Lean Startup Conversations with Dan Martell of Flowtown, plus GroupFlier and Brazen Careerist

May 4, 2011

2:32 pm

On April 26, 2011, the DC Lean Startup Circle gathered to once again focus on sharing information about starting up and getting valuable feedback about their approaches – all from a “lean startup” perspective. You can watch the entire session here.

The Talks:

We had Dan Martell (@danmartell) via Skype as our guest expert for April’s Meetup. Dan is the co-founder of Flowtown (and Timely.is), a social marketing platform for small businesses. Before that, he formed his first start-up, Spheric Technologies Inc., and watched it grow by an average of 152% per year before he sold the company 4 years later in mid-2008.

Now, this informal angel investor and active advisor spends the majority of his time looking at ways to build a bridge between Silicon Valley and his home province of New Brunswick, Canada. And Dan is also passionately involved in facilitating micro-lending to entrepreneurs in developing countries through the non-profit, Kiva.org.

Dan provided some insight and feedback to two local presenters:

1. GroupFlier is a group texting service that works on any platform and any carrier with no software to install. It’s seeded by Novak Biddle. CEO Morris Panner discussed how they’re using Mixpanel, Google Analytics, and customer surveys to:

  • Learn how people heard about them, what led users to create a group, and where fall off occurs
  • If, after forming a group, users are returning to do it again — and what the process is
  • How many people users put in a group (and how active they are), and
  • Of the people in the group, how many go on to form groups of their own

2. Brazen Careerist is a career management site that provides intelligent conversations and online events to connect professionals with their peers, and job-seekers with employers. Co-Founder and COO, Ryan Healy (@rjhealy), shared what he and his team have learned from three years of trial, error, and two major pivots, including how to:

  • Create a company-wide culture of learning and discovery
  • Test a new product without tarnishing your established brand
  • Use the Customer Development Process to pinpoint the highest margin product use case, and throw away the other options

Bonus Round! Another Expert:
After the presentations, we were thrilled to interview Mark Mcgovern of In-Q-Tel who joined us in-person at the event. Watch the video here.

View past DC Lean Startup Circle events here:

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Jen Consalvo is the Cofounder and COO of Tech.Co. She previously worked in product development for almost 13 years at AOL for audiences of millions. Follow her on Twitter at: @noreaster.

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