Above: Sheetal Dube and Daniel Clancey participate in the regular roundtable of seed fund members. Dube founded AudioName and Clancey started Homeschool Snowboarding.
Below: The seed fund process has brought an infusion of money, ideas and connections. Another purpose of the fund is to develop a spirit of camaraderie and collaboration to invigorate the startup scene.
// Photos by Anthony Pidgeon
“Customers don’t want to answer a whole bunch of questions,” Lander says. “Companies will send out surveys to 100 customers and maybe three fill them out.”
Hively simplifies the feedback process into a few clicks: a smiley face for good customer service, a frown for frustration. The customer can offer more information but doesn’t have to. Employees can compete for higher customer satisfaction rates and managers can get a clearer sense of performance levels.
Two weeks after launching the beta version of the Hively site, Lander signed up an early partner: Expedia. It was such a surprising win at that stage that he called to make sure it wasn’t a joke. It wasn’t. Hively’s 1.0 version came out in September, and the seed fund cash has led to further investor interest. But Lander, who served as a heavy machine gunner with the Marines before he got into software, says he will only accept investments on his terms.
“When I started ShiftWise, I was 28 years old,” Lander says. “I was raising money off PowerPoint slides. That was cool, but I didn’t realize how much of my company I was giving away.”
This time around he intends to keep control over what he builds.