Good morning, All,
Building a web presence is easy. Building a company, not so much. Entrepreneurship is up globally and not surprising: there’s a job shortage. Globally.
There are different forms of founders in tech, and there’s a big difference between an entrepreneur and a wantrepreneur, as Brian Cohen calls dilettantes who live on ‘hopium.’ An idea is not company, You also need to know what you’re doing, why you’re doing it, where you’re going, and how you’re going to get there. Helps to be a subject matter expert, or have one on the team. In other words, someone who lives in the space and isn’t just a tourist there.
We happen to live in NYC and it’s tourist season. Of course, there are always tourist here, but more so now that it’s getting warmer. We do go to a number of expos/networking events/panel discussions during any given week, and we commute to and from the office and events by walking or riding a Citi Bike. Which is when it occurred to us that ‘wantrepreneur’ is something of a misnomer. They’re tourists. They move in packs. When they’re lost, they tend to gravitate to people who speak their language and chances are, they’re getting directions from fellow tourists who don’t know the lay of the land any better than they do.
Just because you’re not a tourist in SF, doesn’t mean that you’re not one in NYC. Meaning that even if you have had success once or even twice, you still might be a tourist when it comes to another vertical. Case in points: Jack Dorsey and Square, which is not living up to its promise. When things like that happen, investors get nervous and it detracts from us all. The terms ‘bubble’ and ‘Series A Crunch’ start to rear their ugly heads again. Tourists of tech come in all shapes and verticals. So if you’re not in your comfort zone, thanks for visiting and safe home. Investors need to apply similar criteria to serial investors as they do to first timers, at least when it comes to the essentials: are they subject matter experts, or do they have them on the team? We’ve said it before and happy to say it again: we’re still in the early days of tech. Dorsey may understand social, but if you believe that there’s some tech brain trust that’s going to hit it every time, and for most of the rest of us, it’s game over, Dorsey’s Square debacle only goes to show that you that we’re still a long way from the finish line. And if you believe otherwise, you don’t know Jack. Onward and forward.