You know I don’t buy into the men saying that there’s a bias against women entrepreneurs in the industry. Janet doesn’t either. Here’s an opportunity to learn from her success in building solid revenues, and a profitable business.
Sramana Mitra: Let’s start at the very beginning of your story. Where are you from? Where were you born, raised, and in what kind of background?
Janet Kosloff: I was born and raised on Long Island in New York. My father owned a diner in Queens. He was from Brooklyn. My mother was from a small town in Central Pennsylvania. I had a fairly typical upbringing. I went to college at the State University of New York and I studied Nursing. I started my career as a nurse not necessarily because I had a passion for nursing. It was more so because I wasn’t quite sure what I wanted to do with my life. My family guided me into that career for the reason that I had an affinity for science. >>>
Jon has side-stepped venture capital, and raised a significant funding from his customers. He hopes to take the company public in Australia once the company gets to about $50 million in revenue.
Sramana Mitra: Let’s start at the very beginning of your journey. Where are you from? Were were you born, raised, and in what kind of background?
Jon Ellis: I grew up in a small town in Australia on the border of New South Wales and Victoria. It’s got a population of about 40,000 people. My father is a mechanic and has owned his own business for many years. My mother is a teacher.
Sramana Mitra: What did you do for education? >>>
Disappointing results for the tech sector continued with the announcement of Twitter’s (NYSE: TWTR) quarterly performance. The company continues to struggle to attract a higher user base and is failing to meet market’s revenue expectations.
Sramana Mitra: If you can attract bank financing and can do things with bank financing, it’s hugely advantageous from an ownership point of view.
Vlad Friedman: Exactly. Today, we’re at about $18 million run rate and on our way to hit $20 million this year. We’re still in the same position. We still have a strong balance sheet. We still have a fantastic relationship with our banks. I’m completely non-diluted because everything is just simple debt financing.
Sramana Mitra: What do you want to do with the company? You’ve been running it since the mid 90s and now we’re in the mid 2010s. It’s been 20 years since you’ve been doing this. What do you want to do? Where do you want to go from here? >>>
During this week’s roundtable, we did yet another romp around the world.
First up, Nikola Dechkov from Sofia, Bulgaria, pitched Play2Sport, a platform for booking amateur sports venues like soccer fields and such, for Europe, starting In Bulgaria. I like the idea, and advised Nikola to assess the market scope for the venture based on revenue models and such. Nikola is a student, and his cofounders are also all students. Very nice!
Next, Saurabh Kumar from Bangalore, India pitched TravelSpells, a travel planning service that brings travel and tour operators together on a platform, providing stories of experiences they craft and help put together for consumers. There are some great nuggets in the idea, but also some big missing pieces: what attracts the consumers’ attention in this very crowded field?
Sramana Mitra: What do you see as the main driver of that consumer-driven purchase cycle? Is it more the community and the people in their network who influence the purchase decision or is it that self-serving content that people read about? Whether it’s on the site of the retailer or other sites, there’s also a lot of content that people are self-serving right now. Between the two, which one is impacting purchase decisions more these days?
Jason Wallis: Both of them impact purchase decisions whether it’s deliberate or not. Sometimes, it depends on the item. If it’s to showcase a luxury item, they may actually directly engage with their social network to get lot more opinions and feedback. If it’s a more casual purchase item, that might not be a strong sentiment. Content is involved in all of those decisions.
What we’ve seen is there’s certainly value served by retailers which is technical in nature, but final decisions are usually driven by community-provided or user-generated content. Content is pretty pervasive throughout the whole purchase cycle. People trust their networks and their friends—birds of a feather flock together. Those are two pretty strong forces that really help shape how people buy, when they buy and what they buy. >>>
Summer travel is about to begin. I am deep in the throes of planning our Sicily trip in May. In doing so, however, I miss not having access to an app that could make life dramatically easier and cut hours from my workflow.
Let me describe what my travel planning workflow looks like.
Step 1: We decide on the general area and the dates.
Step 2: We assess how much time we need to budget to do justice to each place we visit.
Step 3: We book the long haul flights.
Today’s 304th FREE online 1M/1M roundtable for entrepreneurs is starting NOW, on Thursday, April 28, at 8:00 a.m. PDT/11:00 a.m. EDT/8:30 p.m. India IST. Click here to join.