Last week RookieOven attended the Dublin Web Summit 2012 to cover the event and seek out interviews with some of the most talented and successful founders in the world. At the Dublin Web summit I met with the CTO and co-founder of Eventbrite Renaud Visage. I took notes on how Eventbrite started, and Renaud’s tips for building a successful startup community.
How did Eventbrite start out?
Eventbrite is an online ticketing system. It allows people to create events, market them, sell tickets, collect information from, and engage their attendees. Eventbrite was founded by Renaud and two co-founders Kevin Hartz and Julia Hartz in 2006.
Eventbrite was started when they identified a suitable space in the market. At that time the ‘long tail’ of small events organisers had no suitable tools to serve their needs.
Their vision was to revolutionise the space.
They saw that event organises needed cash quickly. Using PayPal allowed Eventbrite to quickly meet this need for direct cash. Eventbrite also avoided having to develop payment processing features, which has both development time and security implications. The initial package was attractive to event organisers.
They identified the key features to put in their first product: gathering information on the attendees alongside the purchase of the ticket, something that was not previously done with traditional ticket selling.
Eventbrite learnt from their users in the early period, but also worked on the features that fit with the vision of what the tool could be. When users made specific demands they then looked at how the request could apply across all ticket sellers.
Key ingredients of a startup community?
Mentors give you access to networks that you can tap for experience and advice. Eventbrite was lucky in the early days, as the co-founders has already built a good network of contacts, and a positive reputation.
Finance is key for getting your idea up and running. Eventbrite lasted for two years on their initial $250k finance round.
Incubators can provide a sense of validity to a startup. Simply being screened for entry to an incubator can provide a signal that your company has an interesting or worthy idea. It is important to develop your credentials and establish a reputation.
When growing a team Renaud says that it’s a case of working with the resources you have. You find out what talent you can attract on your reputation and finance and build your personal activity around it.
Is it getting harder for startups to build successful products?
Today startups can build a viable product quickly with the tools available now, but the hard thing is building a sustainable business around that product.
The tech space is crowded, but don’t give up hope. Even if there are similar features in other products, just take the example of Facebook and Instagram, people like dedicated tools.
Renaud’s top priority for a new startup founder? Define your product well. Have a specific solution to solve a specific problem for a specific audience.