It’s a good read (and, on a personal level, I especially like that she reveals she was a youth sports coach in her early days).
About a year ago, I actually met Joanne to talk over what I was doing with gawk.it.
As many of you know, I was on the fence about what to do with the project (raise money and go big, or stay small and treat it like a fun little hobby project).
My conversation with Joanne is what finally gave the me clarity/direction on what I really wanted to do with the project (she has a real knack for that sort of advice/direction and is why I’m such a big fan).
However, there was one thing about our meeting that really nagged at me for quite awhile afterwards…throughout it, I got the impression that she felt I was interested in being an entrepreneur more than I was interested in solving a specific problem.
I believe she meant it in a good way, and was trying to help down that path (she really is always trying to be helpful), but after reflecting on the meeting it made me realize I had clearly done a bad job communicating my intent and true motivations (likely a side-effect of not *really* wanting to go down the company path with gawk.it).
The truth was, I was already a founder in a successful startup (that continues to crush it, thank you), and while not a majority owner, I have a good founders equity stake and basically have all the ‘pros’ of doing a startup and very few of the 'cons’.
By all accounts, if 'being in a startup’ or 'being an entrepreneur’ was what drove me, I should be wildly content.
However I am not.
Don’t get me wrong, I love the team and the company we’ve been building. It’s why I’m still there (though the cash doesn’t hurt either). And truth be told, being content enough with PubGears played a big role in my motivation/drive behind what to do with gawk.it (I didn’t feel I had taken the company to where I promised I would and wasn’t really ready to move on)
But I still have a lot of other things I want to accomplish, a lot of other problems I want to fix.
But others are much much more ambitious, and really do need to be companies (with world class teams) to have the real impact I envision.
Look - I do a lot with and around startups…and it’s true I was one of those kids that also was always hustling for cash…but I’ve never really considered myself someone that “wants to be an entrepreneur”.
I’ve always just done what I do because I’ve been after a specific result or been trying to tackle a specific problem…and usually because I have a large amount of faith/belief in my own approach (vs. following someone else)…so if that makes me an 'entrepreneur’, then so be it.
But it’s the solutions - my vision of the future - that I’m after…that I’m willing to put everything and all of me on the line for.
Starting, and growing, a company is really just one of many challenges I believe is required in bringing that vision to life…and so that is what I’m compelled (forced?) to do.
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Kevin has a day job as CTO of Veritonic and is spending nights & weekends hacking on Share Game Tape. You can also check out some of his open source code on GitHub or connect with him on Twitter @falicon or via email at kevin at falicon.com.
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