Tolia calls the experience, “one of the most difficult things that I’ve ever had to do in my life, which is to go to my main investor and tell him that we had failed.”
With Leary, Tolia launched Fanbase as a site for fans of different sports to congregate and share information over a network which was designed to compete with ESPN.
The company got up to 15 million visitors a month, but its founders knew it hadn’t cracked the code for further growth. They debated returning the money to their investors, but instead decided to pivot. They created a 10 AM meeting to come up with the next “billion dollar” idea, and from those meetings came the seeds that the two founders said would bear fruit in the form of Nextdoor.