May 01

FAWnotes.jpgI recently finished an excellent book called Founders At Work. It’s a series of candid interviews with thirty-two dot-com founders and it shares the same goal of our Grid7 podcast to get the story directly from the people that started companies from scratch and distill their wisdom. I started taking notes at the beginning of this book with the intention of doing a single blog post summarizing my thoughts. By the time I finished I had eleven pages of notes- lessons that rang true from our own experience in doing a start-up, synergies from other blogs and podcasts and quotes from founders that just struck a chord. I wound up with way too many thoughts from this book to cram into a single post.

So I’m doing an exercise this month. May has thirty-one days and there were thirty-two chapters in the book. We’re also marching towards June 1st as the ship date for the product we’ve been building the past nine months and it would be neat to coincide the final post with our first revenue. So I’m doing a post each day for the month of May to share my thoughts on each of the founder vignettes to add our perspective from building JumpBox.

There were recurring themes across all interviews-

  • the “Midnight Run”
  • the positive byproduct that came with being forced to work under tight resource constraints and the subsequent downfall that often followed when those constraints were lifted
  • the viral element that many offerings shared
  • the critical necessity of the open dialogue with the customer
  • and the healthy suspension of disbelief that was required of the founding team from the beginning in order to do the impossible.

The one thing that was entirely consistent across all interviews was that the people were extremely likable – their passion, their candor and their dedication in the face of adversity – I just wanted to meet each one of these people and shake their hands.

The first of this 32-part series is available here on Grid7. If you’d like to follow along this month you can subscribe to the RSS feed for that site. The intent is that by conducting this exercise we toss in our perspective and help influence anyone out there who is contemplating taking the same plunge that we faced nine months ago.

2 Responses to “Founders at Work: a post a day for the month of May”

  1. Sammy Larbi says:

    You’re going to need to put *** Spoiler Warning *** on those posts. =) I’ve got the book on my desk but have yet to have time to crack it open.

    I’m so tempted to read your posts, but I don’t want to just yet. I’ll have to go back and read the archives I guess…

  2. sean says:

    Sammy- yeah I suppose I should put that disclaimer on there huh… what i liked about the book is that each chapter is completely standalone so you can pick it up and read it in bite-sized chunks. You should start on CH 3 today and do one a night for May- that way you’ll be one step ahead of me and able to give your fresh insight via comments on Grid7 ;-)


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