The Inside Scoop On Building $1b+ Unicorn Data Company with Nova at

Nova Spivack

In Episode #248 Nathan interviews Nova Spivack, CEO of Bottlenose – a company that uses data mining to predict long-term market trends. Nova’s a notable angel investor, blogger, public speaker, and technological pioneer who’s been involved with everything from the development of Siri to the Daily Dot. Listen as Nathan and Nova talk early-stage investment, big data, and the future of AI.

Famous 5

  • Favorite Book? – Positioning
  • What CEO do you follow? — Myself
  • What is your favorite online tool?— Trello
  • Do you get 8 hours of sleep?— No
  • If you could let your 20 year old self know one thing, what would it be?— That the first internet bubble was actually going to burst…that would have been a great opportunity to sell up!

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 01:10 – Nathan’s introduction
  • 01:45 – Welcoming Nova to the show
  • 03:00 – In 2007 Nova was the first investor in Klout – will net about 100x ROI
  • 04:06 – In 2010 started the Venture studio in LA
  • 05:05 – Venture helped incubate The Daily Dot: the internet’s local news website
  • 06:20 – Idea behind Venture is to ‘produce’ companies: linking money to creativity
  • 07:50 – Produced Daily Dot; Klout; Bottlenose, Live Matrix…
  • 08:20 – Took the CEO position at Bottlenose
  • 09:00 – Early-stage companies don’t need CEOs: they need producers
  • 09:50 – The skill set of a producer is very different to that of a late-stage CEO
  • 09:33 – Omelette currently has around 20 big-brand clients
  • 11:20 – What does Nova think of and the AI trend?
  • 14:10 – How Bottlenose analytics works
  • 15:00 – Real-time analytics across 100 billion data records per day
  • 15:40 – SAS model: annual subscription with annual contracts of $10,000 – $500,000
  • 16:48 – Discussion of Bottlenose’s current fundraising
  • 19:09 – Tabletop entry for big data analytics is around $40 million
  • 21:45 – Famous Five

3 Key Points:

  1. Don’t let early-stage investors take over your company. The skills they have won’t necessarily help you down the track
  2. Humans are always going to be needed for creative tasks. Creativity will become more important as automation kicks off
  3. Focus on improving yourself and your own performance: don’t fret about what anyone else is doing

Resources Mentioned:

  • Freshbooks – The site Nathan uses to manage his invoices and accounts.
  • Host Gator – The site Nathan uses to buy his domain names and hosting for cheapest price possible.
  • Leadpages – The drag and drop tool Nathan uses to quickly create his webinar landing pages which convert at 35%+
  • Audible – Nathan uses Audible when he’s driving from Austin to San Antonio (1.5 hour drive) to listen to audio books.



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