Brad Feld

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Getting My Attention

Nov 25, 2007

Every day I get inbound emails from entrepreneurs looking for funding.  I triage these quickly as I can usually tell within a couple of minutes of looking at whatever is attached (executive summary, overview, intro powerpoint) whether or not it’s in an area that I’m interested in investing in.  Since my top level filter is "theme" it’s easy to make a quick call.  If you’ve ever sent me something, hopefully you’ve gotten a quick response.

Most of the exchanges I have are generic and aren’t focused on me.  Sometimes they are.  Over the weekend, I had one that I think is an ideal example of how to get my attention.

It started with an email from Nick Napp of Disruptor Monkey.  I remembered Nick and Disruptor Monkey from a previous referral from Square 1 Bank, but I didn’t remember where our conversation went (or didn’t go.)  Nick’s email started off with the Subject line "Some thoughts re: Exchange server" and continued with:

Your recent post (Where Is Microsoft In This Party?) rang a few bells over here in Monkey land.  Since you are well down the road drinking the kind of coolaid we enjoy, I’d like to share some additional thoughts with you.  You are quite right that there is magic in the Exchange data – far more data than just email messages.  There’s social network data, implied definitions of individual/personal relevancy and a huge collection of exploitable meta-data.

There’s more which was equally relevant, personalized to what I was thinking (and blogging) about, and simple to process (e.g. a handful of short, clear paragraphs.)

I responded with a quick "So – er – um – when do I get to play with something?" to see how real this was.  Nick responded with an awesome video demonstration teaser that was customized for me.  There are lots of great attributes of the video including:

  • It is only 2:43 minutes long
  • Nick is the moderator
  • It’s personalized to me and Foundry Group
  • It has a 30 second setup of the problem
  • The other two minutes are a demo set to Steppenwolf’s Magic Carpet Ride (which made it easy for me to sit back and watch.)

Under three minutes and I get that what Disruptor Monkey is doing is interesting to me.

Now, I don’t know if I want to fund Nick’s company, but I definitely want to spend more time with him.

Plus they’ve got a bitchin logo.