“Only one piece of advice? Measure everything and react fast to data.” – Katherine de León, Cull TV CEO.
By Angie Chang (Co-Founder & Editor-in-Chief, Women 2.0)
Women 2.0: How did you first get the idea for Cull TV, build your prototype, and find your co-founders?
Katherine de León: I co-founded Cull TV with my husband John Hurliman. We were throwing parties and wanted to show continuous streams of music videos to our guests. But we didn’t want to spend hours putting together a playlist, so we created Cull TV. We launched the minimum viable product three months after we decided to build it.
Women 2.0: What is your background and what do you bring to Cull? How do your co-founders complement you?
Katherine de León: Prior to founding Cull TV, I was Senior Producer at PlayStation Network. My co-founder got his start in music peer-to-peer and went on to specialize in scalable computing and machine learning.
I would be oversimplifying if I said that I was the operating executive and John was the engineer. The truth is that we’re married. We’ve been collaborating for years on everything from dinner plans to building a Van De Graaf generator that collects cat hair. We were the best team we’d ever worked with before we ever started the company.
Women 2.0: What is Cull and how has it changed from the original idea? What helped shape your product to where it is now – key strategy changes?
Katherine de León: Cull TV is new music television. We help fans discover emerging and underground talent through continuously updated music video channels. We also allow fans to create their own channels using our Pandora-style recommendations.
When we first started Cull TV, we were interested in popular music. That changed the minute we launched the MVP because we recognized the enormous demand for discovering new artists. We curate through extensive web crawling and machine learning, so fans always get the cream of the indie crop on Cull TV.
Women 2.0: What’s one piece of advice for early entrepreneurs, or what do you know now that you wish you knew earlier?
Katherine de León: Wow. That’s hard. Only one piece of advice? Measure everything and react fast to data. What I know now that I wish I’d known earlier? Whatever your intuition says, you’re probably wrong. Collect in-person feedback from your target market as early and often as possible.
Thanks Katherine for sharing your founder story with us at Women 2.0!
Angie Chang co-founded Women 2.0 in 2006. She currently serves as Editor-In-Chief of Women 2.0 and is working to mainstream women in high-growth, high-tech entrepreneurship. Previously, Angie held roles in product management and web UI design. In 2008, Angie launched Bay Area Girl Geek Dinners, asking that guys come as the “+1″ for once. Angie holds a B.A. in English and Social Welfare from UC Berkeley. Follow her on Twitter at @thisgirlangie.