The kitchen table, a borrowed projector and a bed sheet
I invited the team over to my place Monday night for our first boardroom meeting. Since we don't have a boardroom (or an office for that matter) I pulled together the dining room table and the kitchen table ... enough for a dozen or so guys. I borrowed a projector, put up a white bed sheet on the wall and the kitchen was transformed into a boardroom ... endearing in its crudeness. We'll laugh at this one day ... actually kinda laughing about it already. With the beer fridge filled (we're in Canada eh!), we were set to go.
I would have liked to do it in the garage because it would have given it that romantic "started in a garage" aspect to it but nobody starts companies in their garage up here ... too damn cold ... unless you're starting an igloo business which is getting renewed interest from VC these days. With the price of gas, sled dogs are coming out of retirement and you have to keep the dogs somewhere now don't you! Makes complete sense.
The guys all arrived and the energy in the place was palpable. There is a beautiful sound when a pile of really passionate people are having simultaneous discussions. We settled down to a presentation I put together with my wife's assistance. It's great to have a professional graphic designer in the house. She tends to push me aside and takes over, fixing things up and making it look 10 times better. I shared my vision, answered questions and delved into brainstorming on some key aspects such as demos. The evening flew by and by the time I checked, it was very late. As people were heading out to their cars, several small pockets continued the conversations outside even though it was windy and freakin cold ... nobody really wanted to stop (maybe moving to California is not such a bad idea). They're in!
There was a posting I wrote earlier this fall from San Fransisco as I was sipping on a cold brewski and watching some nut in a rowboat in San Fransisco bay. They should probably put breathalyzers on Pocket PCs. At the time, I was talking to a bunch of people about the concept hoping they would join but I was still essentially alone. That is definitely no longer the case and it feels great to be in the company of fantastic people that share the vision and feed me the red pills and blue pills as necessary.
I was talking with a local t.v. producer that is considering doing a piece on me and the start-up experience as it unfolds. There is a raw realness associated with telling the story as it unfolds, without the colored filter of time, success or failure. I was recounting how I got to this point (which is still pretty well nowhere and yet still going somewhere) and realized how crazy you have to be to do what I'm doing. I quit a great well paying job in the CTO office of a large company working with people I actually really liked and I prostitute my brain through consulting gigs to feed the three little birds in the nest. I didn't even know what the hell I was actually going to build for the first six months or so but knowing that I was going to figure something out like I always had in the past. And it was going to be really good! What a nut! Skypoint Capital had some faith and provided me a fantastic role as an Entrepreneur In Residence (EIR) which has really helped me get to this point. You can't do it alone ... and so alone I am no more.
With the support of many people, a kitchen table, a borrowed projector and a bed sheet, the magic is beginning and we're captured it all on tape. Hmmm a reality show on start-ups ... nah ... would never work.
Nut with an Iron Ring