Canadian living in San Francisco. Serial entrepreneur, cofounder of PerkHub, mentor @ FounderFuel accelerator.
Ask me about: Product development, Distribution, Accelerators, Affiliate programs, Metrics, Fundraising, Bitcoin.
I have experience in affiliate programs (was a CJ Performer), SEO, SEM and Facebook ads.
I moved to San Francisco from Canada in 2011. I have extensive knowledge of the various visa options available to startup founders. (B1, O1, L1, E2)
You just answered your own question by admitting you can't "protect" your product from copycats. So just accept this and don't worry about it.
A copycat will always be a step behind. They can copy what they see on your site, but will never understand your thought process or customer learnings that inform your product decisions.
I have never (ever) seen a company fail due to copycats.
Focus on 1) Delivering an awesome experience to your customers and 2) Finding as many of them as you can; and you'll do fine.
Happy to discuss in further depth on a call.
AngelList does not take a cut of your raise. The exception is if you use "Invest online," where AngelList creates an LLC to pool multiple smaller investors into one. In this case you pay no fees, but your investors would ay a 10% carry to AngelList.
I'm going to suggest a few ideas that are off the beaten path. Besides buying and holding Bitcoin (which I think is a good bet over the long term):
1) Start a mining pool
Bitcoin mining is finished for the little guy. You need to prepay for expensive mining rigs that quickly stop being profitable once you finally take possession.
But almost all miners need to use a mining pool. Most pools look amateurish. Talk to Bitcoin miners and find out what they're missing and build it. You will get to skim a nice 2-3% off all the mining profits without investing in expensive mining hardware.
2) Lend money to Bitcoin traders
Don't have the stomach to risk your money by investing in Bitcoin? You can profit by lending your money to people who do.
Bitfinex.com allows you to do this. You can currently lend out USD at 200%+ APR to people who use it to buy Bitcoin on margin. The risk is low to nil as the loans are backed by the borrowers BTC and Bitfinex will close out their position and repay you if the value of their holdings drops too much.
Call me if you want to get feedback on your ideas.
A great call that included a detailed follow up summary and additional advice.
George was very helpful, not just with my initial question about affiliate sales compensation, but also about website conversion and testing. I rate him highly.
George was able to provide some great guidance for my startup. He advised me to wait on certain opportunities until I was further along in my product development and business development cycles.
Among the most hard working and hustling entrepreneur I have met. George has been one of the few advisor and mentors that spent a good deal of time helping us succeed and has the experience to dig right into the data and optimize results.
Rewardli is a platform we use internally and looking forward to some more great deals!
George is one of those rare people who *always* makes time to help other entrepreneurs. We came to George countless times for advice and he would always simplify the issues by breaking them down and then reach into his many years of experience for possible solutions.
Always going above and beyond to help us succeed, George truly had a big impact on our success at Vuru.
George has been mentored me since meeting him through FounderFuel accelerator. He has always been quick to help, with insightful, actionable advice. Its been a treat to see Rewardli evolve & reach product/market fit.
George is one of my heroes and one of the reasons I moved to Montreal. He knows how to build a lead a company - not just any company, either, but one that fundamentally disrupts business as usual. Not many people can do that and create a solid business at the end of the day.