From Starbucks to Startups: Rob Grady’s Take on What Coffee and Web 2.0 Have in Common

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I’ve got to think that he fundamentally wants to make their social publishing platform the ‘third place’ for all of us online, just like Starbucks has become our ‘third place’ offline.”

It’s a little too early to get into Grady’s strategic initiatives at Wetpaint, but he did point to one topic of discussion among the leadership team. “The biggest challenge for a company like us, where we have so many opportunities, is to focus,” he says.

Grady also shared some deeper insights into his new startup mentality:

—On what coffee and Web 2.0 have in common: “Trying to change the world, not only from a business standpoint but also a social standpoint,” he says. “There is some overlap in values between Starbucks and Wetpaint. We want to help people connect…I think of myself as being about the consumer experience, whether it’s technology or not technology.”

—On startup opportunities now, as compared to a few years ago: “When the economy is down, it’s a great time to start and grow a company,” Grady says. “If you talk to entrepreneurs, this is a fantastic time to grow a business…There are a lot more startup companies than in 1997. We’re onto the next wave. It’s a much more vibrant and complex universe, and that means there’s a lot more ideas.”

—On advice to other companies and entrepreneurs: “If you think you’re thinking big, think bigger.”

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Gregory T. Huang is Xconomy's Editor in Chief. E-mail him at gthuang [at] xconomy.com. Follow @gthuang

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One response to “From Starbucks to Startups: Rob Grady’s Take on What Coffee and Web 2.0 Have in Common”

  1. IguanaBio says:

    I don’t get it. $40M in VC money? How is this site different from Ning, Crowdvine, etc?