Happy Friday founders and friends,
We jumped across the pond this week to hear from Alexander Fitzgerald, CEO of Bloom portfolio company, Cuckoo. This week we talk simplicity in startups, share some of Bloom’s bookmarks and highlight our favorites from the SaaS community. Speaking of simplicity, let’s keep it short and dive in.
Founder Interview: Alexander Fitzgerald, Cuckoo
Cuckoo is challenging the traditional ISP (internet service provider) space in the U.K. with the kryptonite of all mature industries. Simplicity.
Alexander shares how Cuckoo is using simplicity as a guiding principal to disrupt the broadband market one customer at a time.
How do you create noise in a mature industry like ISP?
You have to be the consumer champion.
We’re simply doing good in an industry where the natural motives are to do bad (in my view). Cuckoo is focused on understanding what the customer wants in pricing and service in a telecommunications product. The result of creating a product that challenges traditional ISP’s, is noise in the press and between customers.
How to master positioning for a commodified product?
Building a disruptive brand.
We were initially quoted £75,000 by a design agency to create the Cuckoo brand. As a scrappy startup, we decided to save the capital and build Cuckoo ourselves. We lined up all of the traditional ISP’s and did a color chart analysis. We found that most of the provider’s brands were blue and red- so we quite literally found a gap in the market. We chose yellow as our brand color to stick out to consumers and challenge traditional competition.
How does simplicity help Cuckoo succeed?
We use simplicity as a guiding principal in brand, customer experience and internal tools.
Simplicity means openness and transparency to us. When building our pricing models, we shared our slides with our most engaged customers. Now we continue to do daily customer interviews to get feedback on everything from sign-up to overall experience. Transparency and simplicity is used internally in our tools as well. We simply use Slack and Notion for all communication.
What did your look for in investors when you were raising your seed round?
People with actual experience starting and operating businesses.
£1 from one investor, is not the same as £1 from another investor. Having recognized that , we were looking for investors that could add value to Cuckoo on three parts of the business- branding, tech and telecomm.
What makes the UK startup experience unique?
The cross-pollination of culture and people. London is a really great place for talent recruitment in tech. In some ways, the cultural network feels like New York + D.C. + SF in one.
Bonus shoutout from Alex- if you’re searching for a tech job or looking for tech talent in London, check out Otta.
From the Founder:
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What We’re Celebrating 🍾
BloomVP was nominated by founders and investors for VC Guide’s Emerging Funds list 🎉
We’re excited to be a part of the “The New Sand Hill” with fellow VC’s challenging the norms of early stage capital. We believe in backing founders changing the way we work, live and create.
Bloom’s Bookmarks 📚
Sacrificing functionality for simplicity and beauty with Square :: Jim McKelvey, Co-founder Square
Favorites from the Ecosystem 🗣
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