The company you keep
“It went out in July 2001, 9:30pm on a Monday” Ricky Gervais1
Ricky knew exactly when The Office first aired. I’ve heard him on several interviews name the time, day, date, channel — the exact moment. And so he should, it was a career defining moment and the time and date are seared in his mind forever. I bet he could tell you exactly where he was, who he was with and what he was wearing that night in July 2001.
You remember the important stuff
Rather than ask about the product, the market or their plans for global domination a good first question for founders could be to ask where they met. I ask them to take me to the exact moment they first met — which table in the coffee shop? Who sat where? What time was it? What was the weather like outside? Some are taken aback by this. Others lean back, smile, and relive that moment — that’s what I’m looking for.
For sole founders a similar question could be to ask exactly where they were when they first came up with the idea for their startup. Where were they? What exactly was going on around them when the idea struck and they began to think, “Hang on a minute, what about if I…..?”.
Surprisingly some founders can’t remember these details. I wonder why; was it not that important to them?
As ever, it’s not the silver bullet to find the Stars but it certainly helps add to my understanding of quiddity.
Important: None of these posts are investment advice. If you are thinking about investing you should seek the advice of a suitably qualified independent advisor.