Editor’s Note: This is a Q&A series that features entrepreneurs and executives who have successfully guided their startups to maturity. It is meant to complement StartUp Beat’s coverage of early-stage startups and an effort to provide further insight into the experiences of technology entrepreneurs.
Eventful is a leading digital service connecting consumers with entertainment and live events. Over 20 million people rely on Eventful every month to find out what’s happening and decide what to do; from movies, concerts and sports to family fun and nightlife. With a comprehensive movie showtimes section and over four million local events to enjoy, Eventful provides the world’s most comprehensive selection of local entertainment content. Eventful serves its users across multiple platforms including online, iPhone and email programs, all of which deliver highly personalized content to each user.
Eventful was founded in 2004 and is based in San Diego, California. Eventful investors include Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Bay Partners, Telefonica Capital, Omidyar Network and others.
Glazier: I joined Eventful in the Spring of 2004. I was brought in as CEO by the board of directors.
SUB: What prompted you to join the team when it was still an early-stage startup?
Glazier: I was attracted to Eventful because it reminded me a lot of eBay where I had spent the prior several years. Both businesses are essentially marketplaces made possible by the advent of digital. In Eventful’s case, we sit at the intersection of supply and demand for highly fragmented information about what’s happening locally in communities throughout the world. We help event organizers spread the word; entertainment consumers find out what’s happening and make their lives more eventful. I was specifically looking for an early stage startup where I could own decision-making and make a decisive impact on vision, strategy and execution.
SUB: Was there a point at which you knew Eventful would hit it big?
Glazier: I have always known Eventful is and will be successful and make a lasting contribution. We are building for the long-term and have more to accomplish—but at the same time, we’ve already built a service 20 million people rely on to stay informed and clients depend on to reach entertainment consumers.
SUB: Was there a “tipping point” (for lack of a better term) when Eventful really picked up steam and where it started growing exponentially?
Glazier: There have been a few interesting points of inflection for the business. First, when the music industry adopted Eventful’s Demand it! service en masse—this made us an essential tool for connecting and empowering performers and fans around planning tour schedules. Another was when we executed a very successful social media campaign for Paramount’s Paranormal Activity. This helped establish Eventful as a leading social media solution for entertainment marketers and we continue to work with film studios, broadcasters and live entertainment promoters to drive engagement, ticket sales and tune-in.
SUB: What were the most significant obstacles to growing Eventful to maturity?
Glazier: Eventful is still a young company. We continue to face the same challenges many other startups face as they transform into ongoing businesses. Frankly, ‘maturity’ can be a pitfall for any technology business as we must continuously reinvent ourselves in the face of a rapidly evolving digital and mobile landscape.
SUB: What kinds of outside funding have you raised?
Glazier: We’ve received a mix funding from venture to strategic and Angel investors.
SUB: What was the metric/milestone that indicated to you that Eventful had moved past startup stage?
Glazier: The metrics I look at with regard to the stage of the business are profitability and cash flow. Another important milestone to acknowledge is when your board members shake your hand and congratulate you for no longer being a startup.
SUB: What were the most important lessons you learned about entrepreneurship while building Eventful?
Glazier: Over the course of my career, I learned three ingredients are key:
Team—bringing together people who are passionate, dedicated and reliable.
Action—successful execution is 90 percent of the formula—strategy is 10.
Endurance—building a great business is a marathon, not a sprint.
Bio: Jordan Glazier
Jordan joined Eventful in the spring of 2004 as president and CEO and along with a passionate and high-performance team has built Eventful into a leading digital media company serving entertainment consumers and event marketers. Eventful is essential to the lives of its nearly 20 million registered users who rely on the service to find out what’s happening and decide what to do—and to make their lives more fulfilling through the discovery of live music, local events and exclusive entertainment for Eventful’s community.
Previously, Jordan was a general manager at eBay, where he built and managed three of eBay’s largest business units including consumer electronics, computers and business and industrial. Jordan successfully launched and grew each business unit to more than $1.5 billion in annual gross merchandise volume. Jordan also served as the chief operating officer of Client Shop, Inc., which was ranked as the fastest growing privately-held company in San Diego and was acquired by Internet Brands in March 2006. Jordan led international business development for GATX Corporation, where he led M&A and strategic partnership development throughout Latin America and also built a new division for the company, GATX Distribution Centers. Jordan was also a management consultant with the Boston Consulting Group in Chicago.
Born and raised in Chicago, Jo
rdan graduated magna cum laude from the University of Michigan where he received a BA in International Relations. He earned his MBA from the J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management. In addition, he attended the London School of Economics with a concentration in International Studies.
Jordan has boy/girl twins a new baby boy, a golden retriever, four fish, a frog and a hermit crab. Jordan enjoys live music, movies, horseback riding, hiking, yoga, archeology and adventure travel. Jordan is an adventure junkie and has trekked to Mt. Everest and Machu Picchu, lived with tribes in the jungles of Sumatra and Sulawesi, hitchhiked through Vietnam, galloped on horseback with herds of zebra and giraffe in Botswana and lived with Bedouin at the base of Mount Sinai.