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Dealing with Goliath Andy McLoughlin
I am co-founder / strategy director at Huddle.net Huddle is a network of secure online workspaces for team collaboration Huddle was launched in April 2007 HQ in London, sales  office in Chicago Growing fast (8 to 35 people in 12 months) A little bit about me...
Who wants to build a $10M+ company?
Who wants to build the next $100M+ company?
Going big, quickly Viral growth (Twitter) Acquisition (Writely) Deep pockets (Zoho) Partnerships
Partners = WIN (for Huddle.net)
A Very Civil Partnership Huddle provides the application Partner provides the network / leads / customers / sales force Co-brand the application Revenue share on Huddle subscriptions and advertising Everyone gets rich and goes home early Easy, right?
Not quite!
The early days Use nice graphics from the website (or ask Keh) Partnerships are bloody hard work!
Two very different partnerships
LinkedIn.com Huddle.net
How it came about
Facebook POC
LinkedIn mock ups
Count down!
Development: Moving from fragile to agile Building the thing
Internal Vs External Dev Internal Development Complete control Known high quality No OS expertise Opportunity cost External Development Flexible resource OpenSocial expertise Variable quality Additional cost Lack of control
Existing API Architecture PHP Application on Linux Server C# ASP.net  Application on Windows Server Huddle API Private SOAP API
Proposed Solution: “Quick Win!” PHP Application on Linux Server C# ASP.net  Application on Windows Server Huddle API Private SOAP API Open REST API (http://my.huddle.net/api)
Issues No such thing as a quick job New API calls Application changes Project management Marketing preparation
Scaling
One of only six global partners on LinkedIn’s OpenSocial platform October 2008
Lessons Learnt (OpenSocial) Never outsource build of a core product! Technical debt = FAIL Especially to a company on the other side of the world Working across 4 time zones = EPIC FAIL There is no such thing as a quick job Be conservative on uptake stats and work out your CPA – is it worth it? Don’t film in a basement!
Was it worth it? Absolutely YES!
OpenSocial - the Future’s bright Re-use the Huddle Workspaces app across other networks Ning OS launching in mid June 2009 3 rd  OS launch in late June OpenSocial portability is still an issue (~£8,000 to roll out a new network)
“ How do I get on the platform?” Honest answer:  be lucky Have ‘an in’ to the platform team Meet face-to-face Have an application they need Demonstrate ability to deliver and scale No new applications for 3 to 6 months  
InterCall.com Huddle.net
An ‘unsexy’ deal (about 15 months in the making!)
Money, money, money
“ I have a cunning plan” Co-brand the Huddle app for InterCall Let InterCall bill them Inclusion on all InterCall setup emails Placement on InterCall homepage Get their sales people to create Huddle accounts on initial call to new customers Mass provision existing 1M+ accounts Easy upsell to Huddle Enterprise for $$$ Manage it all from London
Making it work Technical challenges Legal challenges Sales challenges Marketing challenges Cultural challenges
May 2009
Lessons Learnt (The Big Co) Engaging the top level vision is easy You need to engage ‘the army’ Bridge the gap - you’re one step removed. Need feedback of what is / isn’t working Clear value proposition for their customers Be ultra-conservative on revenue estimates Be prepared for everything to take twice as long as you’d hope!
Was it worth it? Absolutely YES!
Partnerships – A Summary Good partnerships  can  deliver everything you want but... Be realistic  Pick your battles wisely Be prepared to invest Be prepared to wait Be prepared to argue, argue, argue Remember that David beat Goliath!
Thank you! Email: andy@huddle.net Twitter: @bandrew Promo code: 1MONTHFREE

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FOWA Tour- Andy McLoughlin

  • 1. Dealing with Goliath Andy McLoughlin
  • 2. I am co-founder / strategy director at Huddle.net Huddle is a network of secure online workspaces for team collaboration Huddle was launched in April 2007 HQ in London, sales office in Chicago Growing fast (8 to 35 people in 12 months) A little bit about me...
  • 3. Who wants to build a $10M+ company?
  • 4. Who wants to build the next $100M+ company?
  • 5. Going big, quickly Viral growth (Twitter) Acquisition (Writely) Deep pockets (Zoho) Partnerships
  • 6. Partners = WIN (for Huddle.net)
  • 7. A Very Civil Partnership Huddle provides the application Partner provides the network / leads / customers / sales force Co-brand the application Revenue share on Huddle subscriptions and advertising Everyone gets rich and goes home early Easy, right?
  • 9. The early days Use nice graphics from the website (or ask Keh) Partnerships are bloody hard work!
  • 10. Two very different partnerships
  • 12. How it came about
  • 16. Development: Moving from fragile to agile Building the thing
  • 17. Internal Vs External Dev Internal Development Complete control Known high quality No OS expertise Opportunity cost External Development Flexible resource OpenSocial expertise Variable quality Additional cost Lack of control
  • 18. Existing API Architecture PHP Application on Linux Server C# ASP.net Application on Windows Server Huddle API Private SOAP API
  • 19. Proposed Solution: “Quick Win!” PHP Application on Linux Server C# ASP.net Application on Windows Server Huddle API Private SOAP API Open REST API (http://my.huddle.net/api)
  • 20. Issues No such thing as a quick job New API calls Application changes Project management Marketing preparation
  • 22. One of only six global partners on LinkedIn’s OpenSocial platform October 2008
  • 23. Lessons Learnt (OpenSocial) Never outsource build of a core product! Technical debt = FAIL Especially to a company on the other side of the world Working across 4 time zones = EPIC FAIL There is no such thing as a quick job Be conservative on uptake stats and work out your CPA – is it worth it? Don’t film in a basement!
  • 24. Was it worth it? Absolutely YES!
  • 25. OpenSocial - the Future’s bright Re-use the Huddle Workspaces app across other networks Ning OS launching in mid June 2009 3 rd OS launch in late June OpenSocial portability is still an issue (~£8,000 to roll out a new network)
  • 26. “ How do I get on the platform?” Honest answer: be lucky Have ‘an in’ to the platform team Meet face-to-face Have an application they need Demonstrate ability to deliver and scale No new applications for 3 to 6 months 
  • 28. An ‘unsexy’ deal (about 15 months in the making!)
  • 30. “ I have a cunning plan” Co-brand the Huddle app for InterCall Let InterCall bill them Inclusion on all InterCall setup emails Placement on InterCall homepage Get their sales people to create Huddle accounts on initial call to new customers Mass provision existing 1M+ accounts Easy upsell to Huddle Enterprise for $$$ Manage it all from London
  • 31. Making it work Technical challenges Legal challenges Sales challenges Marketing challenges Cultural challenges
  • 33. Lessons Learnt (The Big Co) Engaging the top level vision is easy You need to engage ‘the army’ Bridge the gap - you’re one step removed. Need feedback of what is / isn’t working Clear value proposition for their customers Be ultra-conservative on revenue estimates Be prepared for everything to take twice as long as you’d hope!
  • 34. Was it worth it? Absolutely YES!
  • 35. Partnerships – A Summary Good partnerships can deliver everything you want but... Be realistic Pick your battles wisely Be prepared to invest Be prepared to wait Be prepared to argue, argue, argue Remember that David beat Goliath!
  • 36. Thank you! Email: andy@huddle.net Twitter: @bandrew Promo code: 1MONTHFREE