On March 28th, 2012, Joe Chin held his Best Practices Meetup at NYU's Stern School of Business. The featured speakers were Jared Hecht of GroupMe and Ben Lerer of Thrillist and Lerer Ventures. The topic of the discussion was Creating New Markets. Jared is a Co-Founder of GroupMe, the group messaging service that was acquired by Skype in August, 2011 for more than $50 million. Ben is the Co-Founder/CEO of Thrillist Media Group (Thrillist, Jackthreads), which has $40 million in revenue and 4 million subscribers. Ben is also Co-Founder/Managing Director of Lerer Ventures, a seed stage venture capital fund which has invested in over 100 media and technology companies.
Jared, who's business philosophy boils down to "make sh*t happen!", sought to create a mobile social network through the creation of GroupMe. He views the large social networks (LinkedIn, Facebook) as too great in scale to effectively provide a communication platform for the mobile networks. The goal of GroupMe was to provide a smaller scope in the place of these larger social networks.
Ben, who's self-admitted and "darker" business philosophy is "if you build it, they won't come", i.e. don't hope (for success, make it happen), founded Thrillist to be a merger of media and commerce at the point of transaction. In creating Thrillist, he identified a hole in the market and attempted to fill it, while building a strong culture among both his subscribers and employees.
In an ironic anecodte, Lerer mentioned how he first started a business as a trick to get into a good business school and that by speaking at this event, in a certain way, he had achieved this.
Best Practices holds ongoing events that explore the methods and practices of key entrepreneurs in NYC's technology community. The events are moderated by Joe Chin, himself and entrepreneur and the Founder/CEO of SourcePad.