Steve Newman is the Founder of Scalyr which offers a cloud platform for high-speed log management and server monitoring. The company has raised over $30 million from investors such as Google Ventures, Shasta Ventures, or Bloomberg Beta. His most recent company prior to Scalyr, Writely, was acquired by Google to become Google Docs. Steve Newman has co-founded 6 companies so far.
In this episode you will learn:
How to pick an idea that serves you where you are a representative of the customer
How to survey customers to get to product-market fit, quickly
Why he finally raised money for his latest startup, after bootstrapping all the others
What traits to look for when seeking investors
The importance of competition – and of sharing your ideas
The advantage of being the underdog, even against a giant like Google
For a winning deck, take a look at the pitch deck template created by Silicon Valley legend, Peter Thiel (see it here) that I recently covered. Thiel was the first angel investor in Facebook with a $500K check that turned into more than $1 billion in cash. Moreover, I also provided a commentary on a pitch deck from an Uber competitor that has raised over $400 million (see it here).
Remember to unlock for free the pitch deck template that is being used by founders around the world to raise millions below.
About Steve Newman:
Steve Newman is the Founder and Chairman of Scalyr. Steve learned to program at the age of eight and is a lifelong engineer and entrepreneur. Scalyr is the sixth company he has founded. His most recent company prior to Scalyr, Writely, was acquired by Google to become Google Docs. Prior to Writely, Steve started San Andreas Systems (the second graphical web page builder, acquired by Claris), Bitcraft (acquired by Macromedia), and Peninsula Game Works (makers of Spectre). He also spent a few years at Intuit, where he built the Quickbooks Customer Manager. Steve studied mathematics at the University of Michigan and received his Master of Computer Science at Stanford University.
Connect with Steve Newman:
* * *FULL TRANSCRIPTION OF THE INTERVIEW:
Alejandro: Alrighty. Hello everyone and welcome to the DealMakers show. Today, we're going to speak with someone that has the engineering chops, and I think that we're going to learn quite a bit from all of his experience. So without further ado, Steve Newman, welcome to the show today.
Steve Newman: Thank you.
Alejandro: Steve, originally from Ann Arbor, Michigan. How was life growing up there?
Steve Newman: It was nice. It's a college town. It's the University of Michigan. I grew up outside of town. Just a nice, classic, mid-western upbringing with the addition of a computer. I was one of those kids who was on my computer from a young age. A nice place to grow up.
Alejandro: Cool. At what point did you start engaging with mathematics and with computers?
Steve Newman: It was pretty early on. My father was in the computer business, and he brought a Commodore PET home when I was eight years old. I started learning to code in Basic all the way back then.
Alejandro: Really cool. Then you got your mathematics degree from the University of Michigan, and then you did Stanford. What was Stanford about? What happened there. Were you studying the Masters of Computer Science?
Steve Newman: Yes. Side note: I never actually finished my undergraduate degree. The Masters in Computer Science is the only degree I ever finished. I dropped out of Michigan to go work at a software startup. A decision I don't necessarily recommend, but it turned out okay. That was mathematics. My passion has always been computers. I found myself working at a software startup. That led to a move out to California. But I never had any formal education in computer science or software.