If you are a fan of Startup Communities, there’s a lot going on around new initiatives on this front.
Ian Hathaway and I are hard at work on a book called The Startup Community Way, which is modeled after Eric Ries’ evolution of The Lean Startup to his recent book The Startup Way. I’m a big fan and long-time friend of Eric’s so I hope he’s ok with our using the same conceptual labeling approach from the evolution of the Startup Communities concept to a much broader audience than just startup communities (Eric – if you aren’t, tell me and I’ll adjust …)
One of my approaches to writing a book is to blog a lot of early content and get reactions to it. It helps me frame my thinking, connects me with people who are interested in what I’m writing, and forces me to put out content in public that I have to work hard at, but in bite-sized chunks. Ian has bought into this idea so he and I have a steady stream of content for The Startup Community Way coming on the StartupRev website.
An example is a post we put up today titled Thoughts on the New Jersey Innovation Evergreen Fund. If you have feedback for us (stuff you think we got wrong, or stuff you think we should reinforce, or any examples you’ve experienced directly) we’d love to hear from you either in the comments or by email.
Techstars is also hard at work on a bunch of stuff around ecosystem development (where communities and ecosystems are different things – Ian and I will have a post up on that soon.)
If this topic is interesting or important to you, either as a leader or a feeder in a startup community, or someone in government, academic, or a large company who is exploring or participating in innovation in a geographic ecosystem, give me a shout anytime!
I just pushed out a major update to the Startup Revolution site. This is the URL that I use for all the books I’ve been involved in and all the discussions around the books.
Take a look and give me feedback. Special bonus points for finding bugs.
Sean Wise, my co-author for my next book, Startup Opportunities, is a professor at Ryerson University in Toronto. When we first started writing this book in late 2013, we knew that we were going to do both a United States tour and a Canadian book tour. We flipped a coin to see which one we’d do first and Canada won.
The book is comes out in March (pre-order right now to give me some love) and we’re celebrating that with a Central and Eastern Canadian book tour. Sean and I will also be putting the topics in our book directly to work. At each book tour event, a few idea stage companies will be pitching us for an investment prize out of the fund Sean’s involved with, Ryerson Futures.
Canada has always been good to me and I have some fun memories of both work and play from our neighbor in the north. If you’re in the area, join me at one of the tour stops listed below.
March 23rd, 2015: Winnipeg with Innovate Manitoba. Registration here.
March 24th: Waterloo with Communitech. Register here.
March 25th: Ottawa with L-Spark, Algonquin, and Fresh Founders. Register here for the afternoon event.
March 26th: Toronto with Ryerson Digital Media Zone. Register here.
March 27th: Montreal with Real Ventures + portfolio. Register here.
Each of the organizations is an integral part of their startup community. They help out with community engagement, mentorship, and/or capital. In addition to investing a lot of time, energy, and money in their startup communities, they have done a huge amount of work organizing this book tour – thank you, as we couldn’t do this without you.
A number of the most entrepreneurially-minded companies in Canada act as our national sponsors for the Startup Opportunities book tour.
Our Naming Sponsor QuickBooks is dedicated to getting new, high-growth businesses off the ground.
BDC Capital is our National Pitch Tour Sponsor and will be joining Sean and I on the judges’ panel at all the events.
Silicon Valley Bank is a close partner to me and my partners at Foundry Group here in the US and I’m excited to work with them in Canada as well.
Startup Canada has embraced the #GiveFirst mindset which has made Boulder a awesome startup community.
Canadian Business is the center of business and entrepreneurial news and information in Canada.
Wiley Canada, who works with Sean Wise his other books, publishes quality business and instructional content.
For more details about the book tour and all the sponsors, you can take a look at document that the FG Press team put together.
If you’re curious about this pitch competition, you can find more information here, and be sure to reach out to the city partners as they are the ones selecting the companies to pitch their events.
Last October, when I put out a call for A Design HackStar for Startup Revolution I got about 50 responses. Around ten were great; one was awesome. That one was from Cole Morrison, who starting working part time as a Hackstar on all the Startup Revolution stuff at the end of last year.
If you haven’t been on the Startup Revolution web site in a while, go take a look and give me feedback on things you’d like me to change, or add to it. We are continuing to evolve it on a weekly basis – our most recent change was to incorporate the Ask the VC website into it as part of the release of the 2nd edition of Venture Deals: Be Smarter Than Your Lawyer and Venture Capitalist.
Cole is a 25 year old entrepreneur, designer, and developer whose design services company, ijitsu Design, was recently acquired by TundraLogic, Inc. for which he now serves as the Chief Marketing Officer. He is also working on a new RPG called Project Recreate. I met him for the first time on my trip in November to Lexington and Louisville, KY and it’s an example of how random good things (in this case – Cole) come back to me from the effort I put out into the world.
Chris Dixon has a good short post up titled What the smartest people do on the weekend is what everyone else will do during the week in ten years. He wrote it on Saturday so it’s got a delightful self-referential twist to it now that he’s a partner at A16Z.
I’ve always thought this was a great interview question. I’ve used it with founders of companies I’m looking at investing in, TechStars founders, and execs for early stage companies. Basically, anyone who I’m trying to understand what they are thinking about long term. The variety of answers is fascinating, often deeply personal, and occasionally very confusing to me. But they are always enlightening.
My answer for a long time has been “write, read, spend time with Amy, run long distances, catch up on what just happened the previous week, and recharge myself to go back into the fray on Monday morning.” Amy likes to look at me on Sunday night and assess whether I’m patched up and ready to go again for another week. Unfortunately, there have recently been too many Sunday’s where her assessment is that I’m not and need another day, which I rarely have.
The idea, and execution, for all of the Startup Revolution stuff came out of what I do on the weekend. A lot of thinking about it rolled around in the back of my brain during long runs. While I wrote Startup Communities during two months last summer, most of my work on Startup Life was done between 5am and 9am during the weekend and over the weekends during September and October. And Startup Boards seems to be following the same pattern for me.
The second book in the Startup Revolution series, Startup Life: Surviving And Thriving In A Relationship With An Entrepreneur, is shipping in the next week or so. My wife Amy Batchelor and I wrote this one, with contributions from about 20 other entrepreneurial couples.
Amy and I have been friends since we met in college in 1984. We have been together as a couple since 1990. We got married in 1993. Our marriage almost ended in 2000. Today, I am ecstatic in my relationship with Amy. We’ve worked hard over the past 11 years to figure things out, get it right, and build a long-term, sustainable relationship.
Startup Life explores the unique challenges that exist in the context of a relationship with an entrepreneur. Like my other books, there’s a lot of personal stuff in it – in this case, from both of us. We include lots of stories and wisdom from our entrepreneurial friends, especially in areas where we have no experience, like that of having – and dealing with – children in the relationship.
Amy and I have been talking about writing this book since 2007. It was an awesome experience to write it together – all of the expected collaboration dynamics appeared. For example, when we started, I wanted to simply split up tasks and write chunks separately; Amy wanted to collaborate on every word. After a laugh together about the clicheish male / female gender stuff at work here, we quickly figured out how to make progress together.
Of all the books I’ve written, I’m most proud of this one. We dug deep into our own life, experiences, and personalities. We bared our souls a lot. We’ve got a lot to learn still about relationships, but we feel like we covered a lot of ground in this book.
Several early readers have told us this is a great broad relationship book that applies to any couple. While we hope that is the case, we especially focused on the special stresses that we’ve experienced in an entrepreneurial life. Either way, we hope there’s a lot here that can be helpful.
If the topic appeals to you, pre-order a copy of Startup Life: Surviving and Thriving in a Relationship today. Engage with articles you find interesting about this topic on the Startup Revolution Hub. And look for a lot more on the Startup Life blog in the coming weeks.
When I created Startup Revolution and began writing Startup Communities, I insisted with Wiley (my publisher) that the word be “startup” and not “start-up” or “start up” or even “StartUp”. It took a while to (a) get everyone to agree to that and (b) expunge the efforts of the copy-editor to reintroduce some gross variant of “startup” but I finally got it done.
Today I noticed a post from Andrew Hyde titled Washington Post Style Guide Now Includes “Startup” as A Word. Awesome.
We had a similar conversation when Startup America Partnership was formed in 2011. After some back and forth we all got it right.
I’m glad that “Startup” is making its way into the style guides of the old media world.
At some point in the future, the machines will take over. At that time the machines can create Feldborgs if they so desire; until then there is only one of me.
After a day like today it’s hard to accept that I can’t go to every city on the planet and talk about Startup Communities. Today I was in LA – starting at LaunchPad LA, followed by a meeting with Ivee (so, so cool), then an interview with Jason Calacanis for This Week In Startups, and finishing up with a fantastic evening at Cross Campus, first with about 20 VCs who are the core of the LA VC community and then 300 or so entrepreneurs talking about Startup Communities until late in the night. It was an awesome day and my last travel day of the year.
On Monday, Kelly and I had a chance to go through my 2013 calendar and lock down commitments around Foundry Group and the companies I’m involved in, Startup Communities, and most importantly my beloved, Amy. While I am flattered by the plethora of interest in Startup Revolution, I don’t have the ability to do something physically in many of the cities (or countries for that matter) that I have been requested to visit in 2013. I’m tempted to revisit this after a great day like today, but I’ve made a commitment to myself and to Amy that I’m going to approach travel differently in 2013, and part of that is locking down where I’m going to be in advance of the start of the year.
However, just because I can’t be everywhere physically doesn’t mean I can’t participate remotely via Skype, Google Hangout or some other form of video conferencing technology. I’ve been gradually increasing this form of participation and have had great success with it. If for some reason I can’t make it to see you, but you think a remote session would be useful, just ask.
In the meantime, keep an eye on Startup Revolution where I will be posting book tour cities and dates for 2013 shortly. And – LA Startup Community – thanks for today. Y’all are awesome.
I don’t think I’m breaking new ground by saying that book publishing is going through a rapid transformation. I’ve learned a lot about traditional publishing after working with Wiley for the past few years on Do More Faster, Venture Deals, Startup Communities, and Startup Life. I’ve also experimented with self-publishing with HyperInk for the book Burning Entrepreneur. And, as I continue to publish books in the Startup Revolution series, you’ll see a lot more experimentation from me, both around the writing and publishing process, as well as with regard to engaging with everyone reading these books.
Recently, I starting pondering what would happen if a book wasn’t simply static content, but an actively-engaging, community-building platform? What if a class could read and share notes, an executive team could collaborate around a book, or a community of readers could interact within the text itself?
I recently found a social reading technology called BookShout!, and, after spending some time with them, think they are addressing a lot of things I want in my current book reading experience. As a result, I’ve launched Startup Communities: Creating an Entrepreneurial Ecosystem in Your City on BookShout!
If you download the book and join the community, you not only get the book, but you can also connect with me, see my notes, invite others to join you, and create robust communities and in-line conversations inside the book.
To help entrepreneurs worldwide, Startup America is also using its full resources to reach out to millions of entrepreneurs so that we can all read the book together. Leaders of Startup America, including Steve Case (the founder of AOL) and Scott Case (the CEO of Startup America) are going to read and share their notes as well.
We listen to music together and go to movies together – now we can read books together. I hope you’ll join me, participate, and give me feedback on what you think.
SPECIAL OFFER: Thanks to BookShout! and Startup America, I’m giving away 250 free digital copies of Startup Communities on BookShout! The first 250 people to create an account at Bookshout.com and send an email to email@example.com will get a copy. All I ask in return is that you make notes on areas that help you, invite others, and engage with me, give me feedback on what you think.