Startups are complex, and the road to closing on a round can be difficult. No one knows that better than Product Management graduate Yoav Farbey. The Startup Magazine started as his personal website to catalog the lessons learned, trials, and successes of Yoav’s journey as a first-time entrepreneur. It quickly gained traction as a resource for other entrepreneurs going through similar challenges.
What were you doing before coming to General Assembly?
I was a Data Analyst at Hailo, a company dedicated to matching taxi drivers and passengers.
What motivated you to enroll in our Product Management course (PDM)?
I had the ambition to change my career and move to product management from data analysis and take on more responsibilities in running sprints at Hailo, where I was working at the time.
What is The Startup Magazine and how did it get its start?
The Startup Magazine started as a personal website where I discussed and documented my lessons learned from starting and closing my first company. As the website became more popular than I had anticipated, I thought something more could be done with it.
While discussing these thoughts with my friends we decided to open the website up to other entrepreneurs to share their ideas and experiences. This is when I turned the personal site into the Startup Magazine.
At what point did you decide to turn your personal site into a business?
When I started out, the website’s mission was to present my knowledge and experiences as a business owner. Then the website became a platform for other entrepreneurs to share their experiences.
What makes you different from your competitors?
We strive to educate ourselves as much as possible as a team in order to ensure that we ask the right questions that uncover “unconventional knowledge.” We purposefully strive to challenge what has now become conventional knowledge within startups. We want to highlight the complexity of startups, showing the tough decisions that need to be made and the broad range of people that go into making a startup a success.
Tell me about your team.
We are three on the team at the moment. Natasha is now the full-time editor looking after the website and digital magazine. Rio is the digital marketer, looking after our social media and digital advertising campaigns. I focus on business development, finding advertisers, sales partners, and affiliates, as well as anything else that comes our way.
Have you found that any skills have been transferrable from your data science and product management experience?
Definitely task management and time estimations for tasks (from product management), as well as being able to prioritize tasks effectively.
Data analysis has helped in the way of knowing the value of tracking as much as possible on the website and social media. I also know the tools to do so, and have built a few scripts to help.
What are the next steps for The Startup Magazine?
Complete the design work for our premium magazine, launch it to our current readership and gain feedback from them; use that feedback to help make better decisions as to how to educate and delight them through our product.
What does success look like for you?
Reputation. We want businesses to be proud of being featured on our site like they would in TechCrunch or TheNextWeb. We hope authors celebrate being published in the magazine like they would in WIRED or The Huffington Post.
Reach. Have our reach grow beyond our strong community in the UK. We are currently focusing our global efforts on the US and Europe.
Financially. Build a business that can grow from 3 to 50 employees.
Any advice for aspiring entrepreneurs?
When you are running a business you need to focus on the long-term, as well as the short-term goals and targets. For example, you are likely to be occupied by day-to-day tasks of running a business, like fixing immediate problems and worrying about where the next 100 sales are going to come from.
However, you must not lose focus on the long-term goals and targets. For example where do you want your business to be in three years time and how you are going to make the next 100,000 sales?
Our final question: Who’s your favorite teacher and why?
I don’t know the answer to this: I am always learning. Currently, I am learning from Seth Godin and Dan Pink by reading their books. I learn from our guest authors, my team and the companies we feature.
I think the answer for this should be Kate Leto who was the PDM teacher at GA.
Nelson Igunma interviews alumni from around the world as a Success Stories writer for General Assembly.