Friday, April 18, 2014

Small chunks

I think about this quote every day:
"Mediocre founders spend a lot of time talking about grand plans; the best founders may be working on things that seem small but get them done extraordinarily quickly.  Every time you talk to them, they've gotten a few new things done.  Even if they're working on big projects, they get small chunks done incrementally and have demonstratable [sic] progress--they never disappear for a year and jump from nothing to a huge project being completed.  And they're reliable--if they tell you they'll do something, it happens."
This is from Sam Altman's blog post about "Super Successful Companies" and this point is the most important of the 17 in the piece. Startups fail all the time because they bite off more than they can chew, and fail to have something to show the market and users. I've seen this happen with two companies in my YC batch many moons ago. At big companies like Google where there are near-infinite resources, the urge is even stronger to go off and brew on a grand vision for a year. But the really successful companies, teams, and individuals usually tackle one bite-size task at a time. After a while, it really adds up.

Saturday, March 01, 2014

We're Hiring at Namo Media!

This might not come as a big surprise to you, but we're hiring at Namo Media. If you want to make mobile ads better, less annoying, and more effective, you should join us. Email me at gabor at thecompanydomain dot com.

These are the roles we're hiring for:

Walk Before you Run

If there's one piece of advice I have for early stage startups, it's this: Walk before you run.

Prove that your product solves a problem for a customer. Make it work really well. Then scale up.

Monday, March 18, 2013

My New Startup: Namo Media

You may have been wondering what I've been up to since we sold DrawChat late last year.

The answer may not surprise you: I've been working on a new startup, Namo Media. I've teamed up with some fellow ex-Googlers, Nassar Stoertz and Tural Badirkhanli to work on a new solution for mobile advertising that's less disruptive and more elegant than those pesky banner ads you see today.

Today we're announcing our seed round, $1.875M in total from Google Ventures, Betaworks, Andreessen Horowitz, Trinity Ventures, along with some amazing angels: Kevin Scott, Seth Berman, Chung-Man Tam, Keith Coleman, Garrick Toubassi, Tikhon Bernstam, Michael Levit, Benjamin Ling, and Paul Buchheit.

You can learn more on the Namo Media homepage.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

App-to-App Handshakes

In a recent post on AVC, Fred Wilson talks about App-to-App Handshakes:
The cool thing about the Internet OS with web apps as features is that the features are interoperable. I post a picture to Instagram and push it to Twitter and it comes through as a picture (or it did until the kids started fighting). I find something I want to buy on Etsy and I check out on Paypal. You get the idea. Web apps pass data and users back and forth easily. 
That is not true on mobile today. Even on Android where sharing is baked into the OS. It is a lot worse on iOS. But its bad all over the place. 
If you post an Etsy item to Facebook and I want to buy it, I click on the link in Facrbook mobile and am taken to Etsy's mobile web app where I am not logged in and its a pain to buy. I want to go app to app to Etsy's mobile app where I am logged in and its one click to buy.
This is a very important problem and something that I've touched on in previous posts on this blog.

Doing app-to-app handshakes is doable today: Android's Intents model was baked into the OS from the very beginning and supports them quite elegantly. On iOS, you have to mess around with URL types and parameters, but that isn't rocket science.

I expect that app publishers will start paying a lot more attention to making their apps interoperable. This will likely start with e-commerce apps. When you're actually trying to buy something, as in Fred Wilson's example, real dollars are at stake, and deploying the engineering resources to build interoperability makes economic sense.