Hooman Radfar is co-founder and CEO of Collective, an online back-office platform designed for freelancers, consultants and other ‘businesses-of-one’. He is also a Venture Partner at Expa, a San Francisco-based start-up venture firm and studio where he was a founding partner (along with Uber Co-Founder Garrett Camp). Previously, he was co-founder and CEO of AddThis. AddThis was acquired by Oracle in 2016.
Recently, Hooman took the somewhat rare step of leaving a perfectly good venture capital job to start a company. In this episode, he describes why the idea he is pursuing felt so compelling he had to make the move. He also discusses his path to building and selling a company, as well as his immigrant parent’s path to the US.
On How Startups Emerge from their Initial State
“There’s this murky period prior to figuring things out which people tend to write out of history. Where you’re kind of trying to find out what’s now called ‘product market fit’. Instagram went through it with Brbn, Twitter went through it with Odeo. You know, you get a group together, you create a chemistry, you start working on projects, and maybe that project works or it doesn’t work. But it takes that initial leap to get that precipitate and go.”
On the Time People Mocked Websites that Were “Collecting Eyeballs”
‘I think the way to express it in modern terms is that when you have a flywheel with effectively a cost of acquisition of zero, it’s uncommon. And I think now people realize how hard that is and how valuable it is because they know the distribution has value, that data has value. There are a LOT of monetization models: premium, ad-supported, data-supported.”
On Why He Started Collective
“There are ‘businesses-of-one”: Freelancers, consultants and whatnot. It’s the largest set of entrepreneurs in the country. And ultimately, if you believe in the next ten years, it could be fifty percent of the workforce. Not just the largest set of entrepreneurs, but the largest part of the workforce. And that’s all I’ve been doing my whole career. And I said, wow, this is amazing. It looks like a straight line in hindsight.”
Hooman Radfar on Twitter https://twitter.com/hoomanradfar