8 thoughts on “And then there were four”

  1. Matt,

    Excellent & informative post. I especially enjoyed the portion on “What We Thought” and seeing the actual outcome of said expectations. This is a true testament to the mindset of the aspiring and optimistic entrepreneur – usually nothing is as smooth or quick as expected in the realm of startups.

    The segment of your article regarding hiring an office administrator early in the company’s life is a very interesting and intriquing point to make; my team and I quickly discovered this little neccissity while attempting to handle all tasks you mentioned ourselves. And as you mentioned, these tasks take EXTREMELY valuable time & energy away from the core competencies & vision of the organization; and while necessary, these tasks should definitely be left to a more qualified and focused team member so that the company can grow quickly and smoothly without administrative snags.

    Overall, great post, Matt. I actually would like to contact you in the near future in order to receive your opinion and advice on a few company situations and “snags.”

    Brandon Mullins

  2. There was a French philosopher (recently deceased) who spoke of what he called a Simulacrum. Simulacrum is described by him (according to translation):

    “Simulation is no longer that of a territory, a referential being, or a substance. It is the generation by models of a real without origin or reality: a hyperreal…. It is no longer a question of imitation, nor duplication, nor even parody. It is a question of substituting the signs of the real for the real”

    Silicon Valley has become a Simulacrum. It is no longer about users, or software for that matter. Its about producing startups… and the product is secondary.

    Ultimately a software company is supported by its users. Even if exceedingly complex licensing arrangements and end user agreements that no one ever reads are employed, the user still is implicitly supporting members who get $8000 sign on bonuses and roses for their wife. Someone ultimately has to pay.

    It always seems to me that efforts such as this are impossibly over-hyped and laden with hubris. When did starting a successful business become a game show?

    finally, why would a sincere effort sacrifice the element of surprise for low-value PR?

    I cant help but suspect yet another churn and dump ploy. dot bomb 2.0.}

  3. Brandon, thanks. Feel free to drop me a line at matt dot brezina at foo dot com (where foo == xobni)

    Josh, Xobni is indeed a sincere effort. We feel it is important to communicate openly to our potential users and team members early and often. Plus, we are just excited.}

  4. Matt, its good to hear you are excited. I for one can’t wait for email to be revolutionized. Your startup gets no ‘Lame’ points. When is the IPO?

    Oh, and welcome to San Francisco, its good to have someone there who wants to do something other than flip condos.}

  5. An interesting article for me because I have a hard time understanding the Silicon Valley method of business development. Clearly from Matt’s bio he is a smart fellow and the valley is filled with similar minds all feeding from one another.
    It is simply odd to me that one week spent coming up with an idea then leads to a 4 plus million investment on something that is not really existent or proven in a market.
    Is this commonplace?
    What is the most common method used by entrepreneurs to find funding for their ideas in the valley? Is there venture firms on every corner or do you have to hit the pavement stalking known investors and rub up against them at a local pub?
    If and when I can afford it, I need to make a trip.

    Congrats Mr. Brezina}

  6. Matt,

    You and your team were obviously very innovative and talented and were for this reason able to reach where you are.

    My question to you is, if you didn’t have the support of Y Combinator, what would you have done differently? I ask because most of us aren’t a part of such a construct…


  7. Hi Matthew-

    The idea evolved over nearly one year, not one week. We knew email was painful and we began the process by making tools for understanding how people use email. By taking that information and interacting with some of the best minds in the industry we were able to create the product and vision which garnered the interest of a lot of investors. We owe so much to our mentors and advisors.


    YC got the ball rolling with respect to introductions, but more importantly helped us focus on the #1 most important thing, making something people want. It is YC’s motto, it is Xobni’s motto.}

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