Mike Fridgen is a serial entrepreneur with more than 15 years of experience launching successful consumer Internet companies. Mike is currently CEO at Decide, a shopping service that helps consumers purchase electronics with no regrets. Prior to that, he served as Vice President of Marketing & Product Development at Farecast.com, which was acquired by Microsoft in 2008. At Microsoft, Mike led product management for Bing Travel and Bing Shopping. In the late 90s, Mike was co-founder and CEO of TripHub.com, a venture backed online travel start-up.
Mike Fridgen has a MBA from Harvard Business School and BA from University of Washington.
What are you working on right now?
Bringing “no regrets” shopping to all of consumer electronics and making the Decide mobile experience better.
What does your typical day look like?
Every day is different – recruiting, road map planning, design reviews, metrics dives, email triage, exec meetings… and I’m happiest when it ends with baseball with my son, dancing with my daughter, and dinner with my wife.
3 trends that excite you?
1. Big data and technology companies can now operate at a significantly lower cost structure.
2. Explosion of mobile usage scenarios.
3. Social graph data.
How do you bring ideas to life?
High energy collaboration with incredibly talented technology and product driven teams.
What inspires you?
People with the courage to define their own futures and to make positive change in the world.
What is one mistake you’ve made, and what did you learn from it?
Early in my career, building a team without enough diversity of thought and skillsets. Since, I’ve been fortunate to work with brilliant technologists with highly complementary capabilities and different views of the world – which makes our company and products stronger.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
Still early days of the internet revolution. (You know that old saying… “you get what you pay for”.)
What do you read every day? Why?
www.geekwire.com. Keeps me informed on the local Seattle startup community.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read, and why?
What is your favorite gadget, app or piece of software that helps you every day?
No brainer – my iphone 4.
How does Decide.com disrupt the online shopping space and differentiate from other eCommerce sites?
Decide is solving the “when to buy” question helping consumers purchase electronics with no regrets. Specifically, Decide is utilizing a large proprietary database comprised of model lineages (hundreds of thousands of devices mapped to their lineages), historical pricing (billions of price observations from thousands of sellers) and electronics rumors/news across the web. On top of that, Decide applies advanced machine-learning and text/data-mining algorithms to predict future model releases and price changes to help people avoid buyer’s remorse and save money.
Who would you love to see interviewed on Idea Mensch?
Professor Oren Etzioni.