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Hi, I’m Brad Feld, a managing director at the Foundry Group who lives in Boulder, Colorado. I invest in software and Internet companies around the US, run marathons and read a lot.

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The J-Squared Facebook Someday Millionaires

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BusinessWeek has a fun article about my buddies Jesse and Joe from J-Squared Media titled Who wants to be a Facebook millionaire?  Jesse and Joe were founders of one of the TechStars teams this summer – when they showed up their original idea was to create a sharing tools that would distribute links to your networks of friends (not in Facebook – on the web.)  The Facebook Platform launched shortly after TechStars started and Jesse and Joe got all over it – today they have two very popular apps on Facebook (Sticky Notes and GlitterBox) and are generating over $45,000 / month of revenue (wow – not bad for two dudes in a basement on $10,000 of investment.)

Jesse and Joe exemplify scrappy first time entrepreneurs.  Other than the tiny initial TechStars investment, they bootstrapped everything.  I fondly remember a meeting in early July when Sticky Notes started taking off and Jesse and Joe were dying – they were staying up all night every night trying to keep their rapidly expanding number of servers up.  We tossed some smart people at them (including Tony – the ClickCaster stud) who quickly helped them figure out some magic server stuff to deal with scale.  By late July, Jesse and Joe still looked tired, but they weren’t lying on the floor in agony.

The BusinessWeek article is a quick read through the kinds of things Jesse and Joe are dealing with as they figure out their next step.  Early acquisition offers (from both private and public companies), rapidly growing revenue (reinvest this cash now while it’s coming in!), potential VC investment (how much should we take at what price and why?), and endless feature requests (“Hii! Awsome app!! Just one thing You have the PowerPuffs except for one, Bubbles!! Can she be added, plz?”)

What a great example of early stage entrepreneurship.

  • Jim

    Why reinvest the money and not pocket it? You got a strong userbase. Leverage the base to grow it and monetize the hell out of it. I see the Facebook platform as more of the standard affiliate marketing / web traffic play then Web 2.0. More of a Plentyoffish type deal. Build a profitable business, run it lean and bank your profits. Its viral so no marketing costs and if 2 guys can build sticky notes then they can build 10 other apps.

    Not every business needs to grow its overhead. Also there are lots of risks in what Facebook might do so getting what you can out of it is something needing consideration.

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