Sorry for the hiatus in blogging. So much had happened so quickly; I wish I were able to write more because there’s so much that I want to share over the past 3 months but it’s almost impossible to keep up. I will have to say that there are a lot of ups and downs for sure; the roller coaster never ends. I promise to write another post on the trials and tribulations of building a company post-funding, hiring for company culture, how to think about competition and other good stuff.
Nonetheless, September and October have been a very busy and exciting time for CityPockets. Here’s what happened:
– We launched an updated version of our mobile apps (available on iTunes and Android Market, download now if you haven’t already!) which lets you buy, sell and manage daily deals on-the-go. GigaOm and CNET wrote a glowing review of our new app.
– We found out that and upwards of $1.2 billion (holy moly!) worth of vouchers are at risk for expiring before it gets redeemed through our very first infographics, which I unveiled and presented at the Daily Deal Summit in San Francisco on 9/23, that was subsequently featured on Mashable & ReadWriteWeb.
– We announced our partnership with 8coupons on Tech Crunch to become a one-stop shop for daily deals – CityPockets users can now search for live daily deals directly on CityPockets as well as manage their vouchers directly on 8coupons.com. This has been an amazing partnership so far and I look forward to more!
More good stuff press and interviews (figured I’ll document them here on my personal blog):
9/14/11: I was interviewed for an executive profile on Portfolio.com
9/18/11: CityPockets was featured on 9News in Colorado and you’ll hear a snippet of my interview through the radio!
9/19/11: Tips on how to handle daily deal sites with care by NYDailyNews (photo above taken by Daily News photographer)
9/21/11: Featured as the must-have tool to manage your ‘Family Economics’ by S.C. Johnson
9/29/11: When I was in San Francisco, I was lucky enough to be interviewed for CityPockets on ABC7 – SF Live Online. The best part of it was appearing right after the famous Chelsea Lately comedian Jo Koy, who was hilarious on stage and definitely lighten up the live audience right before my segment. So honored to be sharing the stage with him!
One of the highlights of my trip out to San Francisco was actually when I went to a club to dance one night and chatted up a random guy from a birthday table who asked what I did. When I told him I run a startup called CityPockets in NYC, he gasped and pulled out his iPhone to reveal the CityPockets app on his phone! He told me that he was a huge CityPockets fan and have been waiting for years for this app. He was somewhat in disbelief to have met its founder and poured me endless champagne throughout the night 🙂 It was somewhat of a surreal moment for me at that time… I kept wondering what are the chances of some stranger having a CityPockets app! It’s good to know that you’re getting closer to “making it” when that happens. These are the moments that keep me fighting for my startup and makes me feel that all the sacrifices I’m making will eventually pay off.
9/30/11: We were named as a survival tool in deluge of daily deals by the U.S. News.
10/6/11: On BNET TV Live (hosted at CBS Interactive), I was interviewed by Laurel Touby of Mediabistro and Jennifer Hill about my startup journey and overcoming entrepreneurial challenges to eventually raise a series seed and run a successful company.
10/11/11: On Rob Woodridge’s Untether.TV, I talked at length about the void CityPockets is filling in the daily deal space and what our strategy and product roadmap is for the near future.
10/15/11: I mentored at the NYC Lean Machine Startup Weekend. This time, the event was held at the new design-focused co-working space called Grind, which was a bright open space that was refreshing. I enjoyed meeting young, eager entrepreneurs and it reminded me of when I was in their shoes just last year, when I participated in the first ever LSM.
10/20/11: I took Jill Nicolini, the gorgeous well known newscaster from Fox 5 Good Day New York on a 2.5-hour shopping trip with CityPockets’ mobile app around Chelsea / Flatiron! It was such a fun segment an I love that they’re actually showcasing how people can use our app to purchase secondary deals for instant redemption or redeem their own vouchers on-the-go. I’m not sure when this segment will be edited and aired on the show but I’ll keep you posted!
Coming up next:
10/26/11 (afternoon): I’ll be doing a live demo of CityPockets and presenting data on our infographics at the Street Fight Summit conference.
10/26/11 (evening): I’ll be skyping with Cornell MBA students and imparting some tips on how to get a job at a startup, apart from answering questions on my startup journey.
11/10/11: I’m supposed to be speaking on a panel at DCWeek on Mobile Apps: From Smartphones to Tablets and Beyond (designing for mobile audiences) at 11am. However, I might have to be in SF all that week and have to cancel 😦 Can you believe that flying to DC ($320) costs just as much as flying to SF ($340)??
In December, I’ll be mentoring and teaching classes to a group of startups selected by the Founders Institute in Singapore (12/14), Jakarta (12/21) and Hanoi (12/23). Super excited to be imparting my knowledge on product development to Asia. Having lived in Asia for the first 18 years of my life, I hope my background will help bridge any cultural gaps.
Phew, that was a lot of bling-bling updates…. and I hope it didn’t sound too self-promoting. I really just want to at least chronicle our branding and publicity accomplishments so far and eventually write a blog post on how to do PR effectively, what to avoid, pitfalls, etc.
More blog posts to come soon!