I was introduced to Gabriel Weinberg by a Veteran I met a Techstars Patriot Boot Camp (thanks Bryan!). I can’t stress enough how incredible the Veteran Entrepreneur Network has been for me. Don’t be afraid to reach out!
Gabriel grew up in Atlanta, and attended MIT. He jumped right into entrepreneurship right after college. He failed in his first attempt at entrepreneurship. His second startup was sold to Classmates.com for $10 million in 2006.
In this interview, we discuss funding, co-founders vs single founder, angel investing, and taking advantage of news worthy events related to your company and how that helps your business get traction.
He launched DuckDuckGo in 2008. It initially started as multiple side projects to augment Google. After launch, Gabriel began getting questions on search privacy. He decided to build his search engine as “the search engine that doesn’t track you”. When the Edward Snowden news broke, DuckDuckGo’s growth immediately accelerated. His company received 1 billion searches in 2013 and currently receives over 200 million searches per month.
Gabriel released the book, Traction: A Startup Guide To Getting Customers in 2014. We discuss the book, and the ways that entrepreneurs can get traction for their business.
Gabriel has been an Angel Investor in multiple businesses. He had this advice when pitching to investors:
I think people generally just get too “pitchy” and wrapped up in conveying all the details at once….What Angel Investors are really looking for are that you are serious, authentic, that you are solving a problem that you would really want solved and want to work on for a decade and that you know something unique about…you can usually convey that all in a very short email or a one minute conversation
On getting started as an entrepreneur:
If you are serious about it, think of it as a career path, and not as a one and done