please spread the word to anyone who may be interested.
GroupMe recently partnered with Balanced to power all the financial plumbing for our new Split feature. Building that partnership and working out the nitty gritty of that contract was a long and trying process. More than once we came to an impasse that looked like a deal-breaker; on one occasion I did in fact walk away.
Pretty excited about GroupMe 4.1, with two new features. Special thanks to Neil & Cam for originating the Split feature as a weekend hack and Jareau at Balanced for their support on the payments end.
Just in time for our third straight year at SXSW, we’re introducing an awesome new version of our iPhone and Android apps with two great new features.
Deals to use another company’s API usually require the most legal oversight and diligence, because you’re typically exposing your company and your users to another company’s terms of service, privacy policies, etc. — not to mention whatever potential liabilities are created by the new product you’re building.
"A goal without a plan is a wish."
Really, really excited to announce our flagship partners for GroupMe Experiences. This is a big step for us in terms of scale and giving our customers even more awesome things to do with their friends.
Couldn’t be prouder of the team here that worked on this, from BD to product to marketing. And special thanks to Norm at Excursionist, David at Zozi, and Adam & Harris at Underground Eats for being fantastic partners.
More Fun for Groups as we collaborate with Excursionist, Underground Eats, and Zozi
Two weeks ago we were excited to introduce Experiences by GroupMe — a new way to help groups of friends get together better in the real world. With Experiences, you can discover, plan, and collaboratively pay…
Experiences is the easiest way to do something awesome with your friends. We help you discover, plan, and pay for the amazing experiences you’ll always remember.
This past July, we were excited to introduce the private Beta version of something we’ve been working on all year:
The native Facebook app released last month deserves all of the praise it’s gotten. Functionally, it’s worlds better than the company’s previous efforts in mobile (read: it’s actually usable). Now that the product is up to snuff - though there’s still certainly remove for improvement - the calls for Zuckerberg & Co to better monetize mobile will be even louder. (See: Barron’s declaring the FB stock worth only $15, partly because of their slow and underwhelming ability to monetize an increasingly mobile userbase.)
Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about timing, specifically how doing things (e.g., executing a partnership) as quickly as possible isn’t always best, despite the highly en vogue “move fast & break things” startup mentality.