Thursday, December 2, 2010

First It, Then You, Now Us

It's a superb time to work in the consumer Internet world.  Investment for companies in this space is increasingly available, human participation rates continue to soar, and consumer marketers increasingly spend their budgets on mobile and Internet channels.  Whether you are a mobile software coder or UX designer, whether your passion is for building web-scalable data structures or for viscerally appealing design, whether you are adept in voicing a human technology story or in writing it, it's a good time to be in the possession of your scarce talents.  Internet companies need you to be able to realize their opportunities. There is a high-dollar war for your talent between Google, Facebook (and everyone else), and it is a consequence of the explosive growth in mobile and Internet usage.

In this labour market, Neil LaChapelle and I are looking for a few co-founders.  It seems obvious that the personality and talent quotient of a company at launch is determinant of its future.  Jim Collins dramatized the criticality of founders to a company's future by reversing the typical founder's sequence counter-intuitively: "First Who, Then What", in his book Good to Great.  In keeping with Jim's injunction, once we have found the coding, marketing and UX leadership we want to add to our team, we'll be able to tell the world what exactly it is that we are about to do.  

How can we attract world-beating talent to our founding team?  While the huge established web technology companies battle over talent with Lehman Brothers-like financial perks and pay, we can attract people who are not as much in need of money as they are desirous of:
  • sharing in the credit for having made a meaningful difference in the world  
  • experiencing a dynamic and purpose-inspired work environment that supports health, family life and personal fulfillment
  • really satisfyingly thorny challenges to creative problem-solving ability

What is the Vision we have to share? Since February 2010, Neil and I have been working away to elucidate ideas for a compelling new kind of mobile and web experience.  The Cultural Web will be built upon on the the web's emergent geometry of time-location-social graph and topic.  It is centred in the gap between the web-as-data and the currently burgeoning Me-centric social web. The social object in Sceneing is 'WE', rather than 'me' or 'it'.

We have advisors now in Rome, Toronto and New York; the partners we seek may be here where we live near the University of Waterloo in Waterloo Region, or anywhere.  We are very keen to begin working with you, wherever you are.

Readers of this blog to date: You've have seen my public, passionate (oft unpopular and perhaps in many eyes antiquated) attachment to Canada's old Boy Scout ideals of individual human rights and dignity for all, equality and fair dealing.  This seems quite compatible with building a trusted web and mobile platform.  
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Neil LaChapelle said...

Here's a shout out to Stan James (wanderingstan) for inspiring the graphic in this post. Stan is one of the most entertainingly thoughtful bloggers on the web.

The graphic itself comes from a blogpost which seems to have vanished at present (02-Dec-2010), but which was once at Besides David and I, the only other folks who seem to have picked up on Stan's valuable insight here are Chan Ping Wah and Ngian Lek Choh from the Singapore National Library Board, who cite the concept in a paper entitled "Back to the Future: Augmenting Competencies for Library 2.0"...

Thank you Stan James for your always stimulating insights on the web and on life in general!

David L. de Weerdt said...

Neil, thanks for adding the credit due to Stan! His blog is really an inspiring read. When I last tried it last (a week ago or so), it was accessible if you were patient enough to try many times to load the page. Perhaps he is just too popular for his blog host's liking?