Ted Rheingold Founded Dogster in 2004: Five Questions About Building a Startup, Selling a Startup and Whether SF Is Still a Good Place

Hunter Walker

Dogster launched January 12, 2004 (Happy 12th Birthday Dogster!) I wish I could claim I deftly foresaw this, but I was just seeking recurring revenue to to cover OneMatchFire’s office expenses. Photo Credit: Christopher Michel.

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It takes time to build value


This reminds me of a conversation I had this summer with a Veritas executive who said how difficult it was to scale beyond $1-2 billion in revenue and that size matters. There were a number of companies in that revenue band but very few above it like Microsoft, SAP, and Oracle.

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Thoughts on the enterprise software market


We all know that the enterprise software business characterized by large licenses and 20% annual maintenance revenue is lucrative but also hard as the big get bigger and the little guys disappear. and it would be crazy to forgo that revenue and those relationships.

The Street Does Not Forgive


Performance is key-revenue visibility is of utmost importance because the street does not forgive. The company went public in mid-November, hit a high of close to 21 and was recently punished for preannouncing a shortfall in revenue. You need good recurring maintenance revenue.

Jamdat Mobile files for IPO


Just look at Jamdat’s numbers: $90k revenue in 2001 with a $5mm loss and $7mm revenue in Q1 2004 with $740k profit which is an annualized revenue runrate of $28mm-not too bad in a few years. Russell Beattie has a thorough post on Jamdat Mobile’s IPO filing. This is significant because this is the first so-called “wireless application” play to hit the market.

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Subscription accounting


Its auditor, PWC, suggested that it change its revenue recognition policy. According to a CBS Marketwatch article : Under the accounting method used in the past, the company would recognize a full month’s revenue from a subscription agreement, even if a deal was sealed in the middle of the month, for example. In the example above, a full month of revenue gets recognized even only if the customer signed in the middle of the month. TTM revenue multiple.

Has the individual investor learned a lesson?


million of revenue in 2003 with a net loss of $4.1 Mr. Robertson has advanced us funds under the line of credit since July 2002, including advances of $5,600,000 during 2004. There have been a number of IPO fillings recently, but the one that intrigues me most is the filing by Lindows. As many of you have read, Lindows/Linspire just filed an S-1 to raise $57 million in an IPO.

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Insights from a recent CIO meeting


IT Priorities-one of the big areas of new spending will be for technology that supports revenue creation instead of cost cutting. There was nothing earth shattering about this meeting except it does confirm my belief that spending is increasing and that CIOs are starting to look at expenditures that will help generate revenue for the first time in awhile. This month seems to be my month for CIO meetings.

A tale of two IPOs


Having talked to a number of bankers, we always thought that one needed $6-8mm of quarterly revenue, profitability for at least 1-2 quarters, and good visibility for the rest of the year in order to go public. However, we still do not understand how it can go public with the following numbers: 2002 revenue of $6mm, net loss of $19mm and 2003 revenue of $7mm and a net loss of $13mm. Revenue for FY03 was $26mm up from $12mm the previous year.

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Sales Forecasting-a blend of art and science


I was quite frustrated recently when one of my portfolio companies presented the board with a 2004 revenue forecast which was not based on reality. For example, does this company have the resources to go from $1m to $4mm of revenue or from $5mm to $10mm?

Thoughts from PC Forum-going into attack mode


Some of these principles included growing revenue and headcount at all costs with no focus on profitability and spending tons of money on building a larger than life image-lots of money thrown at PR firms and advertising with no idea of who your target market was or what your customer really wanted. Go after your competition, take some calculated risks, and focus on creating some revenue growth.

Hiring Talented Sales People


Be extremely careful about the candidate that rode a company from $40 million of revenue down to $10 million because you can bet that if the guy was hungry and talented, he would be somewhere else! As you can see, I have been spending alot of time with my portfolio companies hiring in a number of functions to create growth. That is obviously a good sign. Hiring is such an important skill, there is no science to it, but research and common sense help.

Mydoom and securing the perimeter


The amount of inbound and outbound email traffic can easily bring your network down leading to lost revenue and lost productivity. As I said before , if you want to stop blended threats like Mydoom and others, the best way to do so is to secure the perimeter by preventing an attack before it has a chance to infiltrate your network. That is best done on the edge, IN FRONT OF THE ROUTER, but for a number of reasons no one has attempted it.

CES-Show me the money!


Yes, I know I may be oversimplifying, but the point I want to make is that revenue does not equal profit, especially when many of the new growth areas that technology companies are pursuing have single digit margins as a starting point. There has been lots of buzz at CES this past week. Trust me, I am a huge fan of all of the new consumer gadgets that are coming out in the market this year. I still, however, ask the question, “where is the money for the tech industry.”

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6 Must-Have Features When You’re Launching A New E-Commerce Website


The PCI DSS has existed since 2004 and is designed to secure debit and credit transactions against the threat of cyber-fraud and data breaches, employing a range of measures to do so. There is no better way to drive additional revenue from an e-commerce website than impulse buys.

The Other Amazon Deal this week. Drupal founder attracts over $100 Million in 3 months.

Scalable Startup

the original products can’t generate revenue, so when these OS projects occassionally blow up into phenomenons like Drupal and WordPress have over the past few years, it’s gratifying but also quite frustrating to watch others derive so much value from your baby while you toil away to lead its growth with no financial return.

Is the Lean Startup Dead?

Steve Blank

Tech IPO prices exploded and subsequent trading prices rose to dizzying heights as the stock prices became disconnected from the traditional metrics of revenue and profits. Given the stock market was buying “the story and vision” of anything internet, inflated expectations were more important than traditional metrics like customers, growth, revenue, or heaven forbid, profits. A version of this article first appeared in the Harvard Business Review.

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Four Key Tips To Successfully Grow Your Business


At StockPKG, we set monthly goals like many other companies, but have three specific aims outside of revenue and profitability: A. Prior to his role at StockPKG, Sean successfully started Desert Plastics in 1998 and turned it into a multimillion dollar company before selling it in 2004.

What Are Pre-Seed Rounds and Why Do They Exist?

View from Seed

For reference, First Round Capital and Softech were founded in 2004 (although they were less institutional early on), Floodgate in 2006, Harrison Metal in 2008, etc. This is the first of several blog posts discussing pre-seed rounds. To ensure you receive the rest, subscribe here.

Did Google Just Create the Click to Schedule Ad Unit :: Small.

Duct Tape Marketing

For many industries this could be a game changing kind of social action and another big revenue generator for Google.

When Free Becomes Free For All ? 5 Reasons Free Is Hurting Us All.

Duct Tape Marketing

Blocked revenue One of the best ways to build a business that has marketable value is to develop multiple streams of residual income that a potential business buyer can view as a valuable asset.

Cliff Notes S-1: Kayak ? AGILEVC

Agile VC

Founding Date: 2004. How They Make Money: Majority of Kayak’s revenue actually comes from advertising on their site (55%), not lead generation or referral fees to travel suppliers as you might think (more on this below). Financial Snapshot: 2010 Revenue: $170 million.

How Does A Small Company Make A Big Company Successful?

Feld Thoughts

AmeriData was a public company, a voracious acquirer (we acquired 40 companies in three years), and a very fast growing business (they were less than $50 million in revenue when they acquired Feld Technologies and over $2 billion in revenue three years later when GE acquired them.) tl;dr: As a small company, focus on two things with big companies: “1. What can we, the small company do, to make the big company successful?

Facebook S-1: The Most Anticipated IPO in a Decade ? AGILEVC

Agile VC

Founded : Spring 2004, incorporated July 2004. How They Make Money : Facebook’s primary revenue stream is of course selling advertising on Facebook.com, which in total accounts for 85% of revenue. Financial Snapshot : 2011 Revenue: $3.71

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5 Reasons Why Effective Marketing Makes Your Business More.

Duct Tape Marketing

Convergent streams The most effective marketing strategy not only focuses on a core market and differentiators, it also finds ways to build multiple streams of recurring revenue.

LinkedIn's Series B Pitch to Greylock: Pitch Advice for Entrepreneurs


What I’ve honorably been able to do, however, is share the deck I used to pitch LinkedIn to Greylock for a Series B investment back in 2004. the consumer internet landscape in 2004 vs. today. In 2004, the consumer internet was just beginning to rebound. we had no revenue.

The Search For the Fountain of Youth – Innovation and Entrepreneurship in the Enterprise

Steve Blank

The company loses customers, then revenues and profits decline and it eventually gets acquired or goes out of business. The Ambidextrous Organization, Charles O’Reilly / Michael Tushman : April 2004.

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Making an amazing introduction via email (via John Exley)

Eric Friedman

Previously, Eric was the Global Senior Director of Sales and Revenue Operations for Foursquare. Eric graduated from George Washington University in 2004 with a degree in Marketing. John Exley takes relationships seriously.

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Don’t get hung up on valuation.


The first is of a 2004 startup that I cofounded and led the investment group for several early rounds, then VC rounds.

What Jonah @Peretti, CEO of BuzzFeed, Sees in the Future of Digital Media

Both Sides of the Table

billion and revenues likely exceeding $250 million (Wikipedia lists 2015 revenue at $167 million). Jonah said that 50% of BuzzFeed’s revenue now comes from video and the pace of this change really surprised him. BuzzFeed.

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Wednesday Guest Stars :: Small Business Marketing Blog from Duct.

Duct Tape Marketing

Shama is a bestselling author with her book - The Zen of Social Media Marketing: An Easier Way to Build Credibility, Generate Buzz, and Increase Revenue.

The Coming Zombie Startup Apocalypse

This is going to be BIG.

Would you be surprised to know that almost half of the dot com companies founded when the boom started in 1996 were still around in 2004--four years after the peak of the NASDAQ? Because companies today have way more revenues than the companies that went public or had huge up rounds back then.

Why Every Company Needs A DevOps Team Now

Feld Thoughts

Our findings went into a book that we published in 2004 called The Visible Ops Handbook , which described how these organizations made their “good to great” transformation. Act I begins with IT Operations, where we’re supporting a large, complex revenue generating application. Our revenue pipeline stopped for two hours.” An increasing number of companies we are investors in are focused on DevOps.

Customer Development in Japan: a History Lesson

Steve Blank

By then, I had become a venture capitalist at Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance and found myself talking to a lot of entrepreneurs who were proclaiming their great technology yet were struggling with little revenue, and claiming they were “crossing the chasm”.

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Cultivate an Olympic Mindset to Achieve Success

Up and Running

Susan Williams winning bronze in the 2004 Olympics. A bronze medal winner in the 2004 Olympics, American triathlete Susan Williams says to give it your all. “In See Also: How to Use Growth Hacking to Increase Revenue 20x in Just 12 Months. Image via AdWeek.

So what really happened to newspapers – in data?

Start Up Blog

And while some of the readers have gone to the same provider but online, the revenue streams have not. It was built in 2004 at a cost of $220 million. We know that newspapers are in decline. We know that we are shifting where we get our news, both in channel and in provider.

Power to the People: How to Create a Profitable Social Enterprise

Up and Running

The idea for the company came about when two surfing Californians took a trip to Bali, Indonesia, in 2004. Fundraising alone is fragile—having a fantastic product or service offers solid revenue and a steady flow of customers, rather than relying on donations.

Want to know why charging $12 / year converts higher than $9.99?

Both Sides of the Table

What is the mix of revenue between ads, subscriptions, digital downloads & ecommerce. My favorite quote of the show, “Gregg, what’s the mix of revenue types?&# JibJab doesn’t do ad revenue at all.

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How Do I Get More Leads in the Top of the Funnel 6 :: Small.

Duct Tape Marketing

What would happen if you focused on the 20% of your customers responsible for 80% of your revenue?

Keep It Under Your Hat: Valuation Caps and the $650 Million Sale of MySpace for $125 Million


Intermix wasn’t an “incubator” per se, but it created, acquired and operated a portfolio of consumer Web properties in the areas of content, community and e-commerce, of which MySpace turned out to be the biggest hit by orders of magnitude, becoming the fastest growing site in the history of the Internet and the defining brand of the social media explosion between 2004 and 2008. By the fall of 2004, the site’s explosive growth attracted the attention of many potential investors and buyers.

I Have a Web Site, What Else Should I be Doing Online 5 :: Small.

Duct Tape Marketing

Shama is a bestselling author with her book - The Zen of Social Media Marketing: An Easier Way to Build Credibility, Generate Buzz, and Increase Revenue.

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Helping Startups And Small Businesses: A Good Idea From D.C. (Can You Believe It?)


Those federal programs would be made whole by transfers from general revenues. by Dean Zerbe, alliantgroup National Managing Director, and former Senior Counsel to the Senate Finance Committee. When it comes to U.S.

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English Student Entrepreneur Makes Millions with Online Eyeglass Store

Campus Entrepreneurship

In 2004 while studying for final exams at University of the West of England, Wells, then age 21, went shopping for a pair of prescription glasses. Nonplussed by the $150 pound ($300) price tag, Wells decided to funnel his $2,000 student loan into what would become Glasses Direct, a London-based online retailer that now generates $5 million in annual revenue.