April 9, 2013
If you can’t imagine picking a Chinese restaurant without reading the Yelp reviews, imagine trying to buy hundreds of dollars worth of business software without reliable guidance.
G2 Crowd has created a Yelp for business software, where users post their reviews and ratings. Software gets updated all the time, explains marketing manager Molly O’Hare, so businesses need real-time information rather than the period reports on the best business software that are currently available.
Below, O’Hare gives some wide-ranging answers about life at G2 Crowd.
Tech Cocktail: What’s the hardest lesson you’ve had to learn so far?
Molly O’Hare: We learned that we couldn’t just put a site out there and expect people to come to it on their own. We thought our idea was so brilliant that once our site was live people would just flock to it. Unfortunately, it doesn’t quite work like that, and the challenges of marketing the site and building up our user base have been a reality check for us.
Tech Cocktail: How do you keep your team motivated at the office?
O’Hare: We keep everyone involved in identifying priorities and developing our business road map. Every quarter we take a step back to reflect on what we’ve achieved, where we fell short, and what our plans are going forward. Having the whole team involved and making sure all input is heard gives everyone a greater sense of ownership of what we’re doing and keeps us focused on the overall objectives.
Tech Cocktail: What’s the best entrepreneurship book you’ve read and why?
O’Hare: Everyone on our team is required to read The Lean Startup by Eric Ries and Peak by Chip Conley. The concepts in these books help govern how we run our company and develop our site. Lean Startup is a great blueprint for starting a project and keeping it on track. Peak reminds us to stay focused on the human element at every stage.
Tech Cocktail: How do you unwind on the weekend?
O’Hare: Spending time with our families and friends. Work-life balance is very important to us; even if the weekdays get a little crazy trying to push features and meet our goals, our weekends are generally reserved for our families and relaxing.
Tech Cocktail: Why should I use your product, in 140 characters or fewer?
O’Hare: Forget analyst reports and biased sales pitches; pick the right software for your company based on authentic reviews from real users.
Tech Cocktail: What’s the most encouraging sign of success you’ve seen so far?
O’Hare: We’ve been encouraged by the numerous validations of our vision that we’ve received. Over and over we’ve had people say to us, “This makes so much sense; why hasn’t it been done yet?” To have so many people see the same need that we saw and get excited about a solution indicates that we’re on the right track to building something that can make a huge impact.
Tech Cocktail: What’s your crazy, long-term, huge vision?
O’Hare: We want to disrupt the traditional software buying process and change the way that companies of all sizes choose software. For mid-sized and smaller companies, we can really eliminate most of the current process. For large companies, we think we can shrink the current 12-month buying process to more like 3-6 months. For example, we believe a project manager can use G2 Crowd to build their short list and gather requirements and responses within a couple of days rather than a few months. We want to be the first place that companies go to when they need to pick software.
Tech Cocktail: What’s one quirky fact about you, your team, or your office culture?
It’s not necessarily quirky, but our whole team has lunch together every day. We order as a group, sit down at the big table in our office, and take a break from our day to eat. Sometimes we talk about work-related topics, but most often we discuss what’s going on in the world, catch up on each other’s lives, or watch funny videos.
G2 Crowd was a showcased startup at our Tech Cocktail Chicago mixer in April.
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