Venture Voice – interviews with entrepreneurs

Entertaining Entrepreneurship

VV Show #2 – Dick Costolo of FeedBurner (part 2 of 2)

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Sick of potential investors not taking your phone calls? Pitch a venture capitalist on his iPod. Dick Costolo of FeedBurner tells us how his CTO did just that in the second and final part of our conversation. (Be sure to check out the first half too if you haven’t already).


Show notes:

0:35 Team building

  • Costoto: We don’t hire people who say, ‘Hey look, I was senior VP of biz dev over at XYZ Corp, I don’t make coffee.’

1:25 How FeedBurner communicates internally

2:40 Communicating with investors

  • ‘You can’t over-communicate.’

3:15 Customer support

  • ‘When people come in and interview for a VP job, we say everybody here does customer support.’
  • Employees doing customer support must check Technorati to see what’s being said about FeedBurner.
  • ‘When you’re working 80, 90 hours a week, it’s very hard to go read somebody’s post who says Dick Costolo’s a jerk and FeedBurner stinks and these guys are idiots.’
  • Mentions Technorati CEO David Sifry‘s responsiveness to what bloggers say about his service.

9:35 No blog policy (or vacation policy) for employees

11:25 Making money by blogging and podcasting

  • ‘I think that blogs will provide a number of ways for people to make money.’
  • Jason Calacanis at Weblogs, Inc. has a business that makes money by blogging.
  • ‘I went to a conference a couple weeks ago and someone said, ‘How are we going to make money from podcasting?’ I started laughing and said, ‘Man, people have only been doing this since October.”

13:20 Reading and listening habits

  • Subscribes to 60 or 70 blogs.
  • Listens to podcasts when encouraged to on ad hoc basis.

14:30 iPod pitches to venture capitalists

17:15 Business plan vs. elevator pitch podcast

  • Elevator pitch podcasts (an audio pitch for a business idea that is delivered directly onto an iPod) offer ‘quick attention, you’re gonna get to these guys [venture capitalists] when you’ve got their undivided attention.’

17:50 FeedBurner’s growth opportunities

  • ‘The biggest threat to our company right now is us screwing it up.’

20:30 Web 2.0 or bubble 2.0

  • ‘I don’t think it’s getting to be bubbly already.’

22:00 Process for picking new business ideas

27:20 Costolo’s elevator pitch for using FeedBurner

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