My team is spread out all over the world; from China to Mumbai, Brazil to New Zealand, throughout the U.S., and beyond. I am on the phone all the time via Skype. The beauty of Skype is that you can make video calls if you want, but people can decide if they want to share their camera or not, and you can also easily screenshare and share documents in Skype. And everyone already has Skype, so there’s no learning curve involved. We’ve tried to use Google Hangouts, but it’s confusing, and not everyone has it. Skype is just really simple, easy and works across platforms, e.g., mobile, tablets and computers. And best of all, it’s free.
We use PayPal because they’re the simplest to use. I actually dislike PayPal, but I need it. They take such a big chunk of payments; 2% per payment is a lot of money! If banks could just figure out how to send and receive one-time payments like PayPal and make it sleeker and simpler, they’d win the day. I use my bank’s Bill Pay feature all the time, and it’s extremely simple for recurring payments, but not for one-time payments, which is why we have to use PayPal. US banks are not very good with international transactions either. If a bank could figure out how to do that, they’d take a chunk out out of PayPal’s business.
Sometimes I have calls with tech folks and scientists, and someone will record the session. It’s so easy to just send an email with a link to the video or audio recording stored on Dropbox, rather than emailing a massive file to everyone. Dropbox is secure enough, but I do not trust it for my legal or IP documents.
We use QuickBooks Desktop for Mac. It’s the most user-friendly accounting software. It’s so simple, and has the best user experience. Comparing QuickBooks to any other software for accounting is like comparing OS X to Windows. Mac users will know what I mean.
I use LinkedIn every single day to keep up with the industry and relevant news. I also use it to find and connect with people who are in capital markets or professional markets (e.g., investors, management types and entrepreneurs). I use it to find people to work with, collaborate with or transact with.
We use AngelList to keep track of what is going on in the industry and keep up with the major players and startups, as well.
I love Bitly. It’s just awesome because it lets you shorten and personalize your web links.
I love love love love DocuSign! Every startup should open a DocuSign account. It is so simple to use. There’s nothing more simple than clicking your mouse to sign a legal document.
UberConference calling is just awesome, and it’s free to use! Very professional. Great brand and super-cool people.
SurveyMonkey is an awesome tool to have when you’re at that point for sales and marketing.
You need to get a Capshare account on day 1 of your new business. There isn’t an easier, more trustworthy way to keep track of your cap table, shareholders, investments, convertible notes, capital contributions, ROI, K-1 information and vesting schedules of employees and directors’ shares. Everything you have to do, that you may not have experience doing, is right at your fingertips in Capshare. Capshare lets you get all of the information that your lawyers, accountants and potential investors are asking you for in a snap -- from anywhere via the web. If Capshare could provide additional storage space for important documents, such as company and shareholder agreements, insurance policies, banking information, succession plans and intellectual property, Capshare would be one’s safe deposit box for all important documents. Dropbox is secure enough, but I do not trust it for my legal or IP documents. I trust Capshare implicitly. If I could also store my R&D and patent work in Capshare, I would, so if I were hit by a bus, those who need to know and access it could do so very easily. Currently, I have everything stored on my personal computer, with my attorneys, in a safe deposit box; everything is scattered around. It would be awesome to have it all at Capshare and then give specific people access to files, like my attorneys, co-founders or executors. I couldn’t give any more love to an outside company/provider/partner to my business than I do to Capshare and Apple!
Bluehost is one of my all-time favorites. They have the easiest way to manage your domains, website and email. Everything requires just one click. You will want to have a good hosting service when you start a company, and I highly recommend Bluehost.
I use Asana because it’s the only project management software I’ve ever seen. It still needs a lot of work, but it works well enough for me right now. It’d be great if Asana could scan my emails and send me a reminder for meeting date and time requests automatically, or add them to my calendar with one click. When it can interface with your email, it will be light years ahead of where it is now.