Archive for July 2006

Reaching out to media partners…

Seth and I decided that magazine publishers would be a great partner for us. The magazines had tons of female subscribers and no real rewards or loyalty programs to offer them. Some have credit cards and the like, but we think we’ve got something unique. I started doing my research about a month ago on the top publishers and came up with a pretty short list. Conde Nast, Meredith Corp, Rodale, Time Inc., Hearst and Dennis Publishing were at the top. I decided to focus on these guys and start networking into the organizations to speak with somebody in sales or marketing for some of the well-known magazines. While doing my research on each of the publisher’s websites, I realized that they provided lots of contacts for their advertising personnel, since that’s the primary way they make money by selling ads in the magazines. I thought that this was a pretty good place to start since I could narrow my search to ad sales personnel by magazine. I made a list of names from the websites (most of which gave names, emails and phone numbers) and started smiling and dialing.Most of the emails I sent were never answered. There were, however, a few bites. I managed to set up a call with a couple people from ad sales at Stuff Magazine for last week in July. I’m not sure that they are the right crowd to discuss a subscriber rewards program. But we’ll just have to see. I’ll probably follow-up with the 150-odd people I contacted this week over the next month or two to see if there are any new bites. I’ll keep you posted… JT

Executive recruiting, take 1

So Seth and I got to talking about the need for executive management for our new start-up. We recognized that we were a bunch of young guys without any real start-up experience. We thought that we might be best served if we brought on a more seasoned entrepreneur with lots of experience to help lead our company. Seth and I want to remain the founders of OnCard Marketing, but we thought it might make sense to bring on another partner. We have been speaking with a few of our advisers about this and the responses are mixed. Some think we should run the company ourselves and rely on our board of advisers for guidance. Others agree that we need senior leadership brought in to run our business. The problem is that we will probably need to give a ton of equity for this individual. Well, based on this advice, Seth and I decided to pitch the idea to one of our advisers who lives down in Texas to see if he might be interested in taking the helm. I have been in touch with him frequently over the phone about business-related issues and invited him to New York next week to meet with us in-person. I’ll keep you posted on how it goes… JT

My first week at work

So it was my first week at work… after a very short long-weekend for July 4th, considering my last day in the corporate world at Citigroup was June 30th. It was a very weird feeling since it was the first time in my life that I supposedly had a job but no physical office to report to. I truly can’t explain the feeling. Liberation? Freedom? Confusion? Anxiety? Probably all of the above and then some. You really only know what I’m talking about if you’ve tried to start a business in your apartment/house from scratch. It’s not easy, and you probably didn’t know where to begin. I began with reaching out to various technology vendors to price out options of outsourcing our tech development. Given we’re a technology firm, it seemed like the right place to start.I have to believe that this will be a trying time for any new entrepreneur. Anybody in my position will probably not know exactly what he should be doing (it could manifest itself as a deer-in-the-headlights phenomenon where you’ve got so much to do and don’t know where to start) Bottom Line: I keep telling myself to keep my eye on the long-term strategy and take baby steps towards that goal. I will try to view each activity I perform (each phone call, email, proposal) as a baby-step towards accomplishing our end vision. JT