By Jules Maltz, contributor
The best part of venture capital is working with great founders. And my favorite thing about working with these founders is that they are all so different. The good ones have a big vision, a deep understanding of the product/market, and an ability to hire and retain individuals more talented than themselves. But the best ones have something so unique that you can't always put your finger on it.
Last week, Buddy Media agreed to be acquired by Salesforce (CRM) for $745 million. It's a great win for Buddy Media, Salesforce, the investors (including IVP) and employees. But I'm happiest for Mike and Kass Lazerow, the company's co-founders.
They did so many things well that great founders do. They saw the market opportunity first. They recruited an incredible team in co-founder Jeff Ragovin, Susan St. Ledger, Dennis Morgan, Patrick Stokes and Michael Jaindl, among others. They built a world-class product that anticipated what their customers needed. But they also did things their way - even if it was different. Here are a few of their lessons:
Too many entrepreneurs try to copy the idiosyncrasies of great founders. They conduct "walking meetings" like Steve Jobs or wear hoodies like Mark Zuckerberg. Don't forget that your quirks make you special. Different is good. Stay true to yourself and go build the next big company.
Jules Maltz (@julesmaltz) is a partner with Institutional Venture Partners, which was the largest outside shareholder in Buddy Media.
The CEO of Buddy Media analyzes his recent $28 million financing and offers 8 lessons for how to thrive in a fundraise.
By Michael Lazerow, contributor
The venture capital ecosystem is a hall of secrets. The rise of the venture capital blogger, notably Union Square Venture's Fred Wilson, entrepreneur-turned-VC Mark Suster and Foundry Group's Brad Feld, is a welcome first step in providing budding entrepreneurs a view into the venture world. MOREDec 5, 2010 8:13 AM ET
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