Zvi Band Coder & Founder. Co-Founder & CEO of Contactually. Organizer of DC Tech Meetup & ProudlyMadeInDC. Always in search of the best breakfast burrito.
Archive

2014

2

2014

2014 was a pretty exciting year for Contactually. There are a lot of qualitative and quantitative advances this year for Contactually. We started the year 15 employees strong, less than a million in annual recurring revenue, and a solid yet buggy product. The growth that the company has seen over 12 short months is nothing short of insane. We’re ending the year with more than 50 people...

Working agreements

As our team has matured over the past year, we’ve started seeing how key strong team leads (e.g. VPs) are for us. And with me as the CEO, it was important for us to align ourselves around how they work with me – what I should expect of them, what they expect of me, and how they run their teams. As every company culture is unique, this wasn’t some boilerplate text taken off a...

Know your history

“Our ancestors have invented, we can at least innovate” – Amit Kalantri When I first jotted down the idea for Contactually, I thought it was unique (otherwise I likely would not have bothered to capture it). As expected, I was wrong. We only found a couple then-active companies with any kind of meaningful feature overlap. However, as we started working more and more on the idea...

The early difference between success and failure

Customer development. A few weeks ago I was walking around DC Tech Day, looking at all the super early stage ventures, some little more than an idea. I normally vehemently shun pessimism, but I couldn’t help but think that the vast majority were dead from the beginning. I couldn’t think of anyone they could call a legitimate customer, and when probing them, the unicorn...

Whitespace

One of the major realizations that I came to was, as the company got bigger, I remained too execution oriented. I’m very good at working on big rocks vs small rocks, but I found that the rocks I was tackling were still not big enough. This was backed up by my advisors, investors, team leads, and coach. I was ready and willing to make the change, but didn’t know where to begin. My...

A company I advised failed yesterday

We made some great announcements at 11 AM yesterday morning. I wasn’t tweeting or posting about it because I was in a meeting. At the same time the internet and our team was celebrating our milestones, I was helping a founder I had been advising for months shut down his company. He’s an incredibly smart guy. He had a big vision – one of those “better the world and make...

Firing Myself

It’s inevitable – and vital – that, as a company scales, a founder has to remove roles from themselves. At first it’s building a team underneath you – specialists, demand fulfillment, etc. Less time is spend on day-to-day execution, and more time is spent planning, overseeing, and managing. But there still may be some bastions of your original role remaining as part...

Charlatans

I’ve been wanting to write this post for a while, as it’s something I’ve often stewed about (when in truth I shouldn’t). There are a lot of charlatans in the startup journey. Charlatans that claim to be angel investors, but haven’t written a check in years, if ever. Charlatans that claim to be working on their startup. Charlatans that will happily advise your...

The Startup Guide to NPS (Net Promoter Score)

A little over a year ago, we were overhauling our metrics, and were looking for a practice for measuring overall happiness, primarily with our product. There are straightforward quantitative metrics you can leverage and track, which we do, such as conversion rates, churn, and ACV. But we wanted a signal that would give us a leading indicator as to how successful we were overall. We happened on...

Culture

I never valued company culture. Culture, mission statement, values – that was all stuff that I never saw anyone pay any attention to other than lip service.¬†Any conversations about values seemed so far removed from the day-to-day of what I was doing. Fast forward to today – Contactually is passing 40 people. Values, mission, culture – that’s what I think about the most...

Zvi Band Coder & Founder. Co-Founder & CEO of Contactually. Organizer of DC Tech Meetup & ProudlyMadeInDC. Always in search of the best breakfast burrito.

Zvi Band

Founder of Contactually.
I'm also passionate about growing the DC startup community, and I've founded Proudly Made in DC and the DC Tech Meetup.