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

Entrepreneurship

Shit, I can’t even spell it.

E

If I could go back in time, I’d kick my own ass

There’s a scene in How I Met Your Mother where Marshall imagines dropping in right at the point where his teenage self starts smoking, and slugs him. I’ve adopted a mentality that, if at any point I’m able to traverse time a year, even six months, back…. I’d kick my own ass. It has nothing to do with age or maturity – but the cycle of learning is so rapid that...

Celebrate the wins

The typical startup journey involves a lot of failure, which has luckily been embraced by the entrepreneurial community as a positive experience. Beyond the obvious aspect of innovating in a way that, statistically, won’t work, the act of barn-raising a new company is fraught with it’s own issues. The product has bugs. Support times are too slow. Our metrics aren’t adding up...

We do.

Most people won’t. Which means those that do change everything. – Bryce Roberts I credit much of Contactually’s success not to having some secret sauce (at the outset), being right, hiring the smartest people in the room, or anything else that would qualify as a competitive advantage. That’s important for other reasons. We’re successful because we show up every day, and do...

Why Structo Failed

In 2010, I started working on a startup called Struc.to. It’s dead now, not even worth the hosting costs or domain registration. All that’s physically left is ~300 stickers I never distributed, a standing banner I haven’t gotten around to throwing out, and a dog bowl my wife had made for me (or Astro) as a gift. Struc.to had the chance to be one of the first BaaS (backend-as-a...

Giving Back

When comparing friends’ respective industries, one point of pride for the early stage tech community is the strong focus on giving back and helping those one, two, three billion rungs below you up the venture ladder. I would not be where I am today without the advisors and mentors I’ve connected with – whether I’m on the phone with them every day, or simply exchanged a...

Approaches to Competition

As is common knowledge, competition is an inevitability. There are people with similar ideas as you. There are solutions your desired userbase is already using for the problem at hand. As you grow and start making waves, you’ll be attacked from above, below, and sideways. When first learning about a competitor, I used to think it was game over, and give up. I wasted incalculable years of my...

Never Stop Pushing

We’ve hit some big milestones at Contactually recently. We passed a big internal revenue related milestone, something that, at the outset, seemed like an unattainable goal. We raised over $1 million for our seed round. And our team can’t be fed by a couple of pizzas anymore, and we’re actively hiring. In that time, I’ve seen total carnage around us. The perceived...

Getting into 500.

Everything has to start somewhere. Contactually would not exist without 500 Startups. Rewind back to September 2011. I was running a pretty successful dev shop. Jeff was working for me. Tony had a full time job, and was about accept a position at a later stage startup. Jeff and I had been building the prototype of Contactually since June, a concept that had evolved out of a personal pain I had...

Hunting U-Boats and Taking Advice

It sounds circuitous, but one of the most valuable pieces of advice I’ve received as a founder is on taking advice. When I first sat down with someone who would later become one of my lead investors, he asked me if I had read any books chronicling submarine warfare in World War II. He jumped up to the whiteboard, and starting telling me an anecdote, which has stuck with me to this day. In...

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.