Lessons Learned From Mark Jacobstein

April 11, 2007

Mark spoke last night as part of a week-long entrepreneurship conference at Stanford sponsored by ASES. Two things that really stood out from his speech were:

1. Pay attention to surprising successes, even if they’re small

When Mark was running Small World Software, there was a die-hard group of about two million fantasy sports players who—get this—would play on paper, calculating all the statistics and scores by hand (obviously this was before Mark brought fantasy sports to the Internet). What tedium! Point is, if there were that many people who would play on paper, there would surely be many, many more who would play on the web.

2. If you can make it so that the customer doesn’t see the money leaving their wallet (i.e. they don’t have to take out their credit card), they will pay for your service

Loopt does this with their “social mapping” software by charging subscribers $3.99/month, but it just appears on their cellular phone bill like any other feature, such as voicemail or text messaging. Genius. Pure genius.

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