TAKING REFUGE from a wet & blustery Bay Area winter night in January, Chris (Founders Circle), Andrew Dreskin (Founder & CEO) and Dan Teree (Founder & founding COO) of Ticketfly found time for a quiet celebration dinner. Six months earlier, Founders Circle had invested in the company, and two months earlier Dan had bough the home he and Kathy had dreamed of . The dinner location—a vintage roadhouse, The Buckeye, that sits just on the north of the Golden Gate Bridge.
Andrew and Dan were allowing themselves a brief moment to reflect on all the hard work over the past seven years that had moved the company much closer to their hopes and aspirations. They were giving one another a smidgen of permission to joyfully anticipate how the year’s possibilities could very well become unbridled excitement.
Andrew and Dan contemplated the path that led them to becoming one of the most widely used ticketing services for live entertainment. In 1995, Andrew founded TicketWeb where he and Dan pioneered internet ticketing as the first company to sell tickets via the "Net.” They sold that company to Ticketmaster five years later. But it soon became apparent that Ticketmaster had no intention of building an innovative service that undermined its legacy service. By 2007, Andrew and Dan partnered up again to create a new generation ticketing service, one where the design centered around a social music experience. Ticketfly was born in 2008.
Over the coming years, Ticketfly built itself into a #breakawaygrowth company. At the time of the Buckeye dinner, Ticketfly was grossing over $500 million in annual ticket sales, processing 11.2 million tickets for more than 80,000 events across the U.S. and Canada. Underneath these high level stats was the real power and value of Ticketfly—selling out the famous Burning Man festival – processing 32,000 tickets in 44 minutes!
Andrew and Dan were well known to Founders Circle for years. It was natural for Andrew to walk over two blocks to Chris’ office in South Park. It was the first of many "walk & talks" where Andrew outlined the pressures that he and his team were experiencing. On those “walk & talks” they’d discuss challenges around building the team, choosing advisors, and how to take a little pressure off the team after seven years of hard work.
Presence at home with family was a rare occurrence. Once single and living in one bedroom apartments, the founders were now married with children. The desire to put a nice roof over their heads in a great neighborhood with great schools became a primary mission. Dan loves coaching his daughter's softball team and finding the right community for Dan's rising star right-hander was a priority. The founders weren’t alone. Other executives on the team were buckling under this dynamic as were some of the company’s early financial backers.