Venture Voice – interviews with entrepreneurs

Entertaining Entrepreneurship

VV Show #29 – Shoba Purushothaman of The NewsMarket

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Shoba Purushothaman’s career has shifted dramatically since she started her first job as a business journalist in Malaysia. After spending several years working for the Wall Street Journal and Dow Jones Newswires, she grew restless just covering how the world was changing. She wanted to influence it. Shoba co-founded a public relations consultancy that helped corporations ride the wave of change brought on by the rapid expansion of television news. She saw first hand how inefficient video distribution was, so in 2000 she sold her first business and started The NewsMarket to make video distribution simpler. Though she weathered some tough times in 2001, she’s managed to build the company to millions in revenue and recently closed on a $12 million venture round.


Show notes:

1:40 Starting career as a journalist

  • Grew up and started career in Malaysia.
  • Worked for the Wall Street Journal in Washington DC.

8:10 Getting out of journalism and into business

  • “I was taking a substantial pay cut.”
  • “It took me two years before I could admit that I was no longer a journalist, that I had crossed over to the dark side.”

12:00 Taking advantage of the television news revolution

  • “Most of our sales, and most of the sales that I’ve personally done, has been cold calling — not networking driven.”

16:15 Selling to Fortune 500s

  • “We often have situations where somebody refuses to take a meeting for a long time because they don’t believe that you have value and then they finally take a meeting and they go ‘wow, why didn’t I take a meeting earlier?’ Those experiences are hard to beat.”

21:00 Starting The NewsMarket

  • “Probably the hardest thing for us was raising money.”
  • “I have no doubt that it was harder to raise money then it was to win customers.”

29:00 Current state of The NewsMarket

  • Revenues are in the millions.

30:40 The explosion of video on the web

33:20 Deal with Google

37:00 Rise of user-generated content

39:00 Entrepreneurial opportunities in video

41:50 Outlook for the future

  • “I believe the opportunity for video is enormous.”

46:00 Advice for entrepreneurs

  • “There are so many things out there that we’re doing that can be improved.”

Venture Voice updates:

48:15 Feedback from last show with John Bogle

49:15 Past guest Scott Heiferman’s Meetup.com announced that it received an investment from eBay

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