Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on Seattle 2.0, and imported to GeekWire as part of our acquisition of Seattle 2.0 and its archival content. For more background, see this post.
By Paul Watts
[This is a guest post by Paul Watts, the Co-founder & CEO of Meevine
was like a homecoming for me. I can pinpoint the inspiration for my company’s product to hearing Ben Elowitz’s keynote at last year’s StartupDay. It’s been quite a year.
I came to StartupDay 2010 with more curiosity than cohesive plan, with more dreams and ambition than grounded reality. Entrepreneurship was something to which I was attracted but not to which I was committed. By the end of the day, I became a neophyte: someone converted to the faith, but lacking experience.
I don’t mind telling you that the conversion process I started that day would prove really, really hard. It’s common to tell pre-entrepreneurs that the life of an entrepreneur is hard. The 2010 version of me heard that many times. After that I think he needed to hear: “no, it really is harder than you think. No, it really is harder than you think.” It’s difficult to understand the challenges a first-time entrepreneur must face until one has been through them. But that’s only half the story.
A year later, the 2010 version of me would be amazed by how far we’ve come. He’d be amazed at how much he’s learned through programs like the Founder Institute and NWEN. He’d be astounded at the support he’s gotten from his co-founders, advisors, friends, family, and everyone he’s met along the way. He’d be pleased at just how open the community here is, and how helpful people are. The 2011 version of me is grateful for all of this.
Catholics define a neophyte as someone who has “entered a new and better state of life”. At risk of sounding blasphemous to compare entrepreneurship to religious conversion, in this one respect it sounds right. The highs enjoyed and the crises endured this year have been life changing for me. No matter how hard it is, for me it really is better.
One of the people I met at StartupDay 2010 was Aaron Franklin. He told me that StartupDay 2009 was a pivotal moment to help him make the decision to become an entrepreneur and pursue his dream. His dream became the real product known as LazyMeter
. My dream started that day, and continues to be real.
My thoughts are with those who left this year’s StartupDay, convinced to pursue the dream they have. What experiences will they have this year? What challenges will they face? What support will they find? Will they return to StartupDay 2012, having found their new and better state of life?