Defining Moments: Matt Meeker, Bill Warner, Michael Yavonditte, Israel Ganot #SVBCEO

Matt Meeker Co-Founder of MeetUp, Entrepreneur in Residence at Polaris Ventures of DogPatch Labs NYC tells us about the ups and downs of MeetUp.com. When MeetUp went from “free to fee” he lost 80 percent of his customers and upset a lot of people. He emphasized the support system from his advisors, mentors and staff when times were bad. It all ended up working out, but if he wasn’t steadfast he may not have realized the success he has today.

Bill Warner, Founder of Avid Technology, Wildfire Communications and Co-Flow Investing starts the conversation asking everyone about their defining moments. He gets answers ranging from dropping out of school, getting acquired even their first kiss. Bill Warner’s defining moment was at Avid listening to an engineer giving him the idea of one picture and one sound for an editor because “the people would love it.” You know what? They did.

Michael Yavonditte, Founder of Hashable tells us about his experience at Quigo.  His solution was 200% better than Google’s AdSense at the time.  He tells us the story of how he sold for $340 million after denying several offers. It turned out to be an incredibly successful process, but he cites some core team members dragging him down. Some of them didn’t believe in the product as much as he did, but he powered through and learned a lot by doing it.

Israel Ganot, Co-Founder of Gazelle explains how he got involved with Gazelle. Believe it or not, he moved to Boston for his wife after working with companies such as Ebay and PayPal. His defining moment was when he failed to connect with retailers to use their product. They were faced with closing down the business until he had the idea to pivot and focus on consumers. As you probably already know, it turned out to be a very good decision.

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