Version 0.9. What Do You Think?

Posted on Jul 5, 2011 | 142 comments


I’m excited to announce that we silently launched our new website last week. Like a startup we took a very “version 0.9” approach.

What I would love to do with this post is tell you our goals and solicit reactions for what you like and what you don’t like. What you’d like to see added, removed or changed.

What text resonates? What do you think of the design elements? Navigation? When commenting please state if you have specific skills in visual design, copy or similar. But everybody is welcome and encouraged to offer your 2 cents whatever your background. I would embrace it. The wisdom of the crowds.

And we have thick skin – our goal is to get better.

Before outlining our aim I’d like to thank Jacqui “Cartoon” Jacobs who led the initiative for us. She was both patient (as dealing with me requires) and persistent (the same). If you’re in LA and looking for somebody to do project-based marketing jobs – Jacqui’s your lady (not to mention a fellow UCSD alum!).

Anything that works well was her implementation. I did anything that seems kludged – I assure you.

Goals:

1. Look more modern than our previous website, which had a very 2000 feel to it

2. Demonstrate the deep relationships we have with the CEO’s with whom we work. We’re almost always the lead investor and usually the most active, too.

3. Become a resource for entrepreneurs to have access to the lawyers, accountants, real-estate professionals and other people with whom our entrepreneurs work. We liked this idea so much we decided to steal it from True Ventures. Just as we did they took it down from their website. Doh! I still loved it. Next I might steal this. Just as we launched a 2010 site they go all 2011 on us! Thanks, guys ;-)

We didn’t want this section to be our recommendations but those of our portfolio. Right now it’s a bit light but I’m sure it will fill up.

4. I wanted to be whimsical and have a blog as cool as Spark Capital. Sadly, I couldn’t get there. They’re both cooler and listen to better music than we.

5. We wanted to emphasize the number of truly big wins that have been created by the partners at GRP in their 20+ years of investing. In the past 15 years our partners have backed nearly one company every year that was early stage and eventually exited for North of a billion dollars. That puts us in an elite group of VCs and we thought not enough people knew of this record.

6. We wanted to stay true to our roots, which were in retail and financial services, both industries in which we invest heavily, albeit almost exclusively where there is a technology core. Yet we wanted to be clear that we invest heavily in digital media, mobile & software companies. We invest in any regional tech center in the US; however, the earlier-stage the company the more likely it will be in CA or NY. We also invest in the UK as you’ll soon find out. For obvious reasons the bar is higher for us there.

7. We wanted to seem less serious as people. In our last website we sure looked grumpy. We’re not that grumpy of people. Hey, we live in LA. If you visit us I think you’ll enjoy the views from our offices. So we’re usually smiling. On reflection, checking out the team page at GRP, it looks to me like 4 or 5 of our team members could double as models. Sadly, I didn’t make the cut. Oh well, I bring other assets ;-)

8. We wanted to emphasize what we’re looking for in potential investments. That’s here. But we didn’t want to have a “submit your business plan” form. VCs never really treat those seriously. So we gave some guidance on how to think about approaching us.

Now lay it on me. Good and bad. I appreciate your time.

[update: thank you to those that have already commented. I will read every comment so don’t worry about whether you leave something that other people have said. Some things I know:

  • yes, the pictures are a bit washed out. I plan to fix but can’t until we are all in the same location and a photographer booked. Will update.
  • crossing arms: ok, I guess that went down like a lead balloon! I thought it would look more casual. I guess that’s why I’m not a photographer!
  • twitter logo – will be zapped quickly. It seems to make people puke.
  • scrolling top banner – I’ll start by slowing it down. Maybe make it scrollable. I have some ideas.

thanks again]

  • http://twitter.com/wfjackson3 Willis F Jackson III

    You know I don’t have any design experience, but I tend to be pretty design sensitive. You have already updated to add slowing down the scrolling banner. Make sure it is slow enough that a 12-14 year old can read it all but fast enough that they don’t start texting on their phone before it changes. Put in the play/pause buttons. Also, there is no favicon.

    Under portfolio you have:
    Active Investments
    Past Investments

    Under each of those items you have the same menu structure. Ditch the second level menu. It doesn’t enhance the experience at all. On the each of the investments pages, add a little more whitespace after the last line of companies and before the next heading group so that you draw borders in your mind.

    I am not sure what I think about the header background that stretches to the browser width because it is the only thing that does that. I guess that is an art question.

    As for the Twitter icon, use something that is a flat color if you are going to put it in that header background. It is way too much to use two gradients in the same color range on top of one another.

  • http://twitter.com/dbcsg dbcsg

    Nice update, more modern, less stodgy than the previous one.  Critique is coming from someone who spends time looking at hundreds of websites each week while doing biz intell research, identifying potential customers for my clients, etc.  Also in my former role as a telecine colorist I had to scrutinize images in incredible detail.  Viewing w FF4.0 BTW (need to do that update).   Gut reaction: I’d like to see something other than TRUECar at the beginning of the cycle on the homepage, prominence of the photo of the car makes this feel for second like a website for an auto manufacturer.  Possibly add text below (or just above) high profile exit company logos tooting GRP’s horn that some companies have had exit valuations north of $1bil.  This is impressive and would be great if you could find a way to include this message on homepage.   Love the fact that on company pages, you have prominently featured related investments on the right.   Sends message there is a cohesive overall strategy at GRP, shows folks other companies of interest in related space.   Next bit is nitpicky: Don’t like that the title bar (and hence the browser tab) changes from GRP partners to “Company” / GRP partners, in my opinion it should be GRP partners/”Company” because with many tabs open, if I’ve clicked on a company in the portfolio and continue working, when I want to come back to GRP it makes it hard to locate.  I’m looking for GRP but I’m seeing “Seamles…” or “Kidlandia…”  And also I see “partners” in the title bar but “Partners” everywhere else.  About page is great, tells a great story.  For the Team page:  again obviously this is a personal preference, but I don’t like the slider bar, expect the photos will be active when I mouse over, would rather see them all visible (using the same arc design) and feel the links above are redundant (you could ID each person as Investment Partner, Investment Professional, Team Member under their name).  In any case even if you leave as is, don’t like that the pictures re-animate from “position 1″ each time.  Feels clunky.  Also not sure why use a grey font for bios but text is black everywhere else on the site.  Only thing about the Portfolio page is that if I click on a category, it doesn’t place the category at the top of the page (where possible).  EG if I click on Active Investments/Mobile and Software, the category header appears 2/3rds down towards the bottom of the screen.  Finally, one thing I noticed that True Ventures has job postings for portfolio companies on their “Ask True Ventures” site and Spark Capital has a link to jobs right on their home page.  Could be good to see a link to jobs at portfolio companies on the GRP site.

  • Anonymous

    Regarding your main photo – I would consider doing a first look default to be a slice of all the ones you have in rotation – let the user see the breadth of your interests vs a one by one scrolling which most won’t actually see maybe 1 or 2 tops. The scroll arrows are very light on several of the examples – this is  especially bad on TrueCar so it originally seemed to me to be just that one company you were showcasing. In ecommerce it is always important to show breadth and let the user narrow to their specifications.

    The titles on Portfolio page should be more bold – make them ‘pop’ – the blue boxes are only so helpful. For consistency same for entrepreneur resources page.

    The arrows on the individual business pages should show active state and non-active state. Right now they are both same gray tint and its confusing if you click on it and it doesn’t move. In addition, instead of ‘related investments’ (which must be a template) be more clear and say ‘other mobile investments’ (like on Pose page)  – because once you click in your aren’t sure what category you are in.

    Hope that helps – you get bravery points for putting it out there!
    Beth

  • http://twitter.com/dbcsg dbcsg

    yes I was thinking exactly the same thing.  lead with Burstly.

  • http://twitter.com/dbcsg dbcsg

    thought of something else: would be nice to see some video (intereviews w partners, entrepreurs,) also a link to TWIVC on your bio page.  

  • Lutz Villalba-Adorno

    Haha, music is just the topic! ;) Navegas will gather audience and provide a way to joy/consume around music. Enjoy! :)

  • Lee Ackerson

    I like it. But have one suggestion. If I have to scroll down three pages to get to content I want, then the huge white space on the right side should be fill will something which justifies the narrow text column on the left.

  • http://alexcalic.com Alex Calic

    The website has a retail consultancy feel to it (maybe because of TrueCar and Costco on the home page). Since you guys are also in digital media/mobile would try and make it more neutral/inviting to other sectors.

    – Would make the entrepreneur quotes/names bigger in the blocks for TruCar, Ring Revenue, Burstly, etc. and make the logos/icons smaller
    – If it is all about the entrepreneur, then change “High Profile Exits” (which makes you guys out to be the winners) to “Some Companies We’ve Helped” (or something like that).
    – I think the team picture should be of the entire group versus the individuals (makes it feel more like a partnership). Also lose the jackets- too stiff.
    – About page is WAY too text heavy. Maybe break up the 5 points into a couple of pages or break them up visually with moe CEO quotes.
    – Team page is annoying (having to scroll through the names).

    Hope this helps.

  • http://www.ryanborn.net ryanborn

    overall – very slick.  about us page has a TON of text.  maybe some imagery and synopsis at top with deep dive links that take the reader to bottom of the page.  photos as you have pointed out could be better.  personally I’m a fan of black and white on corporate photos

  • http://www.alexmurphy.com Alex Murphy

    Overall, nice, slick, modern.

    RE Twitter Logo: it would be better to have a stream of your tweets and your partners’ tweets.RE Banner: should have the ability to navigate through/pause, and I agree with other comments about it being too fast
    RE Crossed Arms: you should have your photographer take casual candid shots of you and your team in your office or doing different things.  Have her follow you around for 3 hours, go do something outside, have a meeting etc.  Then choose different environments for each of you so that you can represent the different feelings of the firm.
    RE Entrepreneur Resources: I agree that this is a disappointment.  You should simply include links to the blog posts you have already written

    Other thoughts:
    – On team page, the carousel should not have to restart each time when you click on a name
    – I think that you should include a video section.  Perhaps a replay of the TWIVC and embedded players of your various talks and those of your partners.
    – on the about us page, it would be helpful to have quick links at the top to represent what is on the page

  • http://www.kineplay.com/ben Ben Milstead

    What an improvement to the previous design! Kudos all the way around.

    I agree that the TRUECar banner, as the first one to display, almost has the effect of branding the site as TRUECar. I think the other banners would have practically the same effect, except for Burstly. May have to do with the images and banner design diffs but I suspect it has more to do with Burstly’s dark blue background and bold white quote. Auto-player is definitely about 2x too fast.

    Also agree with others that “some high profile exits” is weak and/or somewhat opaque or off-putting. I liked Jess Bachman’s suggestion, “Great companies. Great exits” a lot.

    Really like the team page and the slider on the desktop. On the iPad it’s a bit tough to use.

    The spacing on the porfolio page between each heading looks too uniform, making it difficult to group together the logos in each section. More space above each header may help.

    In the absence of a dedicated mobile site, I thought the site actually popped and zoomed pretty well on the iPhone.

    Personally I love the blue color. Overall the site has a fresh, clean look and feel.

  • Anonymous

    Mark- great job with the redesign.  A few critical thoughts as requested:

    Home page:
    -A contrast color on call to action buttons/sections would make navigation easier (i.e. it’s not clear “High Profile” logos are clickable based on current treatment)
    -Agree with Twitter comments below.  Given your savvy audience,  a simple Twitter logo is prob sufficient.
    -Company profiles/quites on home page are great.  Control arrows are washed out, and a slide transition vice current treatment would prob be more intuitive.
    -Dates on recent news items would add relevancy

    About: 
    -Lots of info, esp below the fold.  More bullets or smaller, clickable sections would help. 

    Team:
    -Navigation through team is a bit rough.  Page scroll scrolls through team members instead of below-the-fold info on some profiles.

    Portfolio:
    -Clearer division between sections or between section headers and sections would help.
    -Switch or tab for prior vs active investments may be more intuitive.

    Resources:
    -Great idea!  Would be great if entrepreneurs could add ideas and you could either curate them or allow other entrepreneurs to vote on them.  Some biggies are missing such as your beloved Fenwick & West!  There are some great Quora lists you could draw from.

    Contact us page:
    -Perhaps add quick paragraph for 1st time entrepreneurs explaining the social proof method of getting in touch with your firm?

    Overall great upgrade from your last site; you’ve certainly hit your objectives.

  • CBS

    Overall the page looks great and covers the eight points you wanted to emphasize.  The content flows easily from left to right, which makes it easy for the end user to navigate your web page.  Jess makes a good point; the auto play content should let visitors know you invested in these companies. The resources page is a nice touch. When you click on meet the team drop the other from other team members and go with just  team members.  The Other makes them sound a little less important. Replacing the four pictures of the Investment Partners with four pictures of Dana would be nice.    

  • Johnvehr

    I think the best part is you explaining your thoughts behind the site!  Great site, informative yet clean!

  • John Pettitt

    Overall I like the site.  One nit-pick – the story of CyberSource is not quite how it happend.  Paul Allen was a B round investor in software.net and he didn’t create the company.  I was CTO/co-founder with Bill McKiernan and the CyberSource spinout from software.net/Beyond was a result of a week where we had more fraud than customers and I wrote some fraud screening code to keep us alive.  As soon as we did it we knew we had another business so we split the company in two and took both public (gotta love the 90’s)

  • http://twitter.com/jcasillasp Jesus Casillas

    Great Job!

    Just two minor comments on my side.I was expecting the order in the team photo carrousel to be the same as in the columns above, not a big issue but seems more natural.The investment icons can popup a description so that visitors do not have to click to the project site to figure out what is it about.

  • Rishikesh Gorantala

     

    Mark, Great site! I’d rate this as
    7 on a scale of 10. I’ll be candid and here are few things to consider…

    1. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I
    always thought GRP stood for Global Retail Partners. Isn’t the word Partners
    redundant for someone who knows what GRP stands for? Also, I personally like
    grpvc.com compared to grppartners.com (but maybe that’s just me).

    2. If I look at your homepage, I do
    not get what GRP does. I’m talking about the “30 second elevator
    pitch”. ;)

    3. Great idea to focus on deep
    relationships you have with the CEOs/Presidents you work with. Probably this is
    trivial, but can you include a thumbnail of the CEO/president who wrote that
    testimonial? I’d actually consider replacing the images related to companies
    with images of CEOs/presidents.

    4. For some reason the title
    “Some High Profile Exits” doesn’t sound right. Also, how about a link
    that reads “view all portfolio companies” right below this section?

    5. You do invest/plan to invest in
    UK, don’t you? Somehow the message doesn’t come across. Also, if you plan to
    have country specific home pages, you might want to consider including a small
    link with the image of a country flag image on top left corner.

    6. I think the “Entrepreneur
    Resources” section can include more resources. For example, a link to your blog
    content or a link to a video of your recent keynote speech at the Founder
    Showcase. I think that’s a masterpiece!

    7. On the “About Us” page,
    “Some High Profile Exits” is kind of repetitive. Maybe, you can use
    this space to convey some other message/some key metrics? Like say x no of
    investments, $y in fund…you get the drift.

    8. On the home page, I do not like
    the “Investment Partners” section. All I see is your pictures and names. That
    means nothing to me! Can you include some information like whether the person
    is a general partner of has a special interest, location etc.

    9. Not sure if it is intentional,
    but team bios do not have emails.

  • http://twitter.com/brettgeoghegan Brett Geoghegan

    Yes, true, I agree. For 99.9% of deals you are spot on. But for that golden 0.1% where every VC wants in on the deal, any pre-existing relationship or trust equity built with the entrepreneur could give you an advantage. And I don’t need to tell you that it’s those 0.1% deals that make life worthwhile :-).  

  • http://www.princetonfamilyphysicians.com Family Physicians

    Great work for the website, Good Luck!

  • Riina Einberg

    Hi Mark,

    my 2 cents. General look – nice, neat, clear. But at first sight recommendation section creates a bit confusing association in my head – what is site about? someone selling cars, promoting credit cards? some B2B business site? I kind of relate impression of your company more with association with News page. You are legendary anyway – no need for attempt to create a legend via massive recommendations block on first page was my first thought. (but may be there is an audience not aware of your company and that’s why its needed?).

    General look is crisp and fresh but somehow reminds more printable PDF whitepaper design, something lacking for announcing it to modern electronic media. Can’t but finger on it.

    Riina

    (not a designer,  just startup themes fan)

  • http://thesistown.com/ thesis writing

    very interesting! thanks a  lot!

  • http://whatafy.com whatafy

    It looks great. Maybe that blue is not that great as it seems. 

  • http://www.dpe82.com Dale Emmons

    Whoa.. I swear that was formatted when I posted it! Editing..

  • Jenni

    Hi Mark, on the ‘team’ page, when you scroll through the photos of the team, its not clear that their biography is also there as its underneath the fold and needs to be scrolled down to. Moving it up a centimetre would fix this.

  • http://www.piqqle.com/blog/ Daniel Kim

    Lots of great comments already.  The site does looks “fresh” so great job there.

    As a SoCal guy, one thing I wanted to ask is why most of the referrals in the resources section are northern California based (PR, Audit, Legal)?  I love our passion for the SoCal start up scene.  Are there great, entrepreneurial friendly resources in LA/OC that could be added on there? That would be awesome

  • http://www.thoughtsonconsumerweb.com/ Satish Mummareddy

    When I first saw the image of the redesign, I thought it was true car website and not GRP. I think the relative sizes of the logos and spacing is off.

  • Guest

    Love the fresh look – few items to note
     
    1. Team
               Was the intention to not place any bio information? While this example may be taking it too far here is an example of a less stuffy bio page http://www.sandboxindustries.com/Team/TomHawes

    Before presentations we like to give the company as much background as they need to feel comfortable.
     
    2. About Us
     
    I found it a bit difficult to cut to the chase on your investment preferences. Often times someone may throw out a firm and I want to be able to do a quick check to ensure it’s the right fit for a conversation.
     
    3. Entreprenuer Toolbox – I was really hoping for more than just a list of vendors. There is so much potential that I do have contemplated but have never got off the ground

    Love the comment down below that was something to the effect of changing the home page to say Great Exits Great Companies.

    Just a few thoughts..
    Experience: Marketing VP for East Coast Investment Bank
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     

  • http://www.smallbusinessbible.org Small Business

    Mark you look too change in the new picture than the one on your blog profile.

  • http://www.smallbusinessbible.org Small Business

    Mark you look too change in the new picture than the one on your blog profile.

  • MarketingZone.com Editor

    What a great example of continuous improvement!  You’ve gotten some great free advice. 

    Looks like your website needs to work well for many different audiences:
    1.  Your customers (people who have invested in your funds)
    2.  Prospective investors in your VC firm fund
    3.  Institutional investors and companies who make acquisitions of start-ups
    4.  Founders of start-ups who are looking for a VC
    5.  The founders and employees of start-ups you fund
    6.  Other – people who are “just browsing”

    Each of these audiences needs to know some things in common about your firm but they may have very different information needs/expectations when they visit your site.   You might want to expand and create different “doors” for these different audiences to convey the most relevant information to them in these sub-sections of your site like you would if you were talking to any of them in person. 

    You have a “door” now for “entrepreneur resources” that could be expanded to really demonstrate how you help entrepreneurs save time, money and find the best resources.   Add some testimonials from the start-ups you work with.  Get them to share advice on the best resources.  Add a link to your blog!  Check out the design for the StartupAmericaPartnership.com site.  They have created different “doors” for people with an idea, start-up, rampup, speed up and then vetted and posted links to the best resources for them.  They include a link to our site http://www.MarketingZone.com, a new how-to site and community for small business on marketing. 

    I agree with all the comments made about making it more clear on your homepage that this is not a site for TrueCar and that this is a site for a VC firm who has funded/helped TrueCar grow.  Showcasing all the companies you fund is great messaging for your different target audiences to see how proud you are of these companies and what they’re doing.   It’s the equivalent of a family Christmas card with photos and updates on each of the kids. 

    On your branding, your blog is so approachable, humble and practical.  Your website has a totally different vibe – comes off as rather formal and institutional.  Maybe that’s on purpose to appeal to investors?  Your blog certainly appeals to entrepreneurs.   Do you want two different brand personalities or one?  You have two now. 

    Derrith Lambka
    ex HP marketing/advertising exec and former SVP at Millward Brown (global brand/ad research firm).  Now founder and one of the editors of MarketingZone.com. 

  • http://www.RenegadeToolCo.com Timothy Lemnah

    Mark, the new website looks great. I love the new feel and absolutely agree with everyone that the twitter logo has got to go!

  • http://twitter.com/TilenKrivec Tilen Krivec

    Haha sorry, that came out a bit harsh. But the truth is most European VC websites i see are still rocking the look that was common about 10 years ago :)

  • http://twitter.com/V_xklsv Vineeth Kariappa

    1. Remove the flash on the landing page, make sure ppl with 14 in monitors do not have to scroll.   Remove twitter, leave the logo at the place, move the header down by ~ 40 px.

    2. People know who GRP is..cut the content (BS) on ALL the pages, just pics n a few lines.

    3. http://www.grppartners.com/team-2/; You guys invest in internet cos. and you do this????

    4. Remove all flash, makes the site much slower, ppl in asia with 56 kbps dont have patience :)

    5. http://www.grppartners.com/news/; When there is a hyperlink, underline it when the mouse moves over. Remove “continue reading”.

    6. route through Cloudflare.

    7. The page titles MUST contain “GRP partners | ~BS~” not the other way.

    8. Remove google maps from “contact”. A contact us form with a captcha might be nice.

    9. Do not use images to hyperlink; google reads text.

    10. “Portfolio” wastes space. (A redirected page in a site is bad for your google listing.Rename it “Investments” n display EVERYTHING there.

    11. my 2 cents :)

  • http://twitter.com/morefromalan Alan Peters

    Hi Mark – I’m a regular reader of your blog.  My background: serial software entrepreneur, currently a product-guy, and at one-point ran an award winning 7-figure digital agency with a specialty in web design.

    Kudos to you for soliciting input.  A thick skin is a good thing.  I got mine the hard way ;)  Here’s my top-line feedback:

    * What business are you in?  I can’t tell at first glance.  
    * Testimonials are intrisically defensive.  Assume a stance of leadership instead.
    * What single thing do you want visitors to takeaway?  Right now I’m not taking away anything
    * After that, what three re-enforcing things would they remember if you’re lucky?
    * Art-direction .. in particular subhead typography, bullets, photography, dotted lines, large sizing… looks low-rent and comes across as trying too hard.  

    Hope this helps

    _A 

  • Anonymous

    A couple thoughts

    – I know this wasn’t about the logo, but have you guys thought about redoing it at some point?  Looks good, but for some reason I can’t stop thinking about USV’s logo whenever I see it.

    – the “entrepreneur resources” section has a lot of potential – I hope you build it out a lot beyond the static list.  As a good example, I have found Goodwin Procter’s “workbench” site to be really useful: http://www.goodwinfoundersworkbench.com/  I’m sure your team could do something similar from the VC perspective.  I know it’s not just about you, but why not pipe in a link to the latest TWIVC on that page as well?

  • http://www.aboutdui.org Driving Under Influence

    Nice.

  • http://www.aboutdui.org Driving Under Influence

    Nice!.

  • Jason Davis

    http://hurdly.com/Fund-Me/GRP-Partners.png  I took the liberty of making some changes. Don’t worry they’re not live but they can be.  May be a personal preference but I prefer a little depth to design. This helps add a bit of attraction on specific items to help users navigate better – good flow ya know!

  • Anonymous

    nice article an d good review regards

  • http://www.feed.us RacerRick

    It’s a great looking site. The vast majority of VC sites are crummy (and for some reason VCs rarely update the copyright date – it’s uncanny).

    What content publishing/management software are you using? Is it WP for the whole thing?

  • http://www.seekingshelter.ca Andrea Cordonier

    Just discovered your blog at 4:30am this morning….fantastic and subscribed immediately.

    I am at Version 0.5 in my own web design using the most rudimentary form possible – iweb – but am purposely not spending a dime until I’ve really worked through exactly what I need/want content and layout wise, what I want visitors to do with the content once they’re there, and brand definition/differentiation.  The ‘design’ will be the icing on the cake and clear end to all the hard work that came before it.  My pockets are not too deep plus it’s important to me to do my dress rehearsal without too many folks peeping.

    Home/About – When I first visited your site, it wasn’t obvious that it was YOUR company’s website.  I think the whole top portion should be dedicated to your brand, then secondarily to the companies you work with.  You mentioned liking Spark Capital’s website; their website does not have an identity crisis, they’re very clear who owns the website.  (Yes, their site is very hip, but the moving circles burn holes in my eyeballs; but great layout and narrative structure).  I’m not clear what you want people to DO once they’re on the site….or is it just a storytelling site  If it’s a storytelling site (and I don’t mean to be rude in any way), you don’t currently have the right writer for the job.  The copy leaves me a bit cold considering you are not thin on story to tell…  (Maybe I should re-write you a little swatch of copy tomorrow morning at 4:30am….) I think I would put the logos of your investments in a broad swatch across the bottom third or quarter of the Home page.  Do you have a company vision statement (or elevator pitch?) I don’t think it is so last century to be able to tell people what you’re about in one concise line.  You want stickiness without cheesiness.  Does it tie in with your narrative structure (story)?

    I like the Entrepreneur Resources Section but would prefer to see category buttons rather than a listing function….I don’t like to have to scroll down the page to find what I’m looking for or to figure out what categories you have on offer.  I know you specifically say you don’t endorse the companies, butI like this section because you have the experience to understand who’s good and who’s not.  You have become a de facto subject matter expert and I, as a fan, would assume that you wouldn’t be listing jerks or dummies.  I would be happy that you are saving me a lot of work by vetting businesses, this is an asset you bring to the table.  How else do we identify good resources?  Maybe its not called Entrepreneur Resources but Current Partners in order to be transparent around the relationship.  That way you can remove the endorsement caveat altogether.

    Team/Contact Info – Aside from the general contact at the end, I can see no individual contact information (perhaps on purpose).  But it’s not clear to me who I should contact first if I had a specific inquiry.  The bios indicate titles and past work experience/education but not specifically who hands what within your firm.  Not a problem if your intention is to keep it less personal.  I guess I could click on the LinkedIn icon to find out more, but it doesn’t make sense to have to leave your website to do that (especially because you are trying to bring people in in the first place).  I happen to like your portraits.  Everyone looks attractive.  No one looks creepy.  Wish I had as great a pic…  Touching up photos is so simple to fix it’s not worth mentioning

    The News Section – I’d expect to see your blog there…unless you are concerned about presenting the company as a you-driven entity rather than a whole shop approach.   But couldn’t you have both?  Your blog imbedded plus a sexier presentation of the other articles, instead of just a list. Are the other partners or employees blogging or adding related content in their areas of practice?  Why not?  That would help build their profile/cache and personalize your company’s interaction with clients.  Couldn’t viewers/clients subscribe to a variety of RSS feeds?  Maybe the news section is tabbed by practice area. There are so many cutting edge ways of presenting that material in a way that pops to your audience (I’m guessing some of your companies have technology and products that you could/should be employing).  It can still be somewhat conservative but just more user friendly.  Again, if you’re storytelling this is a bit dull. 

    Portfolio – what about the ability to hover over each of the company logos and see a summary of their products and/or highlight your specific involvement/success with each of them.  What are you doing/have done with them that makes your success unique or interaction memorable?  Are there particular challenges which have increased the knowledge and skill base of your team members?  Again, what differentiates you?

    Didn’t set out to write a tome, but that’s what you got!

    Kindest regards, Andrea

  • 年 冯

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