FF 08: Pierre Valade, CEO @ Sunrise on Being Acquired By Microsoft for $100m and Building Beautiful Products
Pierre Valade is Co-Founder and CEO @ Sunrise, the beautiful calendar app, acquired by Microsoft for $100m in February 2015, where he now works on Outlook Mobile for Microsoft. Prior to Sunrise, Pierre worked as a UX designer @ Foursquare following a successful hackathon in which he built an app in 6 hours, called Agora. Agora impressed Foursquare Founder, Dennis Crowley to the extent that Pierre was hired in the same month. As a result of Pierre’s success he was named on the Innovators Under 35.
In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:
- How Pierre came up with the idea for Sunrise?
- What made Sunrise standout above all calendar apps as the best calendar?
- What features are most requested by Sunrise users?
- How was the design process in altering the design from a iPhone to a Apple Watch?
- What was Pierre and Sunrise approach to testing and iterating products?
- Having raised VC funding prior to acquisition, how did Pierre meet his initial investors, what was his fundraising experience like? Were there any surprises or challenges?
- How did the Microsoft Acquisition come about? How has Pierre’s role and Sunrise changed since the acquisition?
Items Mentioned In Today’s Episode:
Pierre’s Fave Book: Zero To One: Peter Thiel
Pierre Most Impactful Purchase: iPhone 6
Pierre’s Fave Newsletter or Blog: Stratechery by Ben Thompson