Dave Engberg knows a lot about security. Before he took the CTO spot at Evernote, he designed and developed credential validation systems for the U.S. government. If anyone in Silicon Valley knows the value of secure access and keeping information safe, its him. Especially now, with publications like TechCrunch reporting breaches and attacks as soon as they happen, these types of events can crush a startups potential, especially if they are mishandled. Yet many companies dont start thinking about building defenses until its way too late. After observing his fair share of incidents, and experiencing one firsthand earlier this year, Engberg wondered why there wasnt a comprehensive guide for how startups should approach security at every stage starting at the earliest. With this in mind, he gave an exclusive talk at the recent First Round CTO Summit about security and the right way for growing startups to stay safe without needlessly expending valuable resources.
Interesting recommendation courtesy of Gregory Galant:
'Here's my only slightly self-serving advice, in response to XXX's four needs:
1. Use a combination of Twitter search, Google Alerts and Muck Rack (plug, plug - our service that starts at $99/mo) to find out about relevant articles, bloggers and media opps. Use Hootsuite, Buffer or Crowdbooster to post to her social networks (all free or under $100/mo).
2. Press releases are useless, don’t waste your time. Journalists hate them, and Google announced a couple months ago that they have zero SEO value. Instead just send short pitches directly to journalists and bloggers.
3. re: “Twitter buying cycle categorizations” Just set up a saved search in Twitter, or column in Tweetdeck (free), Hootsuite or Tweetbot ($20)
4. You can track social analytics in Hootsuite, Buffer or Crowdbooster, but for a startup who really cares how many followers or how much engagement your social accounts get? Much better to just stick UTM codes in your social links (which hootsuite and buffer automatically do) and use your main analytics system (Google Analytics, Mixpanel, Clicky, etc) to track conversions generated from social.
As XXX said it’s all about how much time you put into using these tools to connect with journalists, bloggers potential customers and other influencers — so take the $4k left over in savings and hire a good intern or contractor to help put the hours in. It’s too much work for the founder alone.
CEO, Sawhorse Media
On Wed, Nov 27, 2013 at 11:54 AM, XXXXXX
< XXXXXX> wrote:
Hi All! Please see below - my (soon to be joining FR) friend at HBS is building a subscription based fitness business and looking for recommendations on a powerful social media tool. She’s considering Vocus, which seems really expensive - anyone ever used it or used comparables?
Happy Thanksgiving & thanks!
————— Forwarded message —————
From: XXXXXX < XXXXXX>
Date: Wed, Nov 27, 2013 at 11:48 AM
Subject: vocus mkt
Hi all, I’m gearing up to launch the beta version of my site on Jan 1 and recently was introduced to Vocus Marketing Solutions to manage all of my social media / press / PR. However, they require an unfront payment to initiate the program which I was able to haggle down to $5K (30% off) though that is still a sizable price. Here is what I like about it:
The price is steep and I am curious if others have had experience with the tool and what they think about it. I also am aware that if I pay for the tool, I am likely to work my butt off to make sure I get every dime worth of value out of it. I imagine other founders may be the same so can see how positives could be biased. Curious to get the thoughts of the community on this!
Thanks!! Happy Thanksgiving!!
When a new venture is started, there is often little money for salaries. Therefore it might sound like a good idea to give ‘at least’ a title that looks good on the CV - titles do not cost anything after all.
However this normally leads to trouble down the road that can easily be prevented. Having an easy to understand and consistent organization can be of great help when companies are experiencing strong growth. In case of such growth it might happen that those people that join early and add a lot of value (and continue doing so) do not live up to the challenge of managing a team or a larger set of responsibilities.
In that case somebody else might have to step in from the outside leading to a demotion which can frustrate that team member who joined early on - maybe even lead to that person leaving, creating even more growth pain and instability for a fast-scaling organization.
Therefore I think it is a much better idea to start with only ‘Head of’ titles for the first year. One can always promote later.
One skill / profession these days that provides you for maximum flexibility is software engineering. Not only is the demand for software development thriving amongst online businesses (as more and more of our daily life switches from ‘offline’ to ‘connected’), but there is not one industry that will not be dominated by software soon (even traditional car manufacturers are becoming more and more software driven in their operations and products).
So if you are a great engineer (Frontend / Backend / BI) and you want to work in small teams on stuff that will actually be used by millions of users and you like to live in New York, London, Berlin, SE Asia, then send your resume my way (email@example.com). Our portfolio companies are right now looking for great talent, which could be you.
Most discussion groups / message boards suck. And still engagement can be extremely strong if the communities discuss something they are passionate about (e.g. think about all those health related forums and support groups). I often wondered why there is no good discussion group SAAS out there that would allow to build better community sites.
I came across one today www.moot.it. Check it out. (maybe there are others as well - I just know this one).
I was building online businesses for 13 years and I really enjoyed it. During those years I was able to learn a lot by being hands-on responsible for product, tech, bus. dev., sales, marketing, HR, fund raising, legal and others during those years in the various startups. I learned from the successful ventures, from the long and painful slogs as well as from the failures.
Most of all I enjoyed building teams, working with the teams and helping those teams to be successful. I was really fortunate to work with so many smart, ambitious and trustworthy people over those past years.
After leaving Delivery Hero early this year I was immediately thinking about the next business to build, was looking for a team, money etc. When being approached by Oliver to partner and run his new fund together with him and his brother it did not catch fire immediately. But than I thought that investing into startups might allow me to continue to do what I have been doing in the past - just at a bigger scale: Helping teams to be successful.
Right now we are working on closing our first deals for the fund. All of them great teams that I am looking forward to work with.