Monday, October 6, 2014

Attending the Launch of

We recently had the chance to take part in the unveiling of in the heart of Dumbo Heights, Brooklyn and hear Mayor Bill DiBlasio talk about the role of entrepreneurship in NYC. is a collaboration between New York City, Gust, and IBM that provides one central way to connect entrepreneurs, startups, and investors. It's worth a look to check out how a startup community comes together (even those not in NYC). 

Here are our three main takeaways from the event. 

1. Ask the question, "who are your people?" 
When building a company, identify who are "your people" and ensure your product/service is laser focused on them. 

While that may seem simple, too many times startups lose focus and have too many audiences. Google is a classic example where the team optimized the site to be amazing for people looking for information. The business model "stuff" and services for advertisers came later. It all started with identifying a better way to search for info. 

2. Keep it Simple
The Mayor said it best when he commented that a favorite element of the new website is that it uses language he can understand. For example, Find a job!

Reduce clutter, simplify language, and fine tune how you help your people. It's hard, but well worth it.  

3. Embrace Diversity!
One of the greatest things of the NYC startup scene is the diversity of ideas, founders, and approches to building great companies. If you follow your heart and embrace diversity, your startup will be more sincere and likely to succeed. 

Parting Thoughts

We attended as a proud participant in IBM's Global Entrepreneur Program and are grateful for the support the program provides young companies. It was also fun to catch up with other GEP companies such as 8 Path Solutions.

Some people to follow on Twitter. @digitalnyc@sandy_carter@IBMGE, .

And check out the conversation at #IBMDigitalNYC and #DigitalNYC