Awesome Web Innovators Event tonight!

@Wayne founder of Crashlytics kicked it off with a slick deck highlighting why he believes they have been so successful.

Point #1: Focus attention on distribution.

Little tip for anyone following him: he judges his decisions based on how fast you can grow. What do you think? Did he make the right choices in building non-core functionality early on? Read on for the details.

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Xconomy Mobile Madness 2013 Conference

Xconomy Mobile Madness 2013
Photo Credit: Dan Bricklin

This Tuesday, March 19th, Xconomy held their 5th annual Mobile Madness conference at Microsoft New England Research and Development Center

Headlining their great agenda was Jonathan Bush, CEO of AthenaHealth, who implored mobile developers to enter healthcare because of what he called “Financial and Spiritual Arbitrage opportunities.” Indeed I was convinced at both a logical and emotional level by his conclusion that Mobile is about human experience and that healthcare should be an expression of our humanity.

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What GrubHub’s CEO took from the Freemium Strategy

Today’s Wall Street Journal reports on the Freemium model. When it works, and when it fails. Additionally, Matt Malone, GrubHub’s CEO, also shared his experience of switching from a freemium to a subscription model after testing his product and listening to his customers.

First the successes: The article cites Dropbox Inc., LinkedIn Corp., and Skype Inc., as examples of companies successfully building a free user base through positive network effects who recommend and rely on others using their services. Some percentage (1%-2%, according to David Cohen, founder and CEO of Tech-Stars) of the free users then pay for premium features or bring in paying users through word of mouth.

It is easy to see why the freemium model is so attractive to startups, but the liability of a large freeloading user base is increased operating costs, and potentially negative reviews of your brand if you fail to meet expectations.

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