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Hack To Start
Episode 126

Adelyn Zhou

Marketer, #bot enthusiast and entrepreneur.

Listen to this episode on iTunes, Stitcher, & Google Music

Adelyn Zhou is the cofounder and Head of Marketing at Topbots. Adelyn is a seasoned technology leader with experience at Nextdoor, Eventbrite and Amazon. She has spoken at SXSW, Harvard Business School, Launch Festival, Growth Marketing Conference, 500 Startups, and more. She is a frequent contributor to VentureBeat, Forbes, Wired and other publications. Adelyn began her startup career by joining an up and coming company called Diapers.com which was later acquired by Amazon. Following that experience, she continued to build her career as a growth marketer joining startups like Eventbrite and NextDoor - where she helped significantly grow the reach of the platform. Moving back to New York, Adelyn started her own growth consultancy, before launching Topbots - a community for the best bot news. Adelyn joins us to share her story, how she got into startups, what it was like growing Diapers.com and being acquired by Amazon, some strategies Adelyn uses to approach growth based on the stage of a startup, why she’s so interested in bots, and much more!

Main Objectives For This Episode

  • Learn more about how Adelyn got into startups
  • Learn more about how Adelyn helped grow Diapers.com, NextDoor, and more!
  • Learn more about why Adelyn is so passionate about bots
  • And more!

Episode Overview

Adelyn Zhou is the cofounder and Head of Marketing at Topbots.

Adelyn is a seasoned technology leader with experience at Nextdoor, Eventbrite and Amazon. She has spoken at SXSW, Harvard Business School, Launch Festival, Growth Marketing Conference, 500 Startups, and more. She is a frequent contributor to VentureBeat, Forbes, Wired and other publications.

Adelyn began her startup career by joining an up and coming company called Diapers.com which was later acquired by Amazon. Following that experience, she continued to build her career as a growth marketer joining startups like Eventbrite and NextDoor - where she helped significantly grow the reach of the platform.

Moving back to New York, Adelyn started her own growth consultancy, before launching Topbots - a community for the best bot news.

Adelyn joins us to share her story, how she got into startups, what it was like growing Diapers.com and being acquired by Amazon, some strategies Adelyn uses to approach growth based on the stage of a startup, why she’s so interested in bots, and much more!


Some Of The Questions We Ask

1:50
Where are you from and what did you study?

2:45
How did your passion for tech and entrepreneurship develop?

3:48
How did you start your career and what was it like transitioning from consulting to startups?

5:42
You joined Amazon as part of the Diapers.com acquisition as you mentioned. Can you tell us a bit more about this experience and what it was like?

9:04
Later in your career you ended up joining NextDoor in a Growth Marketing role. Can you tell us a bit more about NextDoor and how you ended up creating the opportunity to work there?

10:38
What was that growth process like of taking something digital and connecting it to real people’s lives?

14:25
So based on your experience, what are some of the most common mistakes you see other entrepreneurs making when it comes to growth marketing?

16:58
So you’re also the co-founder and head of marketing for TopBots, a site dedicated to covering the best bots, chatbots, and conversational AI. What motivated you to launch the site?

19:00
So I know you touched on it a little, but what really drew you to bots and where do you see the space continuing to evolve?

20:22
You mentioned that bots is a bit of trendy space right now and a lot of people are excited about it, but how are you building and growing a community of followers and enthusiasts?

22:07
On that trend, what’s are some of the most recent bots you’ve come across?

24:11
Any recommendations on some great content that you’ve come across lately?

25:11
If you could go back in time and give yourself some advice on life or your career - what would you tell yourself?

28:04
Any last thoughts or personal mottos that you live by that you think others should know about?


Here are some of the most important links and resources mentioned throughout the show.

Twitter Handles & Websites

Adelyn Zhou on Twitter
Adelyn Zhou on the Web
Topbots on Twitter
Topbots on the Web
Tyler Copeland on Twitter
Franco Varriano on Twitter

Devices, Apps, and Books

Unicef U-Report Bot
Topbots Newsletter
Conversational Interfaces
Shoe Dog

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