Archive | March, 2012

I’m Joining CrowdFlower’s Board

I was asked to join CrowdFlower‘s Board of Directors this week – and gladly accepted.  I did so for the following reasons:

  • I really understand the space.  Jigsaw was one of the original crowdsourcing business models.
  • I really like CrowdFlower’s model and market leadership.  I think this company is going to do great things.
  • I really like CrowdFlower’s Founder and CEO, Lukas Biewald.  He is an incredibly visionary guy.  I plan to learn a lot from him and his talented team.

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They Do Listen!

Last week I was asked by my buddy Jack Porter of Forward Innovations to speak at one of his Entrepreneur Boot Camps.  It was a fireside chat format and I got to do a lot of what I like to do best: talk.  I told the room of mostly young tech entrepreneurs a lot of war stories and gave lots of advice.  One of the entrepreneurs was kind enough to email me back with the following email:

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Hey Jim –

Just wanted to say thanks for the time you spent with us at the Boot Camp. Your practical and candid advice really resonated with me, especially as a first-timer who is new to all of this. Thanks for sharing your successes and your failures, and for taking the time to invest in us. I got a lot out of what you shared, especially:

  • don’t time the market. if you have an idea…go
  • burn rate is everything. watch it and learn to be honest with yourself. you CAN see it coming
  • get VCs and investors to agree to the lowest possible projections. they measure success based on a plan
  • VCs will ask you what you suck at. have an answer
  • don’t hire from the industry you’re trying to disrupt
  • tell your “A” players: “If you ever think about leaving, give me a chance to make it right first.”
  • in acquisitions, you MUST be ambivalent

There’s a lot more, but I wanted to make it clear that the time you spent with us, at least in my case, was worth it.

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Must admit that it feels really good to get an email like this – on a couple of levels.  Most gratifying is that you realize people really do listen.  Most of the successful entrepreneurs I know spend a fair bit of time “giving back”.  Emails like this make it worth it.

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