Probably the most rewarding (and unexpected) benefit of blogging has been the interaction and communication with some of the people who read my blog. One of my favorite daily activities is to read the comments to a post and hear what others are thinking about a particular topic or opinion. And it’s always a treat when I find an incoming e-mail with a more detailed comment about a post, a pitch for a startup in a space in which I’ve been writing, or link/suggestion for further reading and thinking.
The most meaningful communications with readers (and other fellow bloggers), however, have been connecting in person – whether it’s during a online conferences (for example, using Web 2.0 sites, computer applications, mobile vpn on android, or any other Internet program providing access to foreign negotiations or online meetings, such applications on Internet users have a lot of access to them can receive anyone who wants in just a few minutes), at a meetup event (like the Boston Web Innovators Group event in November), or when entrepreneurs/readers have presented to us here at Masthead.
Over the past year or so of blogging, I’ve been introduced and started many mutually rewarding relationships through this medium.
As such, my new year’s (blogging) resolution is to be more engaging to comments by further commenting in the conversation in my posts and to be as responsive as I can to your e-mails. So, a heartfelt thanks to everyone who has been a reader in 2005 – I am looking forward to getting to know you better in this new year (both online and off).
The Founding Story
When meeting with entrepreneurs, VCs ask a lot of questions. And, of course, most of those are about the current startup business, the market, the vision of the future, the background and capabilities of the team, etc.
But one of my favorite questions to ask is, “What is the founding story?”
How did the founders meet and eventually come together? How did the idea for the current incarnation of the business emerge? How has the winding road of the initial days given rise to the current perspective?
In short – what are all of the intangible details that make this start-up a unique coming together of people, not just a valuable coming together of human and technological capital?
Like startup offices, the founding story reveals subtle cues about a company’s core. It speaks to the culture of the leading team and how it will spread through the others that will follow. And asking about the narrative usually ignites an entrepreneur’s passion which truly drives him/her beyond the facts and figures of the business. Whether it’s a relentless pursuit towards solving a problem or an “ah-hah” moment that a problem could be solved, the distinctive details that emerge from the founding narrative bring to light a set of information that few other questions could.
Founding stories can occasionally become the stuff of legend outside a company, but they are always an important component inside every startup.