According to AngelList San Francisco has about 10,356 companies based in San Francisco — and I’m willing to bet there are hundreds launching every day here and of course a ton that are not listed.

From what I have heard office space is very high demand and startups find unique places to call home, especially during the early days.

Well, San Francisco-based Spiderbook is a small team that has converted an industrial loft into a sick workspace they call “The Spiderloft”; which is located a few blocks from the global headquarters for companies like Twitter, Uber, Square, and many others.

The SpiderLoft
The SpiderLoft


Of course as an advisor at Spiderbook I’m naturally biased however although the team is small and still early, these guys are impressive. They are so obsessed with data science and particularly solving b2b sales automation and intelligence problems (which I am happy to discuss in more detail later).

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Continue reading “Startup Spaces: Spiderbook’s San Francisco HQ”

Yes, I am going to say it outloud: engineers and sales people generally don’t understand each other and might even dislike each other within many parts of the world – especially Silicon Valley. At least this has been my experience over the past decade. The funny part is that they need each other. Yes, consumer product founders, even you have to monetize in a meaningful way at some point; meaningful ad campaigns don’t sell themselves.

Why, you ask?

Engineers tend to think that all sales people are dishonest, unethical, and would sell their soul for a buck — and sales people tend to assume that engineers move too slow, are hard to communicate with, and don’t take their feedback seriously. These are certainly only a few of the many reasons.

As a long time non-technical, non-engineering founder who has been in the tech startup game since 2003, it became very clear to me that a) I would need a technical co-founder to launch any meaningful tech startup (outsourcing is dangerous and usually a bad idea; certainly longer term), and b) as more of a hustler/salesperson myself, engineers are very hard to recruit and get bought into my ideas.

Continue reading “Founder Tips: The Technical versus Non-Technical Founder”

Rich Wong is one of Silicon Valley’s most successful venture capitalists and partner at Accel Partners in Palo Alto, CA.

For you who are not familiar Palo Alto, CA is where companies like facebook, Survey Monkey and so many others were founded.

Accel Partners is well known for their investments in Atlassian, facebook, DropBox, Kayak, Spotify, and other great companies. Accel runs a very innovative EIR program that yielded well-known companies like Cloudera, which provides Apache Hadoop-based software.

I first met Rich Wong in 2010 when he invested into MoPub’s seed round, along with Michael Dearing of Harrison Metal. Rich was a very, very active member of the board, but more importantly he was deeply involved with the leadership and cared alot about our business’s success.

I think for me, the most important quality that Rich has is his loyalty and friendship. Even now, 2 years after the acquisition, Rich is an email away and is still super supportive.

We were recently discussing topics like:

  • What tips would he give an early stage founder when looking to raise VC?
  • Is there such thing as a “bad space” to launch a startup within or around?
  • What attributes he has been able to identify that successful companies tend to display?

I’m actually not sure that it’s ok that we are having this discussion in 2015. I mean come on, we’re supposed to be cruising around in flying cars and the fact that the physical-paper business cards is a topic today is sorta lame. In any case, the question here is whether it’s important or not.

Yes. Absolutely. As digital as I want everything to be, paper-based business cards are still very important, especially at the approach or first time you meet someone; especially a prospect.


Gloss finish or Matte?

I think it depends on the design BUT I kinda think that having a nice glossy finish is never a bad thing. If I were to have to choose, I’d pick a gloss finish.

Biz Card Vendors

These are a few that I have used:


3.5 x 2 inches

add .125 of “bleed” and it should be saved in CMYK mode.

Emergence Capital is a well known Silicon Valley venture capital firm that focuses on Cloud and Saas investments. They are well known for their investments in, Box, SuccessFactors, Yammer and many others. Follow Emergence on Twitter.

I first met Kevin Spain in 2011 when I was working on a b2b saas startup. We’ve actively kept in touch over the years and recently caught up to discuss current and future trends in saas, startups, and venture investing.

I first heard the term “Social Enterprise” back in 2008 from Alex Blum, who was the CEO at a NYC-based startup I was working for called KickApps. We were while-label software that allowed any website to have an online community bolted onto it.

At the time the term “social media” was still young and companies didn’t really understand much about it. However even then we saw the enterprise’s desire to create more social network-like environments for their employees. We had a few major corporations use our platform to deploy these sites behind the firewall, but never really saw any meaningful usage.

I was absolutely skeptical of the enterprise collaboration/social enterprise space for a long time. I never saw us leaving Microsoft office, abandoning email, or posting to an activity feed at work; until I started using Google Apps. Google apps showed me the power of collaboration and operating in “the cloud”.

I see this as being the consumerization and socialization of the enterprise.

Continue reading “Socialization of the Enterprise is Here, and is Not Going Away”

Interviewee: Patricia McLaren, Sales Development Rep at Datanyze

Interviewer: Jorge Soto, Blogger at SotoVentures, Partner at Sales Hacker


Jorge: What’s your professional background and how did you get into sales?

Patricia: I am originally from Ontario, Canada and grew up in Milwaukee, WI. I was craving some excitement and opportunity, so I packed up my bags and moved to the Bay Area about 3 years ago.

I worked in retail sales and danced professionally for the NBA for 4 years before transitioning into the tech industry (Go Warriors).

When I’m not setting demos for Datanyze, I’m out and about in San Francisco, constantly meeting new people and making new connections. I’m passionate about what I do and the impact I make in people’s lives, personally and professionally.

I actually began my sales career in retail. I worked as a part-time associate while going to school, and I ended up working every position there was at the company, eventually taking over the entire district as the District Sales Manager.

I made the transition into tech and have leveraged my sales and management experience to be successful in this industry.

Continue reading “Patricia McLaren, Datanyze’s Rockstar SDR”