Tweet I seem to be very bad at keeping this blog up to date (as you can see from the last 4 months). A lot has happened this year and I thought I would sum it all up for myself and you.
January – Heyzap Launch
In January we launched Heyzap, we were very focused on launching as quickly as possible and we had to work hard to meet the demands of our partners. We worked very long hours launching new sizes, APIs, reworking the front page and number other critical pieces for our product.
March-April – Raising money
Raising money from Y Combinator is very different from raising money from Angels/VCs. Although Jude and I have both done business for 2 years this is the first time we were pitching to investors and raising a sizable chunk.We found out we had a lot to learn and Y Combinator alumni were a great resource for us during this phase. We then reached Y Combinator demo day in the right place. We had some investors interested and the product was doing really well.
We closed our funding with Albert from Union Square Ventures Leading, Naval Ravikant (Hit Forge), Joshua Schachter (Delicious) and Maurice Werdegar (as an angel but a WTI partner) also took part.
April - Swinefighter
In early April, Jude and I had the idea of doing a Swine Flu game: Swinefighter. This was inspired by the success of Sock and Awe and we thought it would be funny and successful. This deserves another blog post but it was truly successful. It was featured in TIME, USA Today, Reuters and a ton of other places. It had millions of game plays. The overall exercise probably took 2 weeks from conception to peak distribution and taught us a lot about creating massive word of mouth successes and how the press works.
May onwards – Scaling
James, an old friend of Jude and I, joined the team. We also have a couple of interns now and are recruiting. It is really cool to be a larger team and have our vision combine with new blood and push the product forward. We are going to grow as aggressively as possible.
May-July – Heyzap Payments
Heyzap payments launched this month. There is a lot of engagement in flash games both on the Heyzap platform and thousands of portals, we thought there was a huge opportunity to integrate virtual goods in a better way and monetize users directly. Launch has been great, here is a game with Heyzap payments that I love: Mobster Defense
Albert and USV have really exceeded my expectaitions in terms of intelligent support and advice they give us. I have learnt a lot about investors in this time and I am pretty much certain we chose the best investors).
Heyzap goes through phases of working very hard on a given objective. It really is exhilarating.
The list of things I have learned and what I want to talk about in the future include understanding press, how to raise funding, how to iterate. A lot about partners. How to build scalable systems. How to burn the fire when it is in place.