When I first started out in web journalism, my boss ordered me to read two publications religiously if I ever wanted to be any good at writing. The first was the news summary section of the Wall Street Journal (paper edition!) and the second was Dave Pell’s Davenetics email newsletter. Dell’s crisp, witty chronicling of the dot-com boom and bust were informative, instructional and quite funny too.
But more than just another guy with an opinion and a platform, Pell is also an early-stage investor and entrepreneur. He’s helped fund more than 30 companies, including OpenTable, GrubHub and Marin Software, and has started his own web products like Rollyo and Addict-o-matic (he’s also still an active writer on his site, Tweetage Wasteland).
Pell came into our studio earlier this year to talk about his many entrepreneurial hats and proved to be as insightful in person as he is with a (digital) pen. He talks about what lessons he learned from being a public high school teacher (passion), the difference between startups during the boom/bust and, now, how building a business is not a meritocracy.