Julia and Kevin Hartz and Renaud Visage co-founded Eventbrite, an online ticket seller, in 2006. The company has sold more than 60 million tickets. As told to Judith Ohikuare.
We wanted to take a service that only the biggest companies and corporations could use and make it available to everyone. I don't want to say the Little Guy, but everyone below Lady Gaga and the Yankees. We reached out to different organizations—people holding tech conferences and wine festivals—and it really just snowballed from there.
Then there was the recession. We thought, Oh, God, what's going to happen? But our business actually took off after that. We think it's because people said, "Oh, there's no jobs out there? I'm gonna put together a Web-development workshop or teach photography or organize an endurance race." People were using our service to gather at unemployment camps and talk about the perils of being unemployed. Others decided that instead of being on the corporate track, they would make a living teaching out of their homes using Microsoft SharePoint.
That inspired us. We had organizers who were depending on us. We became a superscrappy team, and I became the finance, marketing, and 24/7 support department. I remember being in labor and answering customer service e-mails. Everyone was like, "Somebody take the laptop away from her."
We always had a sense that we were the underdog. There's lots of competition and niche players. But we have every type of event on Eventbrite, whether you're a consumer or you're organizing a bacon festival. Our identity is our users