Story In A Bottle Podcast

By her resume alone, it’s no surprise that Jessica Beck is a successful startup founder: from her roots at Harvard Business School and experience at McKinsey, she has been brought up with a sustainable business acumen. However, as she describes over a bevvy of micro IPAs, this sort of formal training can only take you so far. There was a lot she had to learn on the job  when creating her product, Alfred, which bridges the service industry with the on-demand expectation of users by providing the everyday person with a personal assistant, or “Alfred,” to help with their intimate daily tasks (think: errands, shopping, laundry) … without them ever actually meeting.

What You’ll Learn:

  • As a founder, knowing when you should ask for help (in both funding and roles)
  • The benefit of knowing how to do every job in your company
  • How a lightweight, non-digital version of your product is the best proof of concept
Direct download: SIAB_JBeck_v3.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:26am EST

Online dating is a crowded space and becoming increasingly so across platforms. Seemingly a new phenomenon over the past few years, this extreme growth could be attributed to a time in 2011 when, within two weeks of each other, Tinder and Hinge launched and changed the game as we knew it. Hinge’s founder, Justin McLeod, had been working on the app for two years, pushing off a start date at McKinsey until he finally decided to make the app his full-time job. Over grapefruit La Croix, Justin discusses the evolution of the online dating space and how to differentiate in such a saturated industry.

What You’ll Learn:

  • The data showing difference in gender behaviors on dating apps and the impact on the products
  • Where and when the content of a dating profile matters
  • How to approach launching a product that requires people to be on it for true success
  • Defining success from a business perspective and the surprising front runners in the industry
Direct download: SIAB_JMcLeod_v3.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:47am EST

One of the most important and valuable commodities in the digital world is data. However, accessing and harnessing this powerful resource can be intimidating; that’s where Hilary Mason and her team at Fast Forward Labs step in with their goal to demystify these complexities and instill confidence in their clients. As a computer scientist, Hilary has spent her career fascinated how by how she can use her programming skills, deductive reasoning, and strategic thinking to help create new, useful, and often necessary digital products. Over crisp apple cider, she discusses her experience as the chief scientist at and how that lead to her deciding to create her own thing.


  • The tenets of what makes a great computer scientist
  • How computer science (and it’s subset data science) is completely accessible
  • Why data can hold the secrets to everything you need to know about your product or audience
Direct download: SIAB_HMason_v3.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:11am EST

The world of venture capital in New York City tech has changed significantly in the past decade with access to investment for early stage companies becoming more and more challenging. Enter Notation Capital and it’s co-founder, Nick Chirls, who believes that there’s a gap for seed stage investments that he and his team intend to fill. And Nick knows the NY Tech scene. Over beers provided by Alphabet City Beer Company, he walked through his disgust with the traditional finance world and why he left it to explore the startup world, ultimately landing as a the head of investments at BetaWorks.

What You’ll Learn

  • How investors choose their first investments
  • The importance of sticking to your thesis as a VC
  • How the evolution of older, larger funds has hurt early stage tech companies
  • The challenges of being in an equal partnership
Direct download: SIAB_NChirls_v3.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:09pm EST