Joe Dunn

Summary

Vision, management and motivation.   We love motivating small teams to great things.   We love taking the seeds of new ideas and seeing them grow into products and successful businesses. We love seeing people succeed.

Bio

Joe Dunn is an experienced executive with over two decades of experience building startups.    He was an early member of three startups that became public companies, and took a key role in starting another that had a successful multi-$100M exit.   Since 2009 he has designed and built multiple mobile and web products, and advised startups on strategy and organization.

Joe was a key member of Macromedia’s executive team, helping grow it from a scrappy startup to a successful public company.   At various times he lead engineering, product management and company strategy.   He built the team that became Shockwave.com, one of the first internet casual entertainment destinations, eventually sold to MTV Networks and becoming the massively successful Addicting Games site.

Prior to Macromedia Joe managed engineering at Frame Technology, moving that company to a multi-platform approach which eventually enabled it to go public.

Going way back, Joe was an engineer and engineering manager at Acorn Computers, where the ARM chip was born.

Joe has managed the creation of everything from tiny operating systems to large professional graphics tools to an innovative online entertainment property.

Interests

Lean Startup Approaches.  We’ve worked in startups for over two decades, and the Lean Startup Approach represents the first major shift in thinking about how to build a startup that has occurred in that time.  We are enthusiasts about market development, and creatively testing the basic hypotheses driving a startup at any given time.   Every time we work on a project we learn new techniques and find new tools to make this process more efficient and effective.

Taming the info-storm. The amount of information and opinion coming at us is massive and not going to get smaller any time soon.    Turning that information into meaning I think will be a critical thread in the coming years.   Pinterest and many other services like it hint at how we may personalize, organize and otherwise manage the vast river of data coming our way.    Language analysis and natural language processing will be crucial here.

The self-publishing revolution. This is a pretty massive disruption.   Authors (of anything, but particularly books), can take their product direct to the consumer.   But how can they find their audience?   And how can they do that with limited budgets and limited time.    Many possibilities exist here as the services of traditional publishers are re-invented.

Simplicity.  With a million apps in the store and attention spans measure in single-digit seconds, the design of consumer software has to shift to stripped-down, essential simplicity.   The great apps are focussed, designed around that focus, and do the simple things beautifully.   This isn’t easy, and is a continual learning process.

Finding an Audience. There are tens of thousands of startups in the US alone.   The issue is usually not how to build the product, but how to find the audience for the product in a cost-effective manner.   Social media, SEO and guerrilla approaches (“growth hacking”) get used, but this is becoming the major bottleneck to startup success.   So.  Worth working on.