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Showing posts from November, 2009

Founders, turn off your phones. It's Thanksgiving.

I've  taken advantage of my self-important missions to save the world through software in some negative ways. I 'm guessing most founders do it; it's easy to be so intent on trying to serve your vision you end up overworking, working ineffectively, abusing relationships, taking advantage of the benefit of the doubt--all justified by your heroic sacrificial quest to save the world, or the tweets, or the whatever. Stop. Just stop. I just got off the phone with a fellow founder who is in the thick of it. He's out of money, he's got customers he can't serve very well just yet, and he's trying to make things happen while in DisneyWorld. DisneyWorld. He's on vacation with his family, and he's calling me to talk through merging with another company that also has no money, but might bring a good rolodex. Amazing. I made him promise me that he will promise his wife that he'll only be on business for an hour a day while on vacation. He said he had to answe

Startup Ecosystems

Fred Wilson posted about this yesterday here . The Lancaster/Central Penn area has suffered from the pull of the Silicon Valley and other tech centers, as entrepreneurs move their startups there and top developers get sucked into those ecosystems with the lure of good jobs at Google, Apple, and other large companies. CoTweet moved "to be near Twitter". I moved ChiliSoft in 1997 to be near Microsoft. We deliberately located Mission Research in our hometown, but it's possible that might have slowed us down--it's definitely tougher to build tech companies here. To really create a thriving startup scene and ecosystem in Lancaster, we need outside investment of about $100 million, split into two funds. With Fund 1, expect to lose everything, but fund a lot of startups. Maybe some will make it to a modest exit, maybe they would all fail. But failure isn't a bad thing. Failure creates experience just as much as success does, and in a lot of cases it strengthens teams. Fu