Chances are that you live under a rock and haven't heard about Bert Herman, CEO and co-founder Storify.com and Hackshackers.com. You poor soul, gawk at the picture above. What does it tell you about that cool hunk in a black T and denim with shades on, clutching a notepad where everybody around him has stinger missiles to play with? Yep, that's a journo - who believes pen is mightier than sword, er bazooka.
So passion is just a part of being successful. What are the other key ingredients to be successful?
He kickstarted a meetup group for hacks (journalists with little or no programming experience) and hackers (who sit glued to dark screen with green fonts and have little or no sense of personal hygiene). Hackshacker.com acted like a poly-geek-magnet, sprouting branches all over the globe:
The next step was to give shape to his idea on how to empower people to with their gift of story telling. It was a dream to build a system where we can take the best of what people are saying (egypt libya, earthquakes/elections around the world). With some background ideas on how things works on the web, he was ready to set sail.
When it comes to building a company, you can sole-find one. But life is so much better in a wolf-pack. You have to find a co-founder and build the A-team - who will share the vision and complement the short-coming in each other. To give you the idea ...
Sounds familiar?... that's what all seasoned entrepreneurs and VC-s have felt down the line (Joel Splosky on Chris Dixon's Founder story).
- And then, you start. Your start does not have to be great, but you have to start to be great. His idea for @Storify took off as a back of the envelop mock up ... but in the true spirit of rapid prototyping they iterated quickly and kept an eye on the user's reaction. And ultimately, one fine night the hacker co-founder @xdamman built the first version of what is now @Storify. It got picked up by techcrunch, and the next morning @Storify's web servers started feeling the taste of viral traffic. Rest is history(or the future?).
So Ship it. Release often release early ... Keep chipping the marble until David emerges out of the marble.
- And at the same time, stay flexible. Don't hold on to your solution so much so that it blinds out your ecosystem.
From here on, you are on your own EntreJounos! Make you own mistakes, make your own rules ... you are here to change things.
But before you set sail, here's the final word from the @burtherman.