The Seattle startup community has grown up since I left Seattle eleven years ago. It is the world headquarters of Startup Weekend, an organization that reached all the way to Costa Rica and re-inspired me to start new companies again. It’s the home of TechStars Seattle, and numerous startup coworking spaces; including the recently opened SURF Incubator (Start Up Really Fast) on 2nd and Marion. It was on my July scouting trip that I visited SURF and reserved a desk as my Seattle working base. It is the same Seattle I remember vividly, yet uniquely different and better. It is Seattle 2.0.
I have decided to give Seattle another chance. I have made the personal and strategic decision to start in Seattle, rather than Silicon Valley. I regret I will only be able to visit my Silicon Valley friends and associates on occasional visits, yet I look forward to rebuilding my Northwest network and making myself a fixture in the Seattle 2.0 startup community.
I will be in the San Francisco Bay Area between Feb 22nd and Mar 8th, and at SXSW Interactive (Austin) March 9th-13th. I am also unexpectedly in Seattle the 15th-16th of February, and in Los Angeles the 18th-21st, ahead of my originally planned trip.
I am moving to Silicon Valley in July, to become deeply involved in the business and science of startups. It is my goal to devote the next three decades or more to starting new companies, mentoring startups, investing in startups, and generally being obsessed with building companies and turning ideas into reality.
I’m seeking to meet people who are doing this already; individuals involved in incubators and accelerators, in entrepreneurship focused and mentorship centric organizations; active angel investors and seed-stage VC investors; and entrepreneurs building companies. To learn, share, network, and set the groundwork for future collaboration.
I’m not presently raising money. However taking advice from Mark Suster, I’m interested in meeting potential investors early who consider themselves “accessible”; to soak up as much advice as they’re willing to give, and informally share my ideas. This time next year I expect to be raising, and have applications with top-tier accelerators.
I’m also seeking to meet individuals with the passion, desire and skills to build companies; potential cofounders and early employees. Founding team is the key element in executing an idea and scaling a business; I’m seeking the absolute best, and will be liberal in sharing equity and upside potential.
It’s official; we’re moving to Silicon Valley.
While there may still be some debate on where the best place to start a company is, the San Francisco Bay Area is without debate the center of the Universe for Internet startups. I want to be in the center.
Especially after living so long, so far away from the center. On a sleepy subtropical mountainside in Costa Rica, I’d proved you can run an Internet business from anywhere in the world you have a laptop and an Internet connection. The problem is I’d forgotten who I had intended to prove that to or why.
A 19-year-old tormented by startup ideas asked on Quora what he should do. I suggested he massively self-educate himself with the skills needed to execute those ideas, and move immediately to Silicon Valley with a make it or bust attitude. I’m going to live my advice and do the same.