How I Hacked Into TechStars

Just over two years ago I hacked into TechStars, the company where I now work.

I read about it in the local paper and decided I had to be involved.  I knew three of the four founders, and thought I was a shoe in for funding.

And that funding didn’t happen, I was not chosen to be a TechStars team.  I didn’t have a real team, and all my coding experience was in ActionScript.  Rightfully denied.  I was just not ready.

But I wanted to be involved.  I met with David, and convinced him that he needed a videographer to hang out and capture some of the sessions.  He agreed.  I was ecstatic.  I then went out and purchased a camera.

This week we launched HackStars, which I am pretty excited about.  Traveling around I’ve run into an amazing amount of developers / hackers / coders that were in the phase of listening.  I really find this as key.  Being an amazing observer is key to entrepreneurship, design and startups in general.  They didn’t have a solid team quite yet, but had a general passion for a problem they were trying to solve.  In many ways I wanted to invite them to hang out at TechStars, do what I did, observe, help out, listen, and then capitalize when something pops up.

So I am excited.  And on the road in San Francisco.  And without my laptop (I borrowed Tyler Willis‘s MacBook to write this post at Startup Weekend San Francisco).  And I just read a few less than ecstatic emails and have myself scratching my head…

I hacked my way into TechStars, and it changed the direction of my professional life.  I now work for TechStars, and spend half the year traveling around and volunteering for startups and projects I care about.  I am happy everyday, and truely love what I do.  Taking some time for me to listen, step back, assess the situation and make a plan of action, has turned out to be invaluable.

I wanted to take a quick moment to make sure everyone knows we are listening, planning and really respecting the voices that have been concerned. HackStars will work out if it evolves and creates great situations for everyone.

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