After an opening party with some 250 people from the start up community, 100 bottles of champagne, 45 cases of beer, one live performance and 2 DJ’s I guess it it fair to announce Founders House open!
It is new the home for 12 super ambitious web and mobile startups. We here to work hard (Space is invitation-only and you can’t get in here if you don’t want to change the world or disrupt at least a couple of markets) But it’s also a nice place to be.
We have a dog (called Bacon), a web-controlled-live-streaming-robot so people elsewhere can see what is happening (currently being rebuilt, party causualty), a danish design lounge area, play station and a fridge dedicated to beer.
I was one of the five entrepreneurs who’ve started Founders House. We did it because we believe it can make make everyone succeed faster. Now we have access to each others’ expertise and network on a daily basis, so we’re less slowed down by not having the funds to hire experts in everything. Because those experts are now in the house. It’s also insanely motivating every time one of the other startups lauch a product/ raise money/ hire a superstar, you want to do that too.
If you’re visiting Copenhagen you should come by and say hi!
We also host events and talks on technology and building companies, you can keep in the loop by following @foundershouse
(credits to my co-founders Simon Schock, Michael Clausen, Christian Risom and Angelica Vargas. www.foundershouse.dk @foundershouse)
"Beauty is a gift. Intelligence is an investment. Wealth is a result. Humility is an achievement".
Recently Lars Hindrics of HackFwd, posted this quote on twitter. It made me think of how humility is the undervalued quality of successful business-builders.
The most really successful people are laid back and easy going. (not least visible in Silicon Valley where billionaires dress like colleague students and you can strike up a conversation with a 2.0 rockstar in any given bar - often unknowingly). Successful people don’t have to demonstrate it all the time.
Humility mostly comes *after* success. (Lars, for example, founded and later IPO’ed the social network Xing (sometimes called “the German LinkedIn”) as the first 2.0 company to go public in Europe). People still fighting to become successful help no one. And they never have time. Pride surfacing as arrogance?
Arrogance is when you still don’t know what you don’t know
I have a pocket theory that humility / arrogance comes in circles. As you move cyclically between starting something new to feeling you master the discipline. However, you never truly master the discipline, and every time you realise this you regain humility.
Most people start humble, but turn arrogant
It starts early. I speak to entrepreneurs in the early stage of the process all the time. At this stage people are driven, focused and humble. When they then have their first experience of things going well they often turn into arrogant little know-betters. They now believe they now master the game. (Later they will gain enough insight to realize that what they know is only the tip of the iceberg. At this stage founders regain humility, thank God!)
The smart kid figures it out
Unless you’re a complete idiot, these circles of arrogance should stop after a few rounds. By then you should be able to conclude that you are not smarter than everyone else, and that being a nice guy, helping others as you help yourself, is the most sustainable way of growing a company and as a person.
The most interesting this is, that it looks like humility makes you successful faster! (Because people want to help you succeed?) Re Jim Collins “Good to Great” where he proves that companies with humble CEOs (who do what’s best for the company, not what makes themselves famous) are consistently more profitable. Re Tony Hsieh, who built Zappos into one of the most successful e-tailers by building a culture of happiness and helpfulness. So it seems, that karma is also applicable to business.
Some of the good karma startup people out there
Lars Hindrics @LarsHindrics,
Rebeca Hwang, CEO of YouNoodle who helps people every day
Michael Clausen @michaelclausen of Sortedam Ventures who spreads happiness
Rasmus Viemose of Contentcube @rasmusviemose who makes people smile,
Natasha Friis Saxberg @nfsaxberg and Paula Martila @paulamarttila who share
Fred Wilson wrote a great little blog post on this which I liked so much I am posting it here too. Here are his key points…
Where first time entrepreneurs often struggle is when the product works so well that they have to quickly build a company to support the product. Most of the time, the first time founder has not spent anytime thinking about what kind of company they want to build, what kind of people they want to surround themselves with, what kind of culture they want to create, etc. The first time founder often has no experience recruiting, managing teams, and building organizations.
Serial entrepreneurs, on the other hand, often struggle with the founding idea and getting to product/market fit. They start the second and third and fourth company because they love startups and they don’t know any other way to work and be productive. But they often lack that passion around a singular idea that drives first time founders.
But when serial entrepreneurs do settle on the right idea and find product/market fit, they are usually terrific at building the company. They know when to step on the gas and where. They know how to recruit, manage, and structure organizations.