Startups and venture capital are actually not so much about money - they are mostly about people. I believe this deeply from my experiences over many years on both sides of the equation. A team is only the sum of its character and talent, including the chemistry between the employees, founders, advisors and investors.
Someone once asked me while I was on stage at a talk, “Why do you like being a VC?” I don’t know that anyone had ever asked me that before and it wasn’t expected. My answer came easily and from my heart, and I never forgot it: “I get to work with entrepreneurs who have a vision to see that which doesn’t exist, have the enthusiasm to will things into being, and have the courage to risk failure in front of their family, friends and the public.” It is a special privilege.
I know this all too well from my past, first as a venture backed CEO in Bubble 1.0, then as the founder of one of the first seed stage venture funds in the country in 2005, and now back on the operating side. I loved working with my portfolio company CEOs. They knew me better than anyone else in business, as I did them. Together, we went through relentless ups and downs, sometimes relying only on each other’s character, loyalty and selflessness. It is an exciting journey.
So, I am excited that we have investors both from great venture funds and world-class executives with careers leading some of the biggest and best companies in digital media, e-commerce, programmatic advertising, data processing and agencies.
I am excited that we have a team that has so successfully executed on our vision, creating groundbreaking technology, and producing marketing performance many orders of magnitude higher than the averages of all offerings that have come before us. I am excited that we have over two years’ worth of product completed and are creating an entirely new market here and abroad.
I am excited we have one of the fastest market adoption cycles any of us involved has ever experienced. I am excited we have a fantastic IP strategy, from trademarks to patents pending, that create a serious set of defensible assets to share with our sales channel partners, agencies, print and logistics partners. And I’m excited to see our vision coming to fruition, so much larger than most people realize, and every month it only gets more clear that we have nailed it.
Yes, that’s all exciting, but here’s what excites me the most.
People. Good people. Ten of my portfolio company CEOs are now investors in PebblePost. Five seed-stage venture funds with whom I co-invested are investors. Six founders of companies I worked with or invested in are advisors to PebblePost. And this is my favorite and most humbling: Four founding CEOs whose deals I passed on at my prior fund, but I helped along the way, have invested in PebblePost.
The cast and crew are what bring this show to life and make it all worthwhile. Thanks to all, especially our team.