Dec 15, 2011 On Our Blog

Visiting YouTube and the Infamous Slide

Rounding out our last field trip for the year – we rendezvous’d over to San Bruno to visit YouTube HQ! Thanks to Jarek Wilkiewicz, Brian Glick, and Shiva Rajaraman for hosting us. Brian kicked it off with a presentation on how to engage your audiences online via YouTube. Among the many nuggets of valuable info in his presentation, this one in particular was interesting. The 4 rules of engaging audiences online, per Brian:   Create Buzz   Build Loyalty   Optimize for the Platform,   Cross-Promote     Next up was Jarek, who talked about the YouTube APIs and some interesting tips and upcoming features. Interesting to note that several 500 Startups companies utilize the YouTube API, includingSwitchcam (who’s also …


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Dec 14, 2011 On Our Blog

The design we built, and threw away for a good reason.

Jeannie Nguyen (@omfgjeannie) is a designer for Lexity (@lxty). What up. Jeannie here, designer at Lexity. So, you know our current site? Yeah. Definitely not what we first designed. We took a couple of months to design and build our new site, and threw it all away at the last minute – building what you can see now at lexity.com. In fact, we were going to launch with this: Totally different! So why did we scratch this design after we took a lot of time building it? I’ll start from the beginning. 5 months ago, when I was still an intern, I randomly made a very rough draft of what I thought our site could look like: I wanted to …


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Dec 14, 2011 On Our Blog

Google Friday

After a fun field trip to Facebook, next up was Google! The 500 Accelerator batch spent last Friday morning at Building 1950 on the Google campus in Mountain View, CA. We were hosted by the Google Developer Relations team. Thanks Stephanie Liu, Martin Omander, and all the DevRel team members who took time out of their busy schedules to spend time with us. After some caffeine and food, the day kicked off with lightning presentations from each Google speaker. In about an hour, we zipped through the following topics: Iein Valdez opened the show with an overview of how Google views the Cloud, and App Engine Pete LePage spoke on Chrome, HTML5 and shared tips and tricks for getting featured in …


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Dec 7, 2011 On Our Blog

Hanging Out At Facebook

Field trips to platform companies are one of the most anticipated events of the accelerator program. Yesterday, the current 500 Accelerator batch visited Facebook in Palo Alto, CA. Lots of fun was had by all, and everyone enjoyed meeting the Facebook team. (as well as the delicious snacks and drinks in the kitchen!) Cat Lee, Facebook Platform team and 500 Mentor, kicked it off with an overview of the Facebook platform and Operation Developer Love. The rest of the afternoon was filled with great speakers on Open Graph, Facebook Ads, mobile distribution, and more. 500 Mentors Luke Shepard, George Lee, and Brian Rosenthal were also in attendance. (Brian spoke about Ads) All in all, it was an awesome field trip …


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Dec 6, 2011 On Our Blog

Building a Startup Is Still Hard

Jeff is the CEO and cofounder of Daily Aisle. It’s the only place where engaged couples can search for their wedding venues based on date availability, price and head count. Prior to Daily Aisle, Jeff managed the Brokers Web insurance affiliate program and was an investment banking analyst. Authors Note: I originally posted this on an obscure blog that very few people follow, and it was intended for a few close friends. I didn’t notice that the “send to twitter” option was checked as I published. I am generally a pretty private person and wouldn’t share something so soul-bearing to the world, but I’ve received an overwhelming response from other founders after the post went viral. All of their responses have …


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Dec 1, 2011 On Our Blog

F U Dave McClure (I learned it by watching you!)

Meet Professor X, aka 500 SuperMentor Hong Quan (@hongdquan). An entrepreneur and recruiter building cars and startups, Hong has even hired a real honest-to-goodness rockstar (#3 on Billboard charts).  He uses his superpowers of recruiting and abilities to read and influence human minds to bring young Startupers in to the 500 Institute.  After hand-picking a game development team for John Romero, Hong worked in Corp Dev for Gazillion Entertainment, resulting in the Lego Universe game and an upcoming Marvel MMO. Similar to his namesake, Hong rolls around in a vehicle of his own creation and is going bald working on Outgrown.it. Over the past year I’ve seen 67 startups in the accelerator program,  ~25 co-working at 444 Castro and another ~25 Clients …


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