Photo: Boonsri Dickinson, Business Insider
Jeff Fluhr co-founded StubHub in 2000 and was the CEO from its launch until it was acquired by eBay.Last night in San Francisco, Fluhr told the crowd at the Vator Splash startup competition what he learned.
Among the most important lessons: you can benefit a lot by challenging the status quo, so don’t be too quick to listen to the so-called “experts” in your field who will tell you why something can’t be done.
Here are the highlights of his talk:
- If you challenge the status quo, you can do really well — despite what it seems at surface value. StubHub went up against Ticketmaster and challenged the notion of tickets being “sold out.” They also challenged state laws for reselling tickets.
- Trust your instincts. Early on when StubHub raised $600,000, they spoke to the first CEO of Ticketmaster (who was no longer there). He said establishing a legit secondary market for tickets would never happen.
- You need a stomach for a roller coaster ride. After they raised $600,000, they were close to running out of money. They were told no over and over again. Two months from running out of cash, with employees deferring compensation, someone finally invested $1.5 million.
- It’s all about the people. Fluhr took some of the StubHub people and hired them for his new startup Spreecast, a video broadcasting company that is part Skype and part YouTube. He hired them because it was proven that they gave moral support during those lows.
Fluhr ended his talk by giving a demo of Spreecast, and explained his vision for it.
“I believe there is a big opportunity to bring people together face-to-face on the Internet,” Fluhr said. When people think of social video, they think of the dirty problems facing Chatroulette. “We face the same stigma we had with StubHub,” he added.