startups

A 9-post collection

Interview with Fat Lama

Fat Lama are an exciting marketplace startup enabling the borrowing and lending of just about anything. I'm absolutely obsessed with marketplace businesses, and I think Fat Lama is a fantastic example of a true "sharing economy" startup: helping suppliers make money from under-utilised belongings, making it easy to borrow from trusted neighbours, and facilitating fast transactions through a secure and safe platform. Musical instruments is one of their most popular categories, so we've been having some interesting discussions recently about how Encore and FL can team

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Designing for Generosity

Earlier this week, I ordered an Uber to take my family home after a pleasant evening in a Japanese restaurant. When the taxi arrived, my Dad launched straight into conversation with the driver and didn’t stop chatting until the moment we arrived at our house. The journey was smooth and quick, and the driver was incredibly courteous. The jarring moment of the trip came after we had left the taxi and were approaching the front door of our house, when my Dad asked: | “So, did

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How to increase your chances of getting hired as a developer

Encore is growing fast, which means I’ve been in the process of hiring developers for nearly four months straight. In that time, I’ve seen a lot of candidates on a variety of different platforms (we really like Hackajob, Hired, and Angellist) and I’ve gradually become more and more frustrated by the lack of individuality in developer profiles. Here are the five things I wish more developers would do when looking for their next role: 1 / Show me your personal side What makes you

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Announcing our £560k Seed Round

Today, it gives me great pleasure to announce that we’ve raised a new round of investment from a line-up of stellar angels. I’m excited for three reasons.* *Okay, I’m excited for hundreds of reasons, but who am I to question the Rule of Threes? The Encore house band is shaping up nicely. Taken at our home in TechHub London on 20th Oct when we only had 7 team members, this photo is already outdated! 1. Our team has doubled Growing our team was

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Everything I wish I’d known when raising my first Seed Round

Since founding Encore in September 2014, we’ve raised two rounds of funding that would typically be called “Seed” rounds. The first, a modest round in August 2015, enabled us to make our first hires and begin experimenting with paid user acquisition. The second, which closed this month, will allow us to grow our team further and further accelerate our rapid growth. Raising these rounds took six and three months respectively. The good folks at Entrepreneur First prepared us well for fundraising, in a theoretical sense.

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If you use Gmail, you should be using Streak

I’ve talked to a surprising number of people who have never used or even heard of Streak, so I thought I’d share my thoughts on why it’s awesome. Having Streak is sort of like having Gmail on steroids. It’s actually taken me about a year to start using it properly, but I’m saving so much time now that I am. So, without further ado, and in no particular order: 1. Read receipts That little r is Rapportive, which shows you people's

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How to prepare for a startup at university

University is a wonderful, intense and chaotic period of your life. For that reason, it’s also a fantastic time to prepare for life at a startup, which is often wonderful, intense and chaotic all at once. I built my first startup halfway through university, and now I’m the CEO of Encore, so although most of this post will be about starting your own company from a founder’s perspective, a lot of it also applies to being one of the first employees at a

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