A buddy of mine who ran corp comm for Jangl for me back when, forwarded me an email I had sent to our entire company (Jangl) back in mid 2007. Reading it was a lens into web 2.0. It was basically me trying to rally a tired team through a product launch into the social graph, in the face of a fund raising process. Enough time has gone by that I thought I'd post it up.
We made a decision this past Friday to commence the pursuit of a 3rd round of funding. The plan was to originally to have "Call Anyone in the market place 60 days before the fund raise, so we could get some better adoption indications. But given that we need to budget 6 months for this process, it's best to get started now, selling on what we've accomplished thus far, on whatever hype we can muster around "Call Anyone", as well as pending launches with Yahoo, FriendFinder and most notably facebook.
I've met with 3 venture firms this week already, on short notice. They’ve all been watching us, and they were all very eager to take the meeting. This alone is huge. Even better, each meeting went very well. These firms as well as any others we excite, will start looking at our user adoption as they dig into their diligence on the company.
At this point, we need an absolute all hands on deck to maximizing our growth rate.
Engineering: the best way to help is to nail down the hot fixes coming up, get international fully working, get SMS working, and most importantly get facebook off the ground. Since we're coming from behind we need to get this launched as soon as humanly possible. facebook has this social graph concept that works beautifully when getting injected early on into context. iLike for example already has over a million users since facebook opened up a couple weeks back. That's what we need. Soon there will be 100s more applications on facebook, so we don't want to get lost in the noise. So the sooner the better, for many reasons.
Marketing: launch every marketing initiative in the plan possible to maximize user acquisition potential. I know you need promo codes working in order to learn what's working and what's not, but we must sprint - even if it means we can't 100% attribute the growth. This sounds crazy, but the #s trump the learnings in the next month or so.
Finance: looking for your support during VC diligence processes and eventually thru closing a round. We'll also need any support marketing or engineering may need from an administrative or purchasing stand point.
If you all can help in your areas, then in addition to lining up investors at good valuations, I'm focused on getting a launch date committed for FriendFinder and Yahoo.
We all have what might sometimes seem as impossible tasks at hand. And it can feel particularly hard when we’ve just finished a long, tiring stretch. But let me step back and keep you thinking about the big picture.
Professionally, you may never enjoy as much control over your own destiny as you do right at this moment. You are one of less than 25 people chosen to help build this thing. Your voice, your talent, your late nights hard work – they all make the difference, and will continue to. Each of us, as professionals, may never get the chance to get so close again. So we must push this over the top.
Please keep everything confidential, because until we close the round, there's no sense in the outside knowing what we're up to.
Let's make history.