Founders create companies for many different reasons.
Last week, I shared the story about why Mike “Karnj” created Skillshare.
Ian’s company has a special place in my heart and in our firm’s history. It was our very first investment and also our first exit. I remember it was a competitive round and Ian was trying to decide between us (a brand new firm without a track record at Spark) and a big established well regarded firm that has been around for decades.
I’m happy he chose us :)
The business was in the middle of the explosion of video and they built a fantastic SaaS company with meaningful network effects. I miss working with that team and I have a photograph of the founders in my office.
Okay, without any further ado, here’s Ian’s own words about why he started thePlatform
* * *
When I started thePlatform with a small group of co-founders I had a few things on my mind. It was my second start-up. The first I started and sold very quickly during the first internet boom, only to watch it and the acquiring company crash on the rocks of the first bust. It was all fairly opportunistic and not very fulfilling, though quite a thrill ride. I learned some lessons the first time around, and I thankfully had the energy and desire to apply them in a second act.
Call it a shot at redemption. I wanted to prove to myself that I could make something that could scale and become a business – something built to last. I wanted to build a culture that took the best from the great places I had worked, but had its own personality grounded in hiring very smart, really nice people, who work well together. With that team, I wanted to make new stuff that could challenge and change a big industry.
I couldn’t boil the tipping point to starting thePlatform down to one driving force, but a confluence of the above occurring at the right time. I think that’s a big part of why I’m still with the company after all these years. Interests and passions naturally wax and wane (at least for me) so it’s been valuable to have a diverse set of motivators that keep me engaged and energetic in my approach to my work. It doesn’t hurt that we are playing in a very dynamic, competitive market (TV/Video) that demands rapid innovation and high reliability, which makes for an interesting balancing act.
I know that my next act will be about addressing something that makes the world better. I want to take what I have learned and apply it to a problem that matters to me. It’s a natural evolution, and when the time is right, I’m excited to jump in again.