6 Questions with James Giancotti, Co-Founder of Oddup

James Giancotti is the Co-Founder and CEO of Oddup, a platform that helps people make informed decisions on startups in pre-seed, seed, Series A and Series B phases.

1. First of all, can you tell us a little about your role and what you do at Oddup?

I am a co-founder and CEO of Oddup. I am responsible for ensuring that my Product Development team, Research team, Sales and Marketing team and Operational team are executing our various growth strategies.

I am also the “public face” of our business, speaking with the press and attending industry events. We are the only company that gives a view on a Start-ups chance of success, so I am often asked for my opinion.

2. Can you tell us a little about your go to market strategy, current growth/marketing channels are working for you right now?

As our customer base is fairly diverse (B2C and B2B) we have a few strategies that we have found effective in order to achieve growth.

Being active in the Start-up Investor community has been extremely useful, but takes a lot of time and resources.

Our marketing team use a mix of email campaigns, referral programs and writing blogs and newsletters for the community.

We have a “Free” section of our website that has been extremely popular and enjoys great MoM growth. These customers are a great place to start when looking for monthly subscribers.

3. What is the biggest mistake you have made with Oddup so far that other founders can learn from?

I think that trying to scale your business too quickly may lead to some “reflex” hires. I would advise taking a little more time to choose the right people that can help propel your growth.

Second, is listening to too much feedback. As we are on a growth trajectory, there are vultures who swarm and everyone will have their two cents. As a founder, it is essential to stick to your strategy and execute it.

4. Let’s talk you… what apps, blogs, and tools can’t you live without?

I would be lost without my laptop (my Razer Blade 14”). I am constantly travelling and being able to get work done from an airport lounge or a plane is critical.

Trello for product management has been awesome, and Pipedrive as my CRM so that I know where our sales are headed. Crux is a fantastic tool I use to communicate with my team remotely.

And of course – Oddup. Its my own little black book of due diligence on startups.

5. What’s your best time-saving shortcut or life hack?

There are not short cuts to success. You need to have an excellent team behind you. As a CEO, you can’t do everything. Ideas are easy, hard work is not.

So having a strong core team backing you is essential. I find task lists with due dates work for me the best. The best time-saving shortcut is to not use time-wasting apps (social media).

6. What resource have you watched/read/listened to that’s had the biggest impact on your business/life so far this year, and why?

Watching over Oddup has definitely impacted all aspects of my life. It has been an amazing journey without any dull moments. No blog, video, talk can prepare you for the real action of leading a startup.

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