“We really tried to leverage the blogosphere. We had a relatively unique idea at the time we launched. So we put the word out to bloggers. We put the word out to our friends. We created product features that gave people an incentive and an opportunity to invite other people. We experimented with finding Google AdWords. We optimized all of our pages for search engines.”
The Secret Sauce
“I think the secret sauce was creating ways for moms to communicate with each other, really allowing moms to talk to each other and to understand who they were speaking with. So [having] profile pages that let you know who you were talking with was important.”
Angels on the Wing
“I put together a PowerPoint deck that was an overview of our vision and what we had executed to date. I first reviewed it with my advisors and some of my investors and then started taking it out to the angel world, and that got more and more people interested.”
Be an Open Book
“As a general point of philosophy, I really believe that there should be very few secrets. As an entrepreneur, it is in your best interest to vet your ideas as much as possible, with as many different people as possible, because they only get better that way.”
A Happy Ending
“For an entrepreneur, I guess there are three different possibilities. One is you build a lifestyle-cash-flow-positive business. The second is you sell. And the third is you have an IPO. The third, I never anticipated. That wasn’t the kind of business we were in. The first was not really a possibility. So really, the second, an exit, was what we were shooting for. We didn’t think that it would happen as soon as it did, but we were very excited when it did.”
That Elusive Balance
“My kids and my family come first, but I also really like my job, and I get a lot out of working. So, honestly, it’s a huge struggle. I think that, for ladies who launch, they need to figure out what kind of balance they want to strike, because I do spend a lot of time away from my kids. If you are going to start a business, it requires time away from your family, and you’re also distracted constantly. I’ve found myself reading books to my kids and thinking about my business. So you really have to think long and hard about what kind of life you want for yourself and your family before you create something. Even today it’s still a struggle.”
This Featured Lady was profiled by Sarah Tomlinson, a freelance writer in Los Angeles.
Ladies Who Launch is asking you … what do you think of Ann’s advice? Let everyone know in the Comments section below!