So, for those that have met me will know that I don’t consider myself a founder and I therefore shy away from giving in depth startup advice.
Don’t get me wrong I founded a very successful dot com company which pioneered the Internet and data centre industry. However I did this within the confines of my families public company. I was lucky enough to start my business with top flight legal, financial, marketing, PR and management resources as well as a full board of directors and £1M of capital. For this reason I never felt comfortable claiming to be a founder.
However, I realised that my startup was not so different to a startup based inside an Incubator. I had some advantages but I also had some disadvantages. I had to compromise to fit in with the needs of the public company as well as paying management fees and providing services at cost to the group. What I got in return was a super accelerated business with sufficient support that allowed me to concentrate on growth instead of micro-management.
I realised, therefore, that I was being too hard on myself and in fact I had gone through the same experiences that most founders have endured albeit at a higher comfort level.
So from today onwards, I am changing my status and henceforth calling myself a founder. I therefore feel confident giving startup advice to founders as a fellow founder.