Is this really happening?
I’m sitting in a sushi bar listening to this serial entrepreneur and investor say that he wants to build a company with me. In fact, he is annoyed with me for not having started one sooner … “Why haven’t you started something of your own already? I’ve seen what you’ve done in the past. You have it in you. You aren’t lazy, so you must have a good reason… Please tell me what this reason is! … Actually forget it, I don’t want to know. You’re ready. Let’s not wait any longer.”
A thousand thoughts race through my mind. I had been working to create an opportunity like this for years. This lunch was over a decade in the making, and it was only to get me to the race line. Now the real marathon would begin… “Wait!” I tell myself … “Focus on the moment. Be present. Appreciate every minute of this conversation, even if you decide in 20 minutes that this guy is nuts.”
The more I listen to him the more excited I get. What he says is not nearly as important as how he is saying it. His emotions seem genuine. His excitement doesn’t feel like a sell tactic. This feels like the real deal. So I indulge — I let myself trust him, just until the end of the conversation, so I can see where it will take us.
Six months later, I’m glad I did. So far, it has been one of the most exciting professional bets I’ve made. That man I was having sushi with was Jay Ferst, who, along with his brother Dominique, co-founded Ferst Capital. They’re my partners, investors, and advisors in NorthOne— an ambitious company that is going to rebuild the business banking experience.
This isn’t a post about a company launch — we don’t have anything to sell. This isn’t a post about best-practices in startup land — I haven’t made nearly enough mistakes to know what best-practices are. This post is just the beginning of a journey and those that follow will tell the story of my chronicles as an entrepreneur and of the creation of NorthOne.