Paul Berry (previously the CTO of HuffingtonPost) is Founder and CEO of RebelMouse, a platform used by individuals and companies of all sizes to build social experiences on the fly.
Celebrate the ups with the 100% full understanding that as an entrepreneur, you are very much like a heroin addict and a corresponding low is on its way I’ve found that both giving limits to the lows and highs help keep the balance and focus you need to keep making progress.
We have a globally distributed community management team so that we can respond in real time almost 24×7 to any mention, question, feedback on Twitter/Facebook/email etc. This dedication to being unusually responsive not just in business hours as a social platform has helped turn interested customers and visitors into super fans.
I was CTO of HuffingtonPost where I ran product, design and engineering. I often tell entrepreneurial students and others asking advice that for me the meaning of “entrepreneurial” is doing work with no guarantee of pay. So before I founded RebelMouse I was able to learn a ton by just going and getting a lot done and asking for the pay later in annual reviews etc. At HuffingtonPost I was a key part of board meetings and the management team, and it is hard to imagine me doing the job at RebelMouse as well without that experience (and network).
So many interesting lessons in the process of getting funding!! I often say that you should be where you’ll learn the most, and I’ve learned more as a CEO since starting RebelMouse then I ever could have predicted. I’ve been very lucky because I had a lot of investors who knew me very well from my work at HuffPost. The lesson I’ve learned is a) telling the crisp story of your company and what it will become is actually very hard and b) investors are a network, and understanding the relationships they have between each other is really key to understanding each one of them.
I worked very hard using my existing network of everyone I knew to show my earliest thoughts of what RebelMouse would be and then kept coming back to them with progress from design through to production versions. I chose to launch when I had a small group of highly influential people telling me they were super excited and ...