Story In A Bottle Podcast

If there’s one constant in the startup world it’s that no two companies can follow the same path to reach the same conclusions; LearnVest is no different. Over Ridge Three Valley Zinfandel, CFO and cofounder John Gardner recounts their very comprehensive story. As a hedge founder founder seeking an alternative path, he started the company from the ground up in a partnership between himself and his cousin Alexa. Over time, they grew and evolved that business in both size, offering, and locations, all the while setting and achieving goals only to reset and start the process again. It’s because of this laser sharp process and their keen ability to surround themselves with both subject matter experts as well as be inspired by universally innovative thought leaders which lead to their eventual, successful exit to Northwestern Mutual (and the work doesn’t stop there).

What You’ll Learn:

  • The importance of creating the narrative for your product, especially if it doesn’t exist.
  • How to approach growth incrementally and the importance of being comfortable with evolving the product versus having it all on day one.
  • Why striking a balance in experience with both employees and board members is key.
Direct download: SIAB_JGardner_v3.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:18pm EST

Some people have an entrepreneurial sense ingrained in their very persona, and Liz Wessel is a perfect embodiment of that. In fact, she has been systematically starting and pioneering companies and thought leadership in a real way since her days in college. Since then, after a stint at Google, she’s founded WayUp, a company that is revolutionizing how college students find their first real jobs post-university. Over pickle martinis, Liz shared her matter-of-fact way of pursuing the things that are a “Liz Wessel thing(s) to do,” a gift which gives her ability to see opportunity everywhere. It’s this which inspired her unorthodox path to starting WayUp, how she’s learned to run a company in such a short amount of time, and how not she’s not been afraid to put herself out there to anyone and everyone (and how that’s paid off in great and unexpected ways).  

What You’ll Learn:

  • The power of cold emailing.
  • Why self-awareness and confidence can be the ultimate keys to success.
  • How hacking a hackathon can be the solution to finding your perfect co-founder.
Direct download: SIAB_LWessel_v3.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:36pm EST

Dan Frommer, editor-in-chief of ReCode, has made a career at the crossroads of technology and journalism. Growing up as a tech enthusiast-turned-developer, on the surface it would seem surprising that he ended up in journalism. However, over a variety of hard ciders, he explains how this practical knowledge has served him well, both in creating efficiencies in content development, as well as informing the overall structure to be more conducive to his audience. His tenure as the inceptor of what is now Business Insider, as well as his time as technology editor at Quartz are perfect examples of just how that works, using trial and error to arrive at a new take on often archaic practices in the publishing space.

What You’ll Learn:

  • The importance of brevity and simplicity in journalism.
  • How email is making a comeback and how to use it to your advantage.
  • Why sometimes being both a participant in tech and a journalist can be morally tricky, and where to draw the line.
Direct download: SIAB_DFrommer_v3.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:26am EST

When it comes to content and the internet, Elizabeth Spiers is one of the most influential names in the business. Born and raised in rural Alabama, Elizabeth changed the face of writing for the web when she became Cofounding Editor of Gawker, establishing one of the best-known, snarky voices on the internet; then just a blog that she maintained exclusively for $1200 per month. Since, she’s taken great strides, experiencing roles at the likes of the NY Observer and most recently co-piloting EverUp in collaboration with Flavorpill, all the while maintaining the drive to make as much impact in this ever-changing landscape. Over Muriel Rioja, she shared with us her points of view about morality in journalism and abandoning archaic revenue streams in order to continue to fight the good fight for content on the web.

What You’ll Learn:

  • When building something from scratch why short term obstacles should not stand in the way of long term goals.
  • Why owning your own failure is the key to avoiding compromise.
  • The importance of sticking to your values, even if it’s a riskier path to success.
Direct download: SIAB_ESpiers_v3.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:00am EST