The Alpha Geek's Guide to Finding a Business Model: PBwiki's 4-Year Odyssey

Location: 2009 Level:
Average rating: *****
(5.00, 5 ratings)

In 2005, David Weekly wrote the original code for PBwiki during a one-night hackathon at SuperHappyDevHouse. Four years later, PBwiki hosts over 1,000,000 wikis and over 10,000 paying customers. But while the journey may have looked smooth from the outside, in this talk, David will talk candidly about the long process of finding a successful business model for the company, including an open discussion of the false starts and failures along the way.

But the real benefit is not simply another set of war stories about a successful startup, but a deep examination of how his geek instincts both helped and hurt during this 4-year process, how he made the decision to seek VC and bring in experienced business managers, and the process PBwiki went through to align the company with its ultimate business model. (Ultimately, PBwiki chose to bring in experienced managers to supplement the team and shift from web self-service to a telesales model)

This talk will be especially useful for technical founders who are wondering to what extent they can trust their traditional decision-making processes (customer feedback! data mining! testing!) and to what extent they need to incorporate traditional business management (strategic plans! market segments! salespeople!).

Photo of David Weekly

David Weekly

PBwiki, Inc.

David Weekly is the founder and chairman of PBwiki and currently also serves as the company’s Chief Product Officer.

He has a Bachelor of Science degree from Stanford University where he attended as a Presidential Scholar (top 2% of applicants) and was a finalist in the ACM International Programming Competition.

David wrote the first layman’s description of the MP3 audio format and has worked for MIT, Harvard, Stanford,, atWeb, and Legato.

David is the co-founder of SuperHappyDevHouse, a global programming gathering that regularly attracts hundreds of coders and also founded the California Community Colocation Project, which offered colocation services to hundreds of non-profits and helped define copyright law in the seminal OPG v Diebold case.

David advises many prominent technology companies, having named Plaxo (since sold to Comcast) and served as the first member of Jaxtr’s technical advisory board.

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Picture of Afrus Tavakoli
Afrus Tavakoli
04/03/2009 9:39am PDT

Great Presentation David. I would like to have a chat with you sometime when you are in bay area. SeeU

Picture of Mark J. Levitt
Mark J. Levitt
03/29/2009 6:01am PDT

Wow, 2005. Admittedly, PBwiki was not on my radar until much more recently.

Picture of Larry Chiang
Larry Chiang
03/28/2009 8:19am PDT

Weekly is a genius. I also luv how PBWiki is dumbed down with a fluffy familiar logo.

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