Last week the Wall Street Journal ran a story highlighting several entrepreneurs who are forgoing salary in order to keep their business alive. I’ve often believed that the true measure of an entrepreneur’s character comes not during the boom times, but how they react in times of adversity and challenge. Personally, I think I grew more as an entrepreneur during the years when Infonautics struggled (and the stock price languished) than I did during the Half.com rocketship. You learn a lot about yourself and the people around you when you’re in the foxhole and things aren’t looking good.
That’s why I’m so proud to have worked with Doug Camplejohn, Ofer Doitel, Roger Matus and Sean True. These entrepreneurs founded two First Round Capital companies - Mi5 Networks and Inboxer. These entrepreneurs experienced -- and overcame -- real adversity during their startup journey. These entrepreneurs went without salary at times, even investing personal capital to help their company meet payroll. These entrepreneurs all passionately believed in what they were building.
And last month their belief paid off, as these entrepreneurs succesfully led their companies to acquisitions. Doug and Ofer led Mi5 Networks to a sale to Symantec – a wonderful outcome for their team, their investors and their customers. And Roger and Sean led Inboxer to a sale to Safecore – allowing Inboxer’s employees, investors and customers to benefit from a much stronger platform.
I’m honored to have worked with all four of these men . They are true entrepreneurs. And I can only hope to have the opportunity to get back into the foxhole with them in their future ventures.