My final day at oneforty was last Friday. This comes just over a year ago to the day after I joined the team.
It was a wild ride from the beginning, as Day 1 on the job was in San Francisco at Chirp (Twitter’s first developer’s conference) and included last minute trips to NYC and SF (a 2nd time) to rep oneforty. I witnessed personal tragedy and triumph, rapid team growth and later cutbacks, as well as a major pivot. I made great friends and learned more than I could ever hope to break down into any number of blog posts.
All of these experiences is why I wrote the post last week on Greenhorn Connect on why you should work at a startup before starting your own and it gives you an idea of a lot of the things I learned while there.
So what’s next? My dream has always been to build a great company in Boston and I believe the time is perfect for me to do so.
I believe you can only effectively focus on 2 major tasks at any time in your life, so while the last year my full attention was on oneforty and Greenhorn Connect, leaving oneforty gives me the free time to give full attention to creating something new. I’ve built Greenhorn Connect into a sustainable platform as I now have an awesome team backing me up on both the dev and business sides, which maximizes the attention I can place on this new venture.
As I set out on this exciting adventure my immediate focus is on the following areas:
1) Looking for a Technical Co-founder
So like so many others, I begin the search for a someone to build a company with. While the search is already underway, I appreciate any introductions or referrals to great people you think may be a match. I’m open to talking to anyone so just email me Jason[at] GreenhornConnect.com and we can meet up and get to know each other.
While I’m working to investigate some ideas of my own, I’m very happy to talk to anyone technical already working on their own ideas; when Chris Corcoran and I teamed up to enter TechStars last year, he convinced me to stop thinking about the idea I was pushing on to team up with him on Doodlebugging. We would still be working together today if it were not for the fact that he has decided to complete his pursuit of a Masters in Computer Science at UMass Lowell.
After observing the success of Viximo and Gemvara I’m strongly considering an older co-founder. I have great respect for the architecture and product knowledge they could bring in addition to a totally different network than what I’ve built with GHC. I also think that there’s a great company to be built as a mix of veterans happy to mentor and young people who are energized and hungry.
Finally, if you’re presently at a startup, I’m happy to meet you discretely and keep our discussion and the fact we chatted completely confidential.
2) Project #Chicago is underway, but not at the point of no return
I have a couple of ideas that while I was committed to oneforty I did not have time to properly evaluate. As a customer development veteran (that was my role for the last year+ at oneforty) I firmly believe you don’t have an idea you should commit to until you test it in the market both online and through interviews with potential customers (in person or on the phone).
If you have an idea or industry you’re interested in, let me know and I’m always interested in seeing if we can work together and happy to share a few tips on validating your idea.
3) Is your startup looking for customer development help?
I’ve found after mentoring at the Lean Startup Machine events in Boston and NYC that it’s a great way to hone my customer development skills and to help companies make the most of the methodology.
While many are now aware of the lean startup methodology, few are actively practicing it to maximum results. It’s very easy to think that the only takeaway is to “talk to customers,” but you’re limiting yourself if you don’t fully leverage great tools like the Lean Canvas and focus hard on exactly what you’re talking about with your customers in interviews.
I’m happy to work with your startup to improve or implement the following:
- Customer development interview structure
- Interview recruiting and evaluation
- Post interview analysis and how to share with your team.
- Lean canvas and survey usage
If you’re interested in speaking with me regarding this, just email me at jason[at]greenhornconnect.com
The next few months are going to be very exciting. I have a lot to get done and appreciate your help. If you’ll be in the Boston area and you’d like to meet and catch up, just drop me an email at Jason[at]greenhornconnect.com.