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Business Startup Culture

XO’s Carley Roney on Startups, NY, and The Knot

At a Dell Women’s Entrepreneurship Network dinner, Techonomy’s David Kirkpatrick spoke with XO Group co-founder Carley Roney about her company’s trajectory since 1996. Roney says barriers to entry are much lower for startups today than when she and her husband David Liu were launching The Knot, XO’s signature enterprise. “Now you can iterate more quickly and test things and segment,” says Roney. “None of those things were possible at the time.” With resources scarce, Roney says her team had to launch with a clear business plan. And building a wedding services network in New York as opposed to Silicon Valley gave them an edge, says Roney, because New Yorkers understand that “a great brand is part of your value proposition.” Meanwhile, her company is one of the few that went public before the dot-com crash, saw its stock crater, and revived to thrive today.

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