Redeye VC

Josh Kopelman

Managing Director of First Round Capital.

espite being coastally challenged (currently living in Philadelphia), Josh has been an active entrepreneur and investor in the Internet industry since its commercialization. In 1992, while he was a student at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, Josh co-founded Infonautics Corporation – an Internet information company. In 1996, Infonautics went public on the NASDAQ stock exchange.

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Monthly Archives for 2010

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VIP Treatment

CriticWhen a restaurant owner recognizes a food critic in their restaurant, the critic gets extra-special treatment.  To be a good restaurant critic, you have to be anonymous.  Otherwise, the critic's "picture is posted in every four-star, low-star, and no-star kitchen in town" and they get special service. 

Restaurant owners understand the power of the press -- and go to extreme efforts to ensure that influential customers have a wonderful experience. 
This isn't rocket science -- it's good business! 

Why is it that online businesses don't do the same?  They should!  One of the first things we did after we launched was create a VIP list, containing the email addresses of all influential reporters, competitors, potential acquirers, analysts, and investors.  (Bloggers didn't exist back then - but they would qualify as well).  We then had our system alert us whenever a VIP created an account, purchased an item or listed one for sale.  When a VIP purchased a CD we'd have someone from our customer service group telephone the seller to confirm that it shipped promptly.  When a VIP listed an item for sale, we'd monitor it to see if it sold.  And if a (hypothetical) reporter listed a (hypothetical) book for sake, and it didn't sell quickly, a relative of a
(hypothetical) employee in Oklahoma might (hypothetically) purchase the item...Resulting in a (hypothetical) story in the New York Times offers a good service -- just like most restaurants serve good food.  But, doesn't it make sense to be on your best behavior with influential customers?

Do you have a VIP list for your company?  Do you know what experience journalists, bloggers, analysts and acquirors are having with your product?