I still need a bona fide “second in command”-type partner.
How much time to invest on this search and how to go about in on a day-to-day basis? I’ve gotten some interesting opinions on this from different people I’ve asked. When I started a thread about it on Biznik yesterday, I got one opinion (from the esteemed Mr. Pierre Leonard) that I should become a more active presence in community boards to make the people come to me, and one opinion (from the esteemed Mr. Kelly Hobkirk) that I’d be better off to just focus on building the business. Of course, both of these opinions were coming from people who don’t have an intimate knowledge of the business or its current state of affairs. But independently of my situation, they make excellent points to be weighed in the overall argument of how much time to invest, and where to invest it.
However, my prevailing opinion remains that, despite the small army of helpful consultants and rad programmers and able web designers that are already contributing to this project, having an equally-contributing, self-motivated co-founder is a critical path requirement to get where we’re going at the rate I want to get there.
The next frontier of exploration was actually proposed to me by none other than my girlfriend, the lovely KT. And it’s a damn good idea: students. Yeah, they aren’t going to step in with years of experience or a rolodex of industry contacts. But as I’ve found, those assets tend to go hand-in-hand with financial responsibilities and monetary expectations. I think there’s a reason that young co-founders flock together (Bill Gates and Paul Allen, anyone? Or their arch-nemeses, Sergey and Larry?): it’s that they’ve got fire and they’ve got freedom. Of course, more seasoned co-founders can make something work if they’ve got a cache of money and cred piled up between them, but whuppersnappers on step 29 of 800 don’t have such frivolities (observe: blog sarcasm) at hand.
In the next couple days, I’ll post a link on here to my newest student job listing. But in a nutshell, my pitch to students will be the same as my pitch to every bright person employed by a company they don’t have a share in: why do you think you’re getting paid? So few smart people seem to “get” that their salary is inherently less than their value. If their salary equalled their value, then “profit” for their company would not exist. I find it ironic that when most people hear their company is profitable they will rejoice in this fact, perhaps boasting about it to their friends; when in fact, this profit represents the difference between what the sum of the employees are earning and what the company is reaping from those efforts. The bigger the profit, the bigger the discrepancy in what people earn vs. what they produce (and in a perfect world, would be entitled to). So my pitch, quite simply, is that join us and you can be the benefactor of your excellence.
It’s the pitch that ultimately persuaded me to stop thinking like an employee.