Archive for September 2006

Executive recruiting, take 2…

View our first journey down the recruiting road in prior posts Executive Recruiting, part 1 and Executive Recruiting, part 1 continuedSo we decided to pass on hiring a banker. It was a pretty frustrating past couple of weeks, but I gained a huge education from this process. I passed it all onto Seth, who was in the loop every step of the way. After much discussion over the past week, Seth and I have decided that hiring a banker was a terrible idea. Instead, we are entertaining the idea of making Mr. Banker an offer to come on-board as a third partner. Given his 20+ experience in venture capital, investment banking, technology and financial services, we think he could probably add much more value as a team member, without all the contractual hurdles we were facing with the consulting agreement. We think that the new business relationship we are proposing will be much cleaner and will hopefully align all of our interests much more closely. We actually began working with Mr. Banker this week under the pretense that we will get a deal done and come to terms with an agreement. We have another meeting with him in a couple days and will make the offer then. We hope that this move will bring the much-needed credibility and execution experience to our company. However, unlike before with Mr. Texas, we are going to structure this as a three-way partnership. We will ask him to buy his stock, much the same way that Seth and I have by investing our own money. We know this is for real if he commits his own money to the venture. The big difference is that we will offer him about 20% of the company over the time, say 3 years, that he stays with the company. We think this is very fair, but will just have to tell you how it goes… JT

Starting to build our website…

So Seth and I had a couple conversations with this web designer and really like her. She’s creative and has designed some pretty amazing websites. We decided to hire her and her programmer to design our site. Seth and I have have worked tirelessly on a schema for the site we want, complete with layout, page flow, graphics, and text. We’re handing it over to her as our road-map/blueprint for what we want. She’s going to put together some preliminary designs so that we can review, tweak, and then have her programmer start actually building the site. We’ve already purchased the URL at a while back when we incorporated (highly recommended), so I need to hand over the info to the website programmer who will make sure that things are working smoothly on the actual site as the project moves along.The big thing that we want in our site is a pretty complete demo of the service we’re hoping to sell to merchants. It’s complicated, but Seth and I have a good idea of what we want it to look like. I just hope that our design team can make it look as good as we envision it. We’ll keep you posted… Bottom Line: When choosing a web design firm, pick somebody who has a large portfolio of sites that vary in look and feel. This shows that the designer has versatility (good thing), meaning that you’re more likely to get a site that is as original as possible. Also, if the designer has a personal relationship with somebody you know (i.e. they’ve done good work for somebody you trust), all the better. With designers, you don’t really need referrals. Their work speaks for itself. If you like the websites they’ve designed, and they’re willing to do it for the right price (don’t spend over $100/hr), then go for it. This is your corporate identity, so don’t skimp. If the site looks like crap, you’ll lose credibility, so spend the little extra to make it sharp. JT

We need a website!

Seth and I have been talking a lot recently about building a corporate website for OnCard Marketing. We realize we need to have a web presence (since we ARE a technology company) and having an informational site would be the first step towards enhanced credibility. Once again, we find ourselves trying to do something neither of us have ever done before, building a website that is. I started pinging my contacts with emails trying to see if anybody know a web designer. At this point, I just need an education and don’t care how great the person it. We’ll evaluate that once we have some names. I’m calling a bunch of web designers I found using google adwords (great resource for finding stuff you need). The problem is I don’t know any of them and the price they’re charging is pretty steep (too steep for us). Seth has a friend a few years older from his fraternity at Cornell who has a friend in graphic design. We checked out her work yesterday and are actually very impressed with some of the work she has done on websites. I’m so happy we finally found somebody who knows something about web design!! I’ll reach out to her and have a couple conversations about the project, our company, and the site we are hoping to build. I’ll let you know where this goes… JT