Ethan tells me I need a technical co-founder. I do not look pleased and clearly will not be entering the World Series of Poker anytime soon. According to prominent venture capitalist Dave McClure great start-ups should start with a hacker, a hustler, and a designer.
We never discuss what it is I want to build. San Francisco and Silicon Valley are engineering driven cultures where we glorify engineers and everyone must have a technical co-founder. The business I plan to build is based more upon curation and editorial, so I pass on this advice. NastyGal is a great example of start-up without a technical co-founder. They built a massive business that started simply as an eBay store in 2006 but they understood their demographic better than far more sophisticated start-ups around them. They still do.
"I understand how to make money."
This is a bit of an obnoxious comment. I do that. However something start-ups are often criticized for is creating apps and companies without a prayer of having a revenue model. My background was being the person responsible for revenue and making sure we are profitable, so I’m not planning on having that problem. Call me old school, but I was always taught that businesses are supposed to make money.
At the end of lunch I mention that it’s important to get a lot of advice. It’s also important to know when to throw some of that advice “out the f-cking window.” No one knows your vision and your business as well as you do. Trust your gut.
"Dwight went to Berkeley. His friends lived in trees. I'm easing him into society."
You’ll see me head to dinner with my close friend and entrepreneur, Dwight Crow, in Palo Alto. There are certain people you can always unapologetically be yourself around. He is that person for me. We are always a two person party.