I made mistakes. I was wrong. Lessons Learned.
You may have read in a previous post that during the last week of March, we were in the unfortunate position of downsizing of our Jan cohort from 7 to 3. A couple weeks later, Jamie Martin, one of the founders of a company that was cut, recounted his experiences on his blog in order to help other founders avoid a similar fate. With a lot of introspection, and help of some very good friends, advisors, mentors, I can now see the critical errors I made, and wonder, how could I have been so blind!?
The top 4 lessons I learned the hard way:
- I should not have allowed the Jan 2010 cohort of companies to begin the Bootup Labs program until we had the money safely in the bank. This was my gravest of errors and seems pretty obvious now. I sincerely apologize to the founders who were affected by this. It will not happen again.
- I should have done a better job responding to Jamie’s concerns on this blog. I obviously care a lot about Bootup’s reputation, but perhaps even more about Vancouver’s reputation abroad. At the time, I felt everything we have worked for was being questioned, and I got defensive and it made things worse. Jamie didn’t do anything wrong, and I apologize to him in particular, but also to the Vancouver tech community. My actions were clearly not representative of the professionalism that I experience here every day. I learned a valuable lesson that will not be repeated.
- I should have announced the downsizing of the cohort as soon as it happened. We actually tried to hide it, hoping that people wouldn’t notice and it would just go away. That was a big mistake that I should have known wouldn’t work. We are committed to becoming exceedingly transparent in the future – including the good, bad and the ugly.
- I should have done a better job listening to the personal concerns of the founders who were cut. All founders still have the ability to work out of our office at no cost, but that obviously doesn’t help Jamie and Stephen who didn’t even have the financial reserves to stay in the city. If I had thought more about that, I would have worked harder to help them in other ways. I’ve contacted Jamie and let him know that I’m always available if there is ever anything anything I can do for him.
As I continue the post-mortem with my team, I feel that a stronger and better Bootup Labs 2.0 is emerging. To help prevent this from ever happening in the future, new controls have already been instated at the board level with addition of Boris Wertz, and more announcements are coming soon. I know I have a long road ahead of me, but if you give me the chance, I’ll work hard to earn your trust and respect back.
In the interest of being transparent, here is the trail of links.
The one that started it:
Which he reposted here and it got ugly:
And resulted in it getting picked up here:
Our follow-up post:
Boris Mann’s personal post:
Responses from our portfolio companies.