After nearly four years as CEO of Pivot Solutions, a financial services technology startup, and having grown the business from a PowerPoint presentation into a large (#31 largest according to Securities Industry News) and fast growing (#3 fastest) network for front-office traders, I decided to try it all over again and find or create another early stage business.
Now, I have been a part of four startups, including founding or co-founding two, so I have some experience in how hard it is to find the right opportunity–one that I can be incredibly passionate about and one that has a huge potential (the two not being unrelated). It is very time consuming to do the homework in finding or starting a promising new enterprise and if you rush it (as we did with Petstore.com back in the bubble days) the greatest execution in the world won’t make a Dodo fly. The last time I went through this (in founding Pivot), I was able to launch the startup from within a larger organization and then spin-out the new company by bringing in venture investors. Having the resources and time (almost a year) was vital to our success. That process (spin-out) was incredibly time consuming and complex, in fact it was so complex that my friend, Prof. Lynda Applegate at Harvard Business School, decided to write a case on the spin-out.
So I was very excited when Steve Murray, a partner at Softbank and board member at Pivot, approached me about joining Softbank as an entrepreneur-in-residence. It seemed like the perfect opportunity to leverage my experience as founder and CEO by helping existing portfolio companies through the growing pains Pivot had overcome while helping Softbank evaluate new investment opportunities *and* searching for my next gig.
So, assuming I get signoff from Softbank, I’m planning to blog about my experiences and share what this whole EIR thing is like.