Last night we went to the 10th anniversary party for The Street.com. I can't believe that 10 years have passed.
Fred, then with his company Flatiron Partners, was one of the original investors in The Street.com. He actually served as the Chairman of The Street.com for over 2 years. Jim Cramer and Marty Peretz started the company together. Last night brought back a flood of memories. Tom Clarke, who is the CEO for the past 8 years is one of those salt of the earth type people.
What spoke to me last night is where Fred and I have come in the past 10 years. 10 years ago, I was also involved with all the start-up companies that were blossoming throughout the New York City area. I played a large part in Silicon Alley Reporter. We were the magazine of the industry, we were the online newsletter of the industry (including At New York) and we put on interesting conferences to bring this group together to think and walk away with a different perspective not to mention a handful of business cards in their pocket.
I knew about each company that Flatiron was investing in. I knew about each company that was starting. I knew all the players. Now, I certainly know what is happening in the Web 2.0 scene but not as intimately as I did 10 years ago. Kids have gotten older, my role within our family has not changed but grown because the kids have, our lives in some ways have become more complicated. When we both plunged, head first, into the wild days at the beginning of the Internet industry we had nothing to lose but everything to win.
Now, I don't get paid for all the jobs I do. Perhaps I have not found the right thing yet. Maybe if the right opportunity came along, I'd jump in head first. I am not sure. I do get offers to do a variety of different things all the time but I am a starter, and so is Fred. That is why we love the entrepreneurial spirit of the Tech industry.
The other thing I love about the industry is what I saw last night. The Street.com started with an idea. The idea grew and became a profitable company that has provided jobs, community and opportunities for so many people. People who love coming into their job every day and continue to help these companies grow. Believe me, it takes a lot of sweat equity to get there but they did. It is pretty empowering.
Are the entrepreneurs and VC's in it for the upside? Sure. But there is also something thrilling and exhilarating about creating something from nothing. Creating new economies is also rewarding.
I can still live vicariously through Fred's companies and perhaps one day, I too will be back in the game.