Day 2 of Startup Camp 5
Startup Camp 5 has officially come to a close. But the party is still continuing.
Day 2 for me was packed with networking and good information. There was so much that I wanted to see during the sessions that I did not even bother to sit down. If you don’t sit down, then it is so much easier to move to a better location in a section or to another section entirely.
Steve Jobs: Advisor or Director
One session that I enjoyed was the discussion on creating a panel of advisors and a board of directors. There are quite a bit of differences between an advisor and a director. Many of the questions asked by the participants clearly focused on issues that they were currently working on. But I wanted a more broad focus. I asked a question to try to bring the focus up to a higher level. My question was, “If Steve Jobs, the CEO of Apple, was really interested in your company and wanted to work with you, would you ask him to be an advisor or a director?”
Several people tried to answer this question too literally by consider how busy Jobs’ schedule is and how he would have little time for a startup. The question that I asked was the tech business equivalent of “Would you want to have sex with Angelina Jolie or Gisele?” And the answer that I got was equal to making a decision based on which woman had more free time in her schedule.
But I pushed the question back by forcing them to focus on what they would want and to forget about what works for Steve Jobs. The question is what should they ask Steve Jobs for. (This situation of limiting your options, even in a pure fantasy business situation, is another example of how people unconsciously hold themselves back and limit their wants and their expectations. This self-sabotage is covered in several business books. I most recently read about it in several chapters of The 4-Hour Workweek.)
Mostly everyone agreed that Steve Jobs technical cache would be better applied as a director. Some people said that they would not want Steve Jobs on the board of directors because he is rumored to be a tough boss. They were concerned that such a boss might lead the board to firing the founder, i.e. me. They really did not like this. Their egos were still too tied into the company that they create.
One session that was surprisingly packed was the “How to find a cofounder” session. The people who attended the session was roughly evenly split between CEO’s, CTO’s, tech freelancers looking for startups, management freelancers looking for startups, and marketing/sales people looking for startups. But I don’t think that the session ended with anyone actually hooking up. Hooking up businesswise, that is.