Today's entrepreneur: Joe Kraus

Katie Gatto · January 7, 2011 · Short URL:

No. 1 mistake: Not being persistent enough and not hiring well and/or hiring too fast

Entrepreneurs, and those who work at startups, are a special part of the workforce.

They embrace innovation and disruption. They live on the edge, and, at times, chase the latest shiny object. But their willingness to fail and try something new often enable them to make a big difference.  

The Vator community is made up of these unique people. To that end, we've changed our user profiles to allow entrepreneurs to express their interests and lessons about entrepreneurship. 

These profiles will allow us to highlight an entrepreneur every day.

Today's entrepreneur is Joe Kraus.

I am:

An Investor

Name companies you've founded or co-founded:, JotSpot

Name companies you've invested in:

HomeAway, ngmoco, RelayRides, OpenCandy, gomiso

If you are an entrepreneur, why?

I love eating Ramen.

What's most frustrating and rewarding about entrepreneurship/innovation?

Rewarding: seeing a vision manifested. the relationships that form when a group of people tries to tackle the impossible. changing lives when you have a successful outcome.

Frustrating: not knowing if you're early or wrong. constant tradeoffs and resource decisions. constant selling.

What's the No. 1 mistake entrepreneur's make?

I have two #1 mistakes. Not being persistent enough and not hiring well and/or hiring too fast

What are the top three lessons you've learned as an entrepreneur?

1. persistence rules the day. the negotiation usually begins at 'no'
2. hire slowly and hire better than yourself, always.
3. failure is over-rated. You learn far more from successes than failures.
4. better to be a trendspotter than a trendsetter
5. you only make what you measure.

(Note: If you want to be featured, please fill out your Vator profile, answer the questions in the basic information area, and be sure to add a big photo as wide as 400 pixels! Email with a link to your Vator profile so we can check it out!)

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ngmoco are creators and publishers of mobile games such as We Rule(TM), We Farm(TM) and GodFinger(TM) for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch.




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RelayRides is the world's first peer-to-peer carsharing service. Our revolutionary service provides the technology, infrastructure and marketplace for car owners to securely and conveniently rent out their vehicles when they are not using them personally. This provides people seeking convenient transportation with a new option, and makes it easier for urban dwellers to enjoy mobility without owning a car.  


As the average US car is driven only 66 minutes a day, RelayRides represents the first opportunity for car owners to monetize this underused asset. By providing the infrastructure, technology and marketplace for car owners to rent out their vehicles, RelayRides gives current car owners the means to monetize a largely underused asset. By enrolling in RelayRides, owners turn a car from an expense into a cash machine, with average profit of approximately $3,550 annually (net of depreciation costs).


How RelayRides Works: 

Car owners list their vehicle on the RelayRides website, designate availability, rental price, and who may rent the vehicle (via Facebook and other social networks).  Car renters browse available vehicles on, reserve a car by the hour or day, and swipe an issued card over a card reader sensor on the vehicle for access during rental. 

To streamline the rental experience, gas and insurance are included.


Joe Kraus

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