At age 28, Mena Trott is a veteran blogger and an accomplished company founder. Six Apart, the business she started four years ago with her husband Ben, now has over 100 employees. Its stable of popular blogging products (including Movable Type, TypePad and LiveJournal) are used by writers of all types — from the most influential bloggers to children who communicate after school. She’s still pushing her company forward as president and developing some very ambitious new technologies.
Towards the end of the interview, VideoEgg co-founder Kevin Sladek jumps into the conversation to announce a partnership with Six Apart. Venture Voice covered the launch of VideoEgg during our DEMO coverage (show #14 and show #15). Starting today, VideoEgg and Six Apart will add video capabilities to TypePad.
Show recorded at the BlogOn Conference. Under embargo until today.
2:30 Six Apart’s four year anniversary
- Mena started the Six Apart at age 24 by creating Movable Type.
- ‘The company kind of tricked us into starting itself.’
5:05 Transforming a hobby into a business
7:15 Starting a business with a spouse
- ‘It’s incredibly hard to work 24-hours a day and never to have a break. And that’s what it’s like to work with a spouse.’
9:05 First investor
- ‘I think I’m a lot more sane now.’
12:55 Management team
- Brought in CEO Barak Berkowitz.
- ‘An entrepreneur should realize their first and foremost goal is to have a successful company.’
16:15 Six Apart’s software
- ‘We use the stuff we build.’
17:40 Blogging to market a product
- Mena’s professional blog is Mena’s Corner and personal blog is Not A Dollarshort.
- ‘We’re able to express why we do things.’
- ‘I was very aware from day one that it would be around forever.’
20:40 New product: Comet
21:45 Ambition for the future
- ‘I don’t know why we [in the industry] have to consolidate everything. Is it a case of only the big guys can survive? I think we want to disprove that.’
24:40 Communicating with employees
- ‘I know that people will be listening to this at work [at Six Apart]. And they may hear things that they’ve never even thought that I would say.’
26:30 Announcing video integration into Six Apart product TypePad
29:00 What Six Apart is all about
- ‘It’s about communications.’
30:00 VideoEgg co-founder Kevin Sladek joins the interview
- Offering a test drive of video for TypePad users at typepad.videoegg.com .
31:40 Striking and managing partnerships
34:30 VideoEgg is moving to San Francisco
- Mena recommends locating south of Market Street.
35:50 Parting thoughts
- Mena: ‘Not everyone in the company is drunk all the time.’
37:00 Venture Voice wrap up
- Does anyone know how to build a cone of silence?
37:15 Events to check out