My friends Rob and Josh tried for three years to build a profitable startup. It just never came. They are two smart and talented guys and had the fortune of a killer network.
They failed. Money ran out. The community’s passion did too. A deadly combination.
They wrote one hell of a post describing everything they learned. It is a must read.
They have class.
Something hit me last week, while FiltrBox was having their closing dinner (a tradition when you get acquired, use some of the money and buy one hell of a dinner with your investors, employees and friends). We celebrate success (like FiltrBox, SocialThing and BrightKite) and thank class acts like Josh and Rob, but do we celebrate their effort?
I race triathlon. If 1000 people are in the race, 1 person wins. The people in the race don’t act like that though. They don’t quit because they are a few minutes back on the swim. They don’t stop in the bike because they hear the pros have already finished. They don’t start walking in the run because their chance at prize money is gone.
They finish, and finish with pride. They were in the race. They were cheering on everyone that passed them, that they passed. They helped the guy that crashed. They bought a beer for the guy they finished with. If the ecosystem was such that we just celebrated #1 and told the rest of the athletes they were failures, the sport would die.
I get a bit pissed when I hear people get down on any startup that isn’t working out. In traditional ‘why don’t I just act on this and not just write’ I formed a plan and floated it by the guys.
Next week I’m taking Rob and Josh out for a ‘non acquisition’ dinner at the nicest place in town. I will be raising my glass with them, with some really nice wine. Time to celebrate what these two did, tried to do, and will do in the future.
To Rob and Josh, I look up to you. See you next race.