Being a Startup Founder in the Village
This is an excerpt from a post written by Josh Austin founder of MaaSive.net. You can find the original full post here.Atlanta Tech Village in the Buckhead neighborhood of Atlanta is many things. It's office space for startups, it's a hub for entrepreneurs, and it was the home of my cloud based BaaS/IaaS startup MaaSive.net.
There are a lot of ups and downs.
In the past year I have experienced the thrill of seeing our service used by customers for the first time and the feeling of accomplishment when potential investors said "yes" to our pitch and agreed to give our little startup its very first round of funding. I've also experienced the sinking dread of seeing my inbox fill with alerts as wave after wave of our servers went offline and wondering if replacements could be brought online quickly enough that our customers would not experience a disruption in service.
I have never been alone.
There are all kinds of people in the Village and they are working on all kinds of things. Some of them will be successful and some of them will fail, but they are all going through the same highs and lows, the same ups and downs that I am. Critically, there are also a lot of people who are willing to help out.
Creating Engineered Serendipity.
It sounds cliche when you hear it for the first time and I didn't think much of the phrase either when I first heard it. But, it didn't feel cliche at all when an executive from a large accounting firm wandered into my office and asked me what we were working on. He had been attending a meeting of some sort in the conference facilities and decided to have a look around. An executive that I would have never had access to on a sales call, walked into my office a stranger, and walked out a customer.
Paying it Forward.
For me, one of the most interesting aspects of MaaSive.net is that we are able to solve some extremely abstract and deeply technical problems. I love working on this sort of problem (it's a condition). However for most of the entrepreneurs at the Village, technical challenges are something one survives, rather than something one enjoys. You haven't ever really seen gratitude until you have saved a nontechnical founder from spending a hundred miserable hours slogging through a technical issue.I've benefited from the flip side of this equation when the folks at SalesLoft taught me how to prospect for leads and when the other founders of Village Verified companies introduced me to VC partners that I wanted to meet with.That's my experience at the Village in a nutshell. For us, it's been exactly what we needed.