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Are you a Startup Hippie?

Posted on Jul 3, 2013 by in Core Values, Leadership, Life Lessons, Startup Funding, Technology | 0 comments

It’s go time.  Let the debate begin.  Tonight’s post comes straight from a chat with crew member Devon Wijesinghe – Chief Executive Officer of Insight Pool.  So Devon swings by the office today to bring my InsightPool stock certificate – yes baby – I got a little piece of an exciting company.  We are standing in my office and as usual launch into a debate about building businesses, sales and marketing, and yes culture.  Our talks are 25% passion 25% curse words and 50% waving hands and arms at each other.

Startup Hippie

Now a days every conversation is a potential blog post – beware!  So we are basically talking loud, being passion, cursing a lot, and waving our arms:

– Sales and marketing – dude (yes we talk like that) – that’s it! I scream, he screams, we both scream.  Yes.  Then we launch into describing how sales and marketing organizations should be structured (let’s save this for another blog).

– Social media landscape – I share that I am obsessed with figuring out what clients (companies) really want – He screams, I scream, we both scream.  Yes.  He then looks at me like I’m a child (he does this often) and says, there is no single answer – today…

– Building a business – shut up (yes we talk like that) – it’s hard!  We both actually hit other.  Talking about ideas, finding customers, raising capital, driving real value for clients.

As I have said before, “the shamrock was present”, I am lucky to be in meetings like this.  I share with him that we are fully committed to building a thriving social media offering (business) within WhatCounts.  He looks me dead in the eye and says “let’s do it”.  We immediately walk over to the marketing group and start talking about an educational Webinar and how we can work together – now that is action.  Webinar is coming in August, and it will be awesome.

So, what does all this have to do with : Are you a startup hippie?  Well, while we are talking we start discussing how many “entrepreneurs” we know who don’t view building a business as a passionate, cursing, arm waving, action taking, focused – pursuit of change.  I start laughing and say, yeah, “Startup Hippies”.  We all know someone that wants to be at a startup to say they are at a startup.  They hold up the “culture card”, reference the game room, free drinks/lunch, and they need absolute assurance that a cool t-shirt is being designed.  Do you think I am saying culture doesn’t matter – no way – read here?  These things matter a lot – however – so does an absolute dedication to building a great product, assembling a sales and marketing machine, providing value to customers, and competing!  I promise that if you build a great business, all the “other” things will come, and I promise if the business doesn’t work, the free lunch will be gone.

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