Robert Wolfe – Co-founder of Crowdrise

Robert and Jeffrey Wolfe run Crowdrise day to day. In addition, they started and built Moosejaw, the successful multi-channel retailer that combined humor, crowdsourcing, social commerce and creative marketing to create an intensely loyal customer base. As CEO and COO of Moosejaw they were recognized by Ad Age in 2008 on its list of the Top 50 Marketers, and Moosejaw was recognized by Internet Retailer in 2007 and 2008 as a Top 100 Website.

What are you working on right now?

We’re spending as much time as possible embracing feedback and pursuing projects to make Crowdrise more fun, interesting and notable for our current users. One quick example is that we’re making it so that people with really poofy hair always get double Crowdrise Points. That’s actually not true, but we should do that.

What are two trends that excited you?

The rise of quality. Quality is on the rise. This holds true when looking at the products we buy, the food we eat and the cars we drive. But it’s also true when it comes to Internet content. People are getting more concerned with the quality of their messaging rather than just the number of followers they have.

Mobile. I know this is cliché and probably something that every interviewee on your site mentions. But I am super excited about mobile technology, and there are huge opportunities for fundraising to exist in the mobile space. While there is a lot of fundraising going on in the mobile space already, there is crazy room for improvements.

How do you bring ideas to life?

Prioritize, prioritize, prioritize. One of the facts about having Edward Norton involved in our business is that we’re presented with a ton of opportunities. We have to prioritize every initiative that we tackle, because otherwise we’d never get anything done. So my brother and I have a call every Sunday where we review our list of initiatives. And then we go and do them.

One other thing is that every project we take on gets evaluated every week. Lots of projects take more than a week, but there has to be progress every week, and everyone has to be on the exact same page regarding timing and expectations.

What inspires you?

Being notable and relentlessly creative.  I mean…how the hell did Charlie Kaufman and Spike Jones throw together Being John Malkovich?

What is one mistake you’ve made and what did you learn from it?

A few times we’ve taken our madness a bit too far.  I don’t think we really learned it from anyone and I hope that doesn’t come out as over-confident because we certainly never pretend to know what we’re doing.

You have built impressive audiences with both Moosejaw and Crowdrise. Any advice for our readers on how to do that?

Do it organically. We try to send notable messages that people will care about, and we don’t incentivize for people to sign up for our email list. Well, we do. Just a little bit. But we don’t take it to the extreme that we’ll get followers that never have a chance of becoming active participants. We want active participants, not just


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