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The Promise of Having an Impact

ED ZIMMERMAN:When we opened our Palo Alto office almost five years ago, we wanted a partner who would not only be a great cultural fit, but also  sought someone we trusted to help establish a culture. We found my friend and, at the time, client, Kathi Rawnsley. She was extremely entrepreneurial and willing to start from scratch. Our initial office was her dining room table and when I arrived that first week, it held more of her daughter’s dolls than client documents.

Kathi was eager to start, wasn’t a prima donna about doing all her own stunts and was ready to go door-to-door to explain our story. This comports with Scott Belsky’sexperience building Behance, the online platform to showcase and discover creative work:  “Startups often try to make themselves look more established than they are, but the right folks in an early team are excited for the challenge of a somewhat undefined role and the ability to change and make history.” Some people need a strong brand and large infrastructure to feel comfortable. Others crave the opportunity their absence presents.

Kathi had attended numerous events we’d hosted and had been “part of the conversation” we had been creating within the entrepreneurial and venture community. Belsky too had created his own conversation for Behance by, among other things, starting a great blog. Belsky advised:  “Contribute to the entrepreneurial ecosystem as a thought leader. When you’re recruiting talent, your blog posts and public speaking about the startup process go a long way.” What began as a blog in 2007 morphed into his Wall Street Journal-best selling book Making Ideas Happen.

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Posted on December 1st, 2012