Laura Fitton or more commonly referred to by her peers on Twitter as @pistachio, is the vibrant Founder of oneforty: an online community that’s helping people get more out of Twitter and making this innovative social tool work for them.
Richard: Making connections – that’s something you do very well. How have you been able to build such a strong following in Boston and around the world, both online and offline?
Laura: Mainly by being enthusiastic, open and helpful. It’s really that simple. See past any obstacles or hangups that you think are in your way, even if you’re pretty sure they’re external to you. Open yourself up and act on opportunities and you’ll definitely surprise yourself. Want my complete “guide?” look here: http://pistachio.posterous.com/lauras-rules-0
Richard: oneforty has really taken off and many are calling it an overnight success, what do you think has attributed to its growth?
Laura: We’re solving a big problem. Nearly 100% of people have NO idea they need Twitter. Then they have no idea why they need Twitter or what can be done with it. We’re building a community around getting the most out of your life and work using the great innovations that are arising in the Twitter ecosystem.
Richard: Raising well over 2 million dollars for oneforty is a very large accomplishment and one full of blood sweat and tears – what insight, tips would you offer to other entrepreneurs looking to raise money for their own businesses?
1) Work hard on the business, even when you’re raising FOR the business. It’s so easy to get caught up and forget to keep pushing the ball down the field. An entrepreneur that never stops executing will eventually get funded. One that never stops raising but uses lack of money as an excuse for lack of progress probably shouldn’t be.
2) Never make the mistake that raising the money is the success, it’s really only the first step.
Richard: Why do you think so many people are rooting for you to succeed (including myself)?
Laura: Aww, thanks. I’ve felt pretty aww shucks about that for years – genuinely. But I guess, see #1?
Richard: I truly admire your affinity for charities such as Charity: Water. Can you tell us more about that. As an entrepreneur, do you think a philanthropic approach helps create a better business culture?
Laura: To survive and wake up everyday and deal with all the energy and ideas raging in my head I need work that I’m passionate about. That first @wellwishes campaign got me through what could have been a very lonely holiday season where I was facing down a lot of financial uncertainty.
Richard: oneforty is known as the Twitter App Store – some might argue that putting all your eggs in one basket, so to speak, may be a risky decision for long-term business success. Are you planning on expanding your offerings at oneforty.com or do you throw caution to the wind and operate under the motto: one excellent product/service is better than offering several mediocre products/services?
Laura: We’re less an “app store” and more a community that helps you get the most out of life and work using Twitter-powered tools. Rolls right off the tongue, doesn’t it? You can see why “app store” sticks in people’s minds.
Finding the right tool on oneforty, or seeing how someone else uses Twitter, kills isolation, creates fun, boosts productivity and can even change the world. Everything on the site integrates with Twitter in some way, but it’s truly about finding great solutions to your everyday problems.
I can’t make a case that we’re best in the world at social media in general, but you’d be hard pressed to find more thinking about how to do awesome things with Twitter in one other single place.
Richard: You’ve chosen Boston as your home for oneforty. Why is that?
Laura: I didn’t have a choice. My kids live here. But I also don’t buy into the hype that it can’t be done outside of the valley. Great businesses are being built on the realtime web in many cities around the globe. Dropping into SF once a month keeps us up to speed.
Read the full line-up and entrepreneurial interviews here: We Love Boston Entrepreneurs