Venture VoiceAuthor: Gregory Galant
24 Jan 2017

Venture Voice

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What does it take to start a successful business? We’re working the phone to find the answers by calling entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and their friends and foes. This podcast features our conversations.

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    VV Show #60 - Larry Kramer of MarketWatch

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    Larry Kramer


    Today's media executives plotting to charge for their content would do well to hear how Larry Kramer beat Jim Cramer's TheStreet.com by resisting pressure to put most content behind a pay wall while not relying entirely on advertising. To the average consumer, MarketWatch.com seemed to have come out of nowhere during the late 1990s to quickly establish itself as one of the leading sources of online financial information. For MarketWatch founder Larry Kramer, it represented the last chapter of his 15 year journey as a first-time entrepreneur. Larry started his career as a journalist, going from reporter to the top editor of the San Francisco Examiner in just 10 years with stops at the Washington Post and Trenton Times along the way. Larry founded DataSport Inc. (the company that would eventually morph into MarketWatch though a series of mergers and partnerships) with $500,000 from friends and family. He almost ran out of money early on. After a wild ride on the public market, Larry sold MarketWatch to Dow Jones for over $500 million in 2004 and went on to become the president of CBS Digital Media until 2006. Hear how Larry lived though two different careers and what he's planning next.

  • Posted on 28 Sep 2009

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    VV Show #59 - Barry Silbert of SecondMarket

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    Barry Silbert


    Any shareholder in a startup can tell you there's a big difference between paper wealth and cash. Short of an IPO or outright acquisition, there are few options to cash out for the shareholders of even the most thriving private companies. Barry Silbert is determined to change that with his company SecondMarket -- an exchange like the NASDAQ for private stock and other illiquid assets. He founded the company in 2004 focused on restricted stock, and quickly reached profitability with only $350,000 in angel funding. The road to this point was not without challenges; Barry's business partner was diagnosed with cancer and passed away as they were establishing the company. In 2008, SecondMarket made $20 million in revenue. Barry's success has not tempered his ambition as he's spent 2009 aggressively moving into new asset classes such as private companies (Facebook stock is already being traded on his platform), limited partner interest in venture capital firms and even California IOUs. Hear how this former bankruptcy banker did it and why he believes "The sky's the limit" for his business.

  • Posted on 19 Aug 2009

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    VV Show #58 - Siamak Taghaddos and David Hauser of Grasshopper

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    Siamak Taghaddos and David Hauser

    "Dial 1 for sales, dial 2 for support..." Ten years ago it cost over $10,000 to get a phone system with the advanced options we're used to hearing when we call big companies. Having a professional-sounding phone system was a surprisingly big challenge for small businesses short on cash. Enter Siamak Taghaddos and David Hauser who launched GotVMail to offer that service at rates starting at only $10 per month in 2003 as they were graduating college. They launched their business with under $200,000 in capital and never raised any more money. They bootstrapped their way to profitability quickly, and are now driving over $10 million in annual revenue. Despite their success, Siamak and David don't believe what's gotten them this far will take them to the next level. So they've just rebranded their company Grasshopper and are getting ready to launch some new products.

    Show sponsor: FreshBooks - an easy online invoicing provider used by Venture Voice


  • Posted on 20 May 2009

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    What Venture Capitalists Are Really Thinking

    I cofounded a company called Sawhorse Media that's making sense of Twitter (Twitter was founded by past Venture Voice guest Ev Williams).

    We decided to launch a new site called Venture Maven to make it easy to follow what VCs and angels are tweeting about. For example, if you were pitching Spark Capital, you could have checked Venture Maven yesterday to see one partner was at the dentist and a principal just got off painkillers after a knee surgery. Better open the meeting with a good joke.

    Please let me know your feedback. We're also thinking of launching a similar site for founders and CEOs.

    You can find Venture Voice on Twitter at @VentureVoice and me personally at @Gregory.


  • Posted on 13 May 2009

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    VV Show #57 - Fabrice Grinda of OLX

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    Graham Hill

    Craigslist seems unbeatable. It's often blamed (or celebrated) for destroying the classifieds business that helped keep American newspapers afloat. Now second-time Venture Voice guest Fabrice Grinda is seeking to dominate online classifieds with OLX, his latest venture. Unlike Craigslist, OLX is translated into many languages and has a global focus. OLX is completely ad supported so there are no fees for job or real estate listings as there are on Craigslist. Still, it sounds crazy to compete with Craigslist. If anyone can do it, it may be Fabrice. When we interviewed him in December, 2005, it was on his last day working as CEO at Zingy, a ring tone provider that he founded and sold for $80 million against all odds. OLX already has 125 employees and 60 million unique visitors per month, but with $28.5 million is venture capital it has a lot of growth ahead of it before it's a success. Hear how Fabrice plans on getting there.

    Show sponsor: FreshBooks - an easy online invoicing provider used by Venture Voice


  • Posted on 28 Apr 2009

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