Reece Pacheco is co-founder and CEO of Shelby.tv, a way to discover and enjoy the video your friends are sharing.
Name, Age, Current Occupation: Reece Pacheco, 28, CEO of Shelby.tv
My start-up path: Well after school I wanted to travel. I did that. And I wanted to work in Hollywood. I did that. I wanted to play professional lacrosse. I did that. And then I saw this idea that I had a gut instinct about. We went for it. We bootstrapped and tried to build a real product that people would pay for – and we got there. I tended bar three nights a week to pay my rent, Dan built Founders Card, Joe even walked dogs. We bootstrapped. We finally started raising a little money, and applied for TechStars which brings us up to today.
I start my day at _____ and end my day at ______. Ha…I’m all over the place – I don’t sleep much.
What’s your role at Shelby.tv? I’m the CEO. I’m the pace car.
How did you determine roles with your co-founders? We’re each in a role that emphasizes what we’re naturally good at - I can meet people and understand quickly who they are and build a relationship. Dan has an amazing technical mind, and Joe focuses on product development and community engagement.
My initial idea for the company has (or has not) changed over time: Shelby.tv started with the idea of Instapaper for video, but we quickly learned we really wanted three things: Discovery – Sharing – Community. Our initial idea was to enable users to bookmark videos and see what their friends were watching. Our alpha version allowed those two features plus broadcasting to your own channel. Then we stripped down to just what videos your friends are watching. It’s easy to get feature creep – you know, it’s when you say just one more feature…We’re trying to not mess it up.
Why did you decide to apply for TechStars? At first, we thought we didn’t need TechStars - we already had a product and were making money. Then we talked to Dave Tisch and realized TS is an accelerator program - not an incubator program. It takes a company from where it is to way further than you would have been otherwise. The decision to actually do TS was easy – 6% of your company is nothing in the long term for the mentorship, the connections you make and being able to be in the program. We were surrounded by amazing companies like Red Rover, an already profitable company, and then first time companies like Nestio. In an environment like TechStars, you learn as much from your peers as you do from your mentors.
What was it like to work with the TS mentors? Most of them are really high profile in the tech scene. We would email our mentor group (about 20 mentors) weekly with updates on the company. Once a week, we would sit down with our ‘lead’ mentors. There was a really high level of engagement – people would suggest leads for people we’re looking to hire, alpha testers, people to spread the word and teach us about biz dev and product feedback.
TechStars is over - so what now? The program ends and there’s a giant sigh of relief, but now that we’re out of the sandbox, the work really begins. Now we have to go out there and prove ourselves.
The best piece of legal advice I ever received was: When we were looking for representation, we got introduced to a bunch of lawyers. It just came down to who we personally wanted to work with…at the end of the day, I had a bunch of personal references for one guy. And we got along really well, so that was it. (One of the best and easiest decisions we’ve had to make).
The greatest lesson I’ve learned over the course of my experience as a founder is: Trust, communication and optimism are all key to working successfully with your team.
Right now, the books I’m reading are: My friends and I actually have a book club. We get together every two months or so. We started with God’s Debris by Scott Adams which is a great read. Atlas Shrugged is another favorite. Deep Survival is also a great book about survival and why certain people survive different scenarios. One of my favorite books is Dove, about a kid who sailed around the world solo at age 16. I’m clearly a dreamer, optimist and adventure seeker. Check out my blog [reecepacheco.com] for my suggested reading list for entrepreneurs.
This post was authored by Nithya Das.