Crouching Dallas, Hidden Startups
Bradley Joyce over at 3#Labs wrote a nice piece about a problem facing the startup scene in the Dallas-area: We have have a lot of tech talent in Dallas, just not startup talent.
I’d like to point out another problem in our area. We have a bunch of startups that operate under the radar and don’t even engage with the local startup scene in any way!
I know because I used to work for just such a startup. They are a well funded startup (still alive and kicking) in the financial services business. They are funded by the likes of Idealab, Kleiner Perkins, Flybridge and many others. I think they had raised a series E round the last time I heard.
I worked for these guys from 2004 – 2008. During that time, I didn’t see or hear the founders engaging with the local startup community in any shape or form. In fact, the company wasn’t run like a startup at all. It was run more like a big corporation. We had a dress code, a lot of internal politics, top heavy management and much more. All the hallmarks of a bureaucratic company.
I’m sure these guys aren’t the only ones in Dallas who have quietly started a company, gotten a lot of funding and have even made a successful exit. All under the radar!
It really goes back to the culture of the founders at these startups. If they came from a corporate background, which is very likely if they are from the DFW area, then they may run their startups in the same way.
If they don’t have a culture of sharing and giving back – the pay it forward culture – as they say, then the entire scene suffers as a result.