Anthony Bucci

I’m a founder, CEO, brand builder, investor, tech geek, family man and juggernaut. I’m most known for RevZilla. Expect a bit of storytelling, inspiration and insight as my different roles and perspective continue to evolve. I won’t settle and neither should you.

  • Last night I had a drink with RevZilla employee #17, who’s last day was last Friday. After 8+ years he’s off to find his next mountain to climb. I’m excited for him. Go get ’em, PCB.

    We talked about life, business and what’s next for both of us at a macro and micro level. We also enjoyed reminiscing about the early days of the company and what it was like to invent things on a small team just starting out vs later operating within a larger industry-dominant machine focused on constant expansion and maximizing its lead.

    We both agreed businesses and opportunities have a lifecycle with different rewards and challenges along the way. Sometimes as things progress you need to be aware of the work / life ROI calculator and how it shifts and can differently impact you over time.

    The personal inputs of time, effort and energy go in and hopefully result in meaningful comp, work, learning, growth, relationships and the joy of doing things you’re proud of. As we all progress through our careers, both sides of that equation change due to how we evolve as people and value our personal time while the companies, people and opportunities continue to change around us.

    He also shared with me one of his favorite videos, which I believe captures the spirit of the arc of the stages of many our lives, entrepreneurial or not. It’s an insightful four minutes with the founder / CEO of alibaba.com, Jack Mah. I had not seen this one before.

    Jack speaks to the value of picking someone to follow, focusing on what you are good at and eventually paying it forward. My favorite part, though is when he speaks to “your mistakes as the income or revenue” of the early career effort.

    My favorite quote: “25 years old. Make enough mistakes. Don’t worry. You fall, you stand back up. Enjoy it.”

    When I was 26, about to leave a good career to start RevZilla, knowing the stats of startup survival rate, I asked my father if he thought I was crazy.

    His response, “What’s the worst that can happen? You learn a ton, it doesn’t work, you pick yourself up and go do something else – with that much more experience.”

    At this stage, I’d probably also add, “and make sure that great learning experience doesn’t leave you with crazy debt, though”.

    Regardless, glad that my father, Jack Mah and I are aligned on this one.

  • Earlier this year I was happy to have been asked by the City of Philadelphia to help connect them to fast movers in Seattle in support of their Amazon HQ2 bid. The cross-functional pitch team was doing their own research and recon, which included spending some time on the ground there, hopefully learning more about the Amazon culture and finding some insights which could increase the hometown chances.

    At the time, my thought process surrounding the value of the ‘Zon coming to town was mostly centered on:

      1. The ability of Amazon to attract a different level of tech / digital talent to Philly;
      2. The ability for the companies I’m involved with and others locally to be able to potentially recruit that talent;
      3. The boost to the Philly economy on all fronts and;
      4. Bringing attention and hopefully improvement to Philadelphia’s national brand, which, in my view, is often overly focused on cheese steaks and public altercations involving snowballs, batteries and most recently a horse. The landscape (food, culture, business) has changed in the even the last decade and this town needs to advertise its new position as a city with much to offer to those open to moving.

      In the last six months, however, reading more about Seattle’s current issues and speaking with friends who are current residents, I can’t say that I have not ended up with cold feet on the proposition of “winning” this bid.

      This week Technically Philly ran a piece highlighting the potential upsides and downsides of winning the HQ2 bid, although the author ended up a net positive on the outcome.

      I can’t get there any longer.

      When I think about Philly in its current form, I think of it as an undiscovered gem, with a burgeoning food and cultural scene coupled with a reasonable cost of living that I still consider any startup-up’s first investor.

      The slow and steady organic evolution in the last two decades has added a romance, inclusiveness and kept a “smallness” that we have all been enjoying. I continue to hear visitors remark, “I had no idea this was Philadelphia”. It wasn’t, but it is now. It’s arriving as we speak.

      The word is slowly getting out, and eventually Philly will mature in many ways that other cities already have. In the meantime, I’d hate to see us potentially fracture the magic if we toss Amazon’s 40,000 new six-figure salaries at it and then hope that infrastructure, housing, amenities and even the suburbs can catch up, keep up and stay stable. Rushing the process will likely break a lot of what’s currently great.

      While I will fully agree that Amazon’s immediate impact to the city’s economy, talent pool and national presence will be real and positive, losing the current “small” and accessible elements of Philly will be an immediate loss to what’s finally starting to work so well and evolve.

      And, for those (including me) who are looking for our city to more quickly elevate its brand on the national stage, I’d say we don’t need Amazon HQ2. We just need more Philadelphia evangelists with bigger megaphones and collectively a bit more patience.

  • Over the last year, I have regularly found myself sharing things I have learned about life and business with people.

    Each new person has occupied a different stage of life and career, but many of the topics have been the same. It’s been lots of sharing, comparing notes and learning, creating a virtuous cycle of value flowing in both directions.

    During these conversations one of us inevitably says, “This has to get written down”. Sometimes it happens, most times it doesn’t.

    During my time leading and growing RevZilla, I used to frequently crystalize my thoughts and share them internally via all-hands meetings or company-wide emails I called “Orange Juice”. It was a great way to engage staff at all levels, capture and teach institutional knowledge while reinforcing alignment around the most important things.

    It also forced me to further simplify and refine my thoughts into nuggets which could become frameworks, slogans, mantras and potentially be referenced later.

    So taking a page out of one of my favorite’s play book (AVC), I’m going to attempt to capture and share more widely my thoughts and insights which continue to be the foundation of many of my conversations focused on improving life and work outcomes.

    I have learned so much from those who took the time either personally or in their writing to share what worked for them along the way. How could I not pay it forward?

    Special thanks to Philadelphia creative stud, Chris Cashdollar (yes, best last name ever) for helping me design and bring the site to life. Special thanks to my Chief of Staff extraordinaire, Lee Anne Fischl, for the kick in the ass to follow through, and pointing out that I hadn’t written a post since 2011.

    Regarding the title of this site, my mom once asked me “If you wrote a book, what would the title be?” Within a few seconds I had it. Never Settle. It seemed obvious.

    Never Settle captures me two-fold. Always engaged and excited, moving forward toward the next thing (read, slight ADD), coupled with the relentless pursuit to see the people and things around me maximize their potential, myself included.

    Tag line, book title, personal mantra, license plate, blessing and frequently curse. Regardless. It’s me and I’m sure it will come through.

    I hope you find as much value here as I find satisfaction in sharing what I have captured. I consider the pursuit of helping those who come next an homage to all those who believed and invested in me along the way.

  • In 2016 I was asked to deliver the Drexel Graduation Keynote for the College of Computers and Informatics. An honor, challenge and responsibility for sure.

    It was a big year for RevZilla with a ton of press. Pretty neat to have some new doors flung open.

    My mom wouldn’t stop crying from the front row and I’m not sure if the faculty appreciated some of my easter eggs – but the undergrads seemed to respond well to the “Top 5 Ways to Maximize Their Nerdvantage”. I even had a parent or two high five me on our procession out.

    I begin at about 15:30.

    Very surreal these times we live in….  Did Drexel know that I accidentally hit a 7 iron toward a pickup soccer game from my front porch, once? Maybe not.

    –AB

  • I am still not quite sure exactly why our landlord loves to star in our RevZillaTV videos, but he continues to oblige us whenever we call – so long as RevZilla’s rent is paid on time.

    This 2011 holiday season Eli starred in a few videos and our latest for RevZilla’s December Deals is one of my personal favorites of all time. Ironically enough, it had the lowest budget and took less than an hour to shoot.

    Happy holidays to everyone out there and those folks who continue to help support RevZilla.com, whether by voting with their credit cards, busting their hump as part of TeamZilla or continuing to help guide Matt, Nick and I along the way.

    2011 was big. Even bigger thangs to come in 2012.

    I’ve got a feeling. (…woo hoo).

    –AB

  • I love customer feedback.

    Great prices and excellent video reviews…keep it up. I took an e-commerce class and my final project was an analysis of revzilla.com…got an “A” thanks

     

Close