Numbers in Action

If you haven’t heard, Referly is switching gears to avoid becoming a “Zombie Startup”, and we’ve already posted a high level summary of our metrics on the front page of our site. This post is part of my ongoing retrospective, which is helping me get some closure while we incubate our next direction as a company. Until 3 weeks ago I woke up early every day, eager to check our internal dashboard, Amazon Associates and Skimlinks and update a couple spreadsheets, set a goal or two for the day to…

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Startup Gangnam Style PREVIEW TRAILER

Full length music video COMING SOON! Gangnam Startup Style Teaser from Fawaz Al-Matrouk on Vimeo. View more pictures and video stills here Huge thank you to so many people for helping us make this drunken post Demo Day idea into a reality! From a couple beers and a night of K-pop, to many practice sessions, to a Facebook group of over 350 helpful friends who let us crash a wedding at 111 Minna, film at the original Facebook house, visit the set of the upcoming Bravo reality series on Silicon…

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Scaling Myself

One of things that excites me most about building Referly is that I am able to take figuring out the best method for acquiring customers to a whole new scale.  Instead of working as the head of marketing for a single company, I can now literally participate in the customer acquisition planning and execution of thousands. Referly API: Leverage Existing Users with Refer-a-Friend The most obvious use case for Referly is to set up a refer-a-friend program on a business website and encourage existing users to participate by sharing their…

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Startup Metrics to Obsess Over

I obsess over my startup’s metrics. I constantly have Google Analytics realtime running in my browser to monitor traffic on Referly, and throughout the day I check it to see how many people are concurrently visiting our website (scroll to bottom to watch video on how to use this tool). I can see how many are new and how many are returning, where they came from and which parts of the site their are viewing, all within a glance. The psychology of this quick data dump into my brain is…

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Got 99 Competitors and Bit.ly is One

When you launch a company suddenly everyone is a competitor, or so it feels. Then you realize everyone you thought was a competitor might also be a partner at best, and a distraction at worst.  Next you realize your idea is changing so rapidly, fueled by customer feedback and sleepless nights hacking on new features or just eating your own dogfood, that you aren’t totally sure how you fit with anyone anymore. Today TechCrunch wrote that my company Referly is making gains against Bit.ly after their recent redesign stumble.  We…

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How I Earned $34.91 with Referly

Its been two weeks since we launched Referly to the world, and I’m proud to report that I’ve earned $34.91 using the service to share products I own and love.  I’ve tried to act like a (somewhat) normal person with Referly and only share things I’m proud to vouch for, either because they already belong to me or because they were suggested to me by a trusted friend. At this rate, I’ll earn over $900 in a year – so I’m already thinking about what I want to save up…

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Saying No

I love saying yes.  I love helping people, and being generous with my time whenever I can.  I love being a mentor.  I love the brain dump, having my brain picked and picking others, coffee, chats, happy hour, walks around SOMA, lunch, drinks, late night drives and all the other social activities that I’ve used over the years to build relationships, dispense advice, and make memories and connections. I love my friends, our regular spots to eat out, drink, brunch, lunch, gossip, bitch, support each other, and hang out. I…

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Timeline: Starting Referly Took Me Three Years

On Monday we launched Referly, and announced we will be participating in YCombinator this summer. While this is only my second full-time week as a founder, I thought it would be fun to rummage around in my email and Github to grab a timeline of how Referly went from idea to actual company. As Kim-Mai Cutler of TechCrunch reported, I haven’t been particularly secretive about the idea. I’ve gone through period of active and passive engagement with this idea since October 2009, and got really serious about just this past…

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