Founder Stories: Bradford Cross Of Prismatic On Running His Startup

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Our TCTV show, Founder Stories, returns with a new West Coast host, Michael Abbott @mabb0tt. We are really excited Mike will be joining East Coast host Chris Dixon on this show. Mike is a general partner at KPCB and was previously Twitter’s VP of Engineering and a founder himself. His conversations with founders will focus exclusively on some of the key technical challenges they face in the creation of their products and businesses.

Prismatic is an app that creates a custom newsfeed based on your interests. Its news discovery iPhone app launched in August to positive reviews. For our West Coast premier episode of Founder Stories, we invited co-founder Bradford Cross back to our studios to learn how he is managing the business.

Cross tells our host Mike Abbott how it’s important to set the DNA right early. Also he says if founders want to get to the core of their product, they have to pay their dues and learn a lot, rather than try to outsource their problems. Cross also describes how he is working to get the right balance between engineers who want to ship and measure versus designers who are a force for slowing down and thinking about the product and users.

Cross discusses how product managers fit into the startup as the business grows.

Cross was interviewed by Semil Shah for an episode of “In The Studio” before the app launched. You can watch that interview here.

Since this is Mike’s first show, I want to share some of his words on his vision and plans for Founder Stories:

I’m personally excited for this new opportunity because it gives me yet another excuse to do what I love most — talk directly with technical founders and learn to understand the inner workings of the technical issues they’ve faced. The beauty of making it into a show is that these conversations become “open-sourced,” in a way, and will hopefully help transfer and spread knowledge within the community through a conversational format.

Read more on Mike’s blog, uncapitalized, about the show here.