We plan on bringing to you some pearls of wisdom straight from folks who know what they're talking about. The goal of our “Wow” series is to bring together an authentic and diverse group of mentors who can lend their insights on the startup community.
To that end, we've asked the people we and our peers turn to for advice for their two cents on navigating through this often crazy world we call “startups.”
To kick-off the first round of this series, we’re excited to feature a brief Q&A with Jerry Colonna, a former VC and partner of Flatiron Partners, which became one of the most successful early stage investment programs. While at Flatiron, Jerry was responsible for the firm’s investments in companies such as comScore Networks and New York Times Digital. Jerry has also been named to Forbes ASAP list of the best VC’s. He is now an executive life coach and works closely with startup founders.
What would be the “one thing” that is critical for any startup trying to cut through the noise in the tech space right now?
JC: I think the one thing that cuts through is true for all time, not just right now; and that is, swim in your own lane.
I mean, stop spending time obsessing about the other folks. Focus on your business, your plan, your customers, your colleagues. It actually doesn’t matter whether or not “the competition” raises a lot of money or gets a lot of noise if YOU execute. If you don’t execute exquisitely well, then it doesn’t matter if you’re the darling of TechCrunch Disrupt and the “presumed” leader by virtue of your stellar investors. Swim in your own lane.
There’s been a lot of buzz around New York being a hotbed for startups, what are some of the main differences that you’re seeing in the digital space now versus ten years ago?
JC: Well the main thing is that I’m no longer an active professional investor.
Seriously, I think the most important difference–and it’s a positive–is the size and experience of the community. While, yes, you should swim in your own lane, as I said above, connecting honestly and authentically with your peers is critically helpful and the great thing is that the community is so large that there’s plenty of opportunity for peer support.
Describe yourself in one word.
Thanks for tuning in to our first “Words of Wisdom” series. We hope this bit of insight helped quiet some of the noise out there.
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This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, legal or tax advice. If you have any legal or tax questions regarding this content or related issues, then you should consult with your professional legal or tax advisor.