The last thirty days have been nothing but full of twists and turns in tech-land. Maybe it is the “bubble” or maybe it is just an up cycle, but it sure is exciting. Lots of fundings, news and new startups launches have pock-marked the face of the Valley. However here some events from today, that have one common theme: good guys do finish first.
- Code Advisors, the little guy bankers helping little startup guys gets a big cash infusion from JPMorganChase.
- Revision3, an online video network, gets acquired by Discovery Communications for $30 million.
- and LinkedIn buys SlideShare for $119 million.
A few days ago, uber-VC Fred Wilson wrote this great post – Where’s my billion dollar check, I wonder. In that post, this one paragraph is one that stuck with me.
And when you’ve been toiling away month after month, year after year, with no pot of gold in sight, it can be hard to watch that billion dollar deal go down. It’s a punch to the gut. It hurts. I’d love to say to all of you who are feeling that pain that your time will come. But most likely it will not. That’s the way this game is played.
All you got do is play the game. As hard as you can. And that is what the people behind those four news items I listed above did for a long time. Some of them I have known for nearly a decade-and-a-half. Others for only three years. But I can safely say that most of the people behind these companies are genuinely good people, who were in it for the love of the game, and not the money.
Revision 3 was the producer and distributor of the GigaOM Show. They were a tiny company with big ambitions. Our show didn’t last long, but Revision 3 managed to withstand the online video bust and make a solid comeback. During the GigaOM Show days, I got to know David Prager, the understated and less-known third co-founder of Revision 3 (Kevin Rose and Jay Adelson are the other two co-founders.)
There hasn’t been a day since I have known Prager when he hasn’t been sweating blood for his company. Carrying cameras. coming up with show concepts and even putting up with a financial roller coaster, he was resolute in his ambitions for Revision 3. The fact that they are now part of Discovery, a company I deeply admire, is the ultimate victory for their idea.
Like Revision3, SlideShare too is the story of sheer guts and glory. First, they heard the jabs – a YouTube for Powerpoint presentations? Now who would want to share Powerpoint presentations and create a social network around these presentations? The company raised a total of $3 million from a whole bunch on angels and Venrock.
They were unconventional — splitting their operations between India and United States. (Ever want to know the real meaning of toughing it out — try flying to New Delhi in economy class multiple times a year. ) Rashmi Sinha and Jon Boutelle are a couple and apparently it is a no-no in the Valley to fund a couple. And they built a product that people would pay for — a strange idea for some kids.
Rashmi and Jon (who occasionally wrote for GigaOM as a guest blogger) essentially pinched pennies and lived between hope and despair as they built a great little company. They never got the media attention or the credit due to them. And yet, they showed up every day, to fight the good fight anyway. I guess playing for the love of the game does eventually turns into a windfall.