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Hi. I'm Rick. I write, advise, and invest.

Venture Partner, Quotidian Ventures / CEO, Secret Clubhouse.

Formerly Co-Founder Barbarian Group & Consultant Tumblr

rickwebb.net / On Medium / Music From My Past / Maps Without Alaska

Archenemy Record Co. / The Longbox Society / Rock Tourist

My Music Making / about my investments

Posts tagged percolate:

I’m joining Percolate

I’m excited to say today that I’ve taken a role on the leadership team at Percolate, as VP of People operations. I’ve been friends with Noah and James forever. Noah was a Barbarian back in the day, and established the planning department there. When he left to form Percolate with James in late 2010, I was one of their first investors. Since then, I’ve had the pleasure of helping and watching Percolate grow from one little email product to the amazing company it is today - over 120 employees, an amazing roster of Fortune 500 clients, and a fresh round of $24 million sitting in the bank from Sequoia, WPP and others. Back when I first started investing, I always envisioned that eventually some portfolio company would take off at breakneck speed and I could jump in and help for a while, and today that is coming to fruition.

Percolate, by the way, is awesome. What is it? It’s a marketing software company. It builds products to help you manage your marketing. “Like Hootsuite?” you might ask? Well, it handles social monitoring, yes, but that is just part of it. It also handles content calendaring. Asset management. Approvals and workflows. Managing fan generated content. Content creation, from writing briefs to commissioning content. It makes working with your agency easier from planning to paid media. It makes it easier to create tons of content at the breakneck pace that brands must operate these days. It will even help you figure out what to write about.

The Percolate gang has written extensively about their workplace culture. I’m proud to say that some of that was inspired by what we created at The Barbarian Group, but they have taken it further, and I’m psyched to help them build a great culture, grow it, and sustain it. It’s going to be a good time.

I’ve got a lot going on - the book is finished and I’ll be announcing its release soon and I am still working with the Quotidian gang - but that is news for another day. In the meantime I’ll be here at Percolate every day, working on people and culture.

Also, they are totally hiring. Lots. And not just in New York - also SF, Chicago and London. You should totally drop a line about that.

Thanks to the Getty Images partnership, Percolate customers now have access to a broader library of photos, a library where they don’t have to worry about whether or not they have the rights to use the images (because they already know the answer is yes).
And that library is automatically sorted using Percolate’s technology, which tries to understand what topics are relevant to a company at a given time, and highlights photos based on those topics. Gross said the goal is to make the process as easy as possible, but if the algorithm doesn’t surface the image you’re looking for, you can also search the photos based on things like tags.
(via Percolate Partners With Getty Images And Aviary To Help Companies Create And Share Images | TechCrunch)

Thanks to the Getty Images partnership, Percolate customers now have access to a broader library of photos, a library where they don’t have to worry about whether or not they have the rights to use the images (because they already know the answer is yes).

And that library is automatically sorted using Percolate’s technology, which tries to understand what topics are relevant to a company at a given time, and highlights photos based on those topics. Gross said the goal is to make the process as easy as possible, but if the algorithm doesn’t surface the image you’re looking for, you can also search the photos based on things like tags.

(via Percolate Partners With Getty Images And Aviary To Help Companies Create And Share Images | TechCrunch)

In talking to marketers, he explained, “The biggest problem they have is that they’re going from a production model where they create things like television commercials and billboard ads and they’re moving to a content model where instead of creating something every 3 to 6 months like a TV commercial is, they need to create something every 3 to 6 minutes. They don’t know what to put into that blank box.” The biggest publisher on Facebook, he pointed out, is Coca Cola with 52 million fans. “If you think about it, these brands are massive publishers in these channels and of course what we know is that the bigger the audience, the more content you need.”

With Its $9 M. Series A, Percolate Might Become the Next Buddy Media By Turning Brands Into Microbloggers | Betabeat

I don’t mind hiring people from there. We have a nice handful of ex-agency folks now and they’re very talented… One thing we noticed in our first six months to a year is that people’s appetite for risk is not that high. When we were an unfunded startup, there were a lot of people who were saying, “Oh yeah, I want to go work for a startup, but I want to get the same salary I was getting before.” We were an unfunded startup and we were profitable, but we can’t give you the salary you were making before.

Percolate, ‘Son’ of Buddy Media, Helps Brands Build Interest Graphs

So proud of these guys and couldn’t be happier with how this investment turns out. These guys are rocking it and solving a legitimate problem for brands.

Percolate is a New York-based startup that helps CMOs manage all of their social media content and it suggests content for them to blast to their followings.

In the past six months, the team of 22 people have signed up 25 Fortune 500 companies. Now there are more than 30 corporations paying for yearly licenses to use Percolate. Brands including Reuters, GE, American Express and MasterCard, and they are each coughing up $10,000 per month.

When you add it up, that’s more than $3.5 million per year, which isn’t bad for a startup that’s only raised $1.5 million and isn’t even two years old.

Percolate, New York’s Gift To CMOs, Has More Than 30 Fortune 500 Clients - Business Insider

I love these guys, I love this company. This investment is really paying off. They are killing it. 

But here’s the thing: Increasingly, brands are bringing social marketing in-house. The era of the social media Agency of Record is ending. So brands don’t really care if their social media management tools cut out the agency. They just want to be told what to say. It’s become a bit of a conundrum for brands that have spent the last few years amassing an audience in the form of followers and “likes.” Now what do they say?

Percolate is Solving the One Problem its Social SaaS Competitors Won’t Touch | PandoDaily

Awesome story on Percolate. Those guys are killing it. 

Brands struggle to see themselves as both content creators and content consumers. They’re like someone with perpetual writer’s block, faced with a blank screen and mounting anxiety. That’s because brands are used to almost exclusively talking about themselves, and almost always in a very planned way. Brier is a fan of the “stock-and-flow” theory of content. There is stock content, highly produced and with high value. And there is flow, the small bursts of information done on the fly. Brands are used to dealing in the stock content of TV ads, less so in anything that’s on the fly.

According to Brier, in order to be a content creator, you need to be a content consumer, and brands, historically, have outsourced the consumption of culture through its agency partners and, most importantly, haven’t done this in real time. But as the social Web shifts the campaign-as-linchpin mindset — one that lives in a specific time period — to an always-on philosophy, brands find a vacuum is created where its audience is ready to discover and then share content.

The Curation Wunderkind | Digiday

Good article about Noah and Percolate today

Very excited to take part in this round for Percolate and my old coworker, Noah. Been following his and James’ work on Percolate since the early days, and watching the evolution of it has been awesome. I think where it’s at now is something really, really interesting. It’s a problem I saw often (and I’m sure Noah did too) when working with brands:

We can get on the web and start blogging and tweeting, but what do we write about? 

Brands are GREAT at writing the detailed interesting blog posts about their own products, but in between that, when they need to just be a good member of the community and blog and comment about other things going on, they often clam up. They don’t know what’s out there, and they have lives: they can’t be the full-time, hard core blogger that is expected of them to be a good member of the community. 

I think Percolate - the tools and the process - is a super interesting way to solve this problem for a brand. It’s a unique blend of social sentiment software, monitoring software, curation tools and blogging tools for brands. 

And if you’re just an internet obsessive, the daily brew email is absolutely indispensable. I can’t encourage you strongly enough to sign up for it