The Kind of Dream a Tech Founder & CEO Has
It’s 6-something a.m., I just slept for six hours and I’ve awoken from an extremely vivid dream. At this point in life, just about all of my dreams have to do with my startup Localeur. I’m raising our first institutional round right now so a high percentage of these dreams also involve fundraising. Needless to say, sleep hasn’t exactly become my respite from the challenges of being an early-stage tech founder and CEO. I have distance running for that.
I’m trying to do a better job of remembering my dreams so here is the kind of dream tech founders have. Or maybe it’s just the kinds of dreams I have…
I’m in a small office, maybe 1,000 square feet, and it’s an open floor plan. In the room with me are my founding team members - Chase White, our co-founder and head of product, Moody, our founding engineer, Cate, our content manager, along with Heather Brunner, our first board member who is also the CEO of WPEngine, and Blake Chandlee, another key investor in us who happens to be a longtime executive at Facebook and has been pretty instrumental in their successful global expansion over the last 9 years.
So it’s the six of us what I’d consider known entities to Localeur, plus - and here’s where it gets interesting - two other people I’ve never met. There’s a woman sitting at a desk typing occasionally and engaging rather calmly in the vibrant office-wide conversation though I can’t completely make out her face. And there’s an older man sitting at another desk and he’s even more vocal and sort of co-leading the conversation with me standing to his right.
I’ve been able to make two inferences so far.
1) The woman is an executive or board member who has come in with a specific set of skills and elevated the capabilities of our team, perhaps she’s an expert in local business monetization or fundraising, which would definitely free me up to focus on growth and global expansion (can’t wait!). I can feel the trust we all have in her whenever she speaks.
2) The man is a VC and also on our board. His mannerisms and his vernacular lead me to believe he was potentially responsible for our first institutional round (perhaps a seed stage VC). I can sense the confidence and urgency in his words; this is a guy who believes we’ll take it all.
Either way, from what I can gather, we’ve created desk space in the office for board members to come by and co-work with us which I love the idea of (thanks dream!). And on this particular day, we’re not having a board meeting so much as its a founding team / board wide discussion about what we plan to do with our Series A money (apparently we’re on the precipice of closing the round) and what key milestones we intend to reach by the Series B. There are all kinds of numbers and charts on a whiteboard behind me, I think one shows us tracking toward 10 million monthly active users and another shows us hovering at a million or two in annual revenue.
Chase and Moody chime in with various thoughts on where the product can go and we all offer feedback and there’s a lot of head nodding. By this point, the discussion has just about come to an end before Heather weighs in with sage advice about team building and operational acumen as she always does then Blake and the woman I’ve never met say they plan to huddle with me later in the week to discuss something about monetization strategy.
Just before we wrap up, the VC guy says something that sounds very prescient, but I can’t make out the words.
Now I’m awake trying to answer three questions: 1) who is that woman, 2) who is that man, and 3) what was he trying to tell us before I woke up? I have a very strong and odd feeling if I figure out the answers to at least one or two of these questions, this dream of mine is going to become my reality.