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Do More Faster: TechStars Lessons to Accelerate Your Startup by Brad Feld, David Cohen

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Chapter 51. Throw Things Away

Eric Marcoullier

Throw Things Away

Eric is the co-founder and CEO of OneTrueFan. He previously co-founded Gnip and was the co-founder and CEO of MyBlogLog, which was acquired by Yahoo! in 2007. He has been a TechStars mentor since 2007.

In late September of 2009, I met with Gnip board member and lead investor Brad Feld. It had been a few weeks since we'd spoken face to face and the meeting quickly turned into a litany of reasons why I was stressed about the company. I felt like we were headed for insolvency in 12 months and I was powerless to fix it. When Brad mentioned that I sounded pretty unhappy, I threw caution to the wind and told him just how miserable I was. And suddenly, I found myself resigning as CEO.

I had not begun the meeting with that intention, but as I spelled out the sense of inertia that had taken over Gnip, it seemed like the logical decision. We had tried multiple times to expand on the core tech platform, and every time, it appeared that we weren't making progress. I felt like we had more drama than companies many times our size. And I was bored out of my mind with what I was doing on a daily basis. During the meeting with Brad, I spontaneously decided it was time for me to go.

Brad and I discussed the repercussions of leaving and they all sounded better to me than crash landing a company for the next 12 months. We parted that day with the understanding ...

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