Starting a New Company is No Reason to Celebrate

This past Friday was my last at SalesLoft.

I’m going to do something that can only be explained through hopeful arrogance.

I’m starting a company.

Before any order of congratulations sets in, realize what a congratulations entails.

When Micah Baldwin walked into the gathering room at TechStars Boulder, he sat down on the stool and said “most of you are going to fail,” it hit me like a brick.

Startups are hard. Incredibly hard.

You’re not just building a product or selling a vision. You’re building a team and organizing people hopefully more talented and smarter than you to create something valuable enough many people will pay for…every month.

There should be no expression of joy or celebration with the news of a new company. I’m starting a path of stress, struggles, highs and lows. A congratulations is more suited for a well-penned article, a chess match victory, or a birdie. But never the inception of a company. In fact, an “I’m sorry” might be more appropriate. Nothing has been done yet. A problem has yet to be solved. The customer is still unsatisfied.

So why even write an article about the company?

The past year has been one of immense growth, personally and professionally, and I’d be extremely remiss if I didn’t express my appreciation to the entire SalesLoft team. Building one of Georgia’s Top 10 Most Innovative Companies, being the first team from Atlanta to dominate go through TechStars, and create something extremely valuable has been awesome.

Kyle Porter is one of the most dynamic and invigorating people I’ve ever worked with. There’s no one better at getting a product in front of someone or a message communicated. He single-handedly got the team into TechStars and showed me how to influence every important decision maker within a sale.

Chris Beauregard is the one man band who built the first iteration of SalesLoft. I’m convinced if you put any problem in front of Chris he’ll find a way to figure it out. Chris’ thought process and perspective opened my mind to new ways of looking at problems.

Todd Wilson, the undisputed chess champion at SalesLoft and the back-end Big Data expert, tackled SalesLoft’s sophisticated data obstacles. Todd’s calm demeanor and intense focus made him an admired and great co-worker.

SalesLoft’s future is bright. There is a changing of personel occurring and that’s part of the game. Matching skills sets at different maturity levels of a company has to be performed and Kyle’s doing it well.

What’s next?

The new company will be in the sales process management space. David Cummings of Atlanta Ventures is the primary and sole investor.

Now is not a time to celebrate.

When we have:

– built a team of Atlanta’s finest talent
– created a product that solves the identified problem
– charged people for it
– charged enough businesses that we’re cash flow positive
– charged enough businesses that we’re doing $1mm in revenue
– had a ton of fun doing it in the process

Then we can celebrate and I’ll make sure to invite you to the party.




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