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Colorado Collaboration

Trust Drives Colorado’s Entrepreneurial Progress

I got to thinking about TRUST following my interview with co-founders Jenn Knight and Niji Sabharwal of AgentSync.  Jenn said that because they are spouses, they have an existing level of deep trust, which allows each to more readily accept the other’s judgement, facilitates candid dialogue, and ultimately allows the company to move more quickly.  This is consistent with the theme of the book titled, The Speed of Trust.

Time and again I hear from entrepreneurs and founders that the spirit of collaboration has helped them succeed in Colorado.  Colin McIntosh of Sheets & Giggles (episode), talked about how Chris White,  founder of Shinesty, helped him to initially establish Sheets & Giggles’ shipping from the Shinesty facilities.  That kind of collaboration can’t happen without trust – Colin trusting that Chris wouldn’t try to somehow take Colin’s products or customers, and Chris that teaching Colin the shipping ropes and helping him get started would somehow, oh, I don’t know, build Karma in exchange for their effort.  It seems to me that TRUST is a core value in Colorado’s entrepreneurial community, and it’s one that is universally rewarding.

Colorado Tech is a Widening Web

I love the excitement about Denver and Boulder attracting tech company HQ2s, tech investment, tech jobs.  In my interview with Mario Ciabarra, we talked about the ability of Quantum Metric, based in Colorado Springs, to find the tech talent needed.  His response, “talent is everywhere!”  Some of their employees are in the Springs, others in remote offices, some completely remote.  Being based in Colorado Springs has worked – Quantum Metric just raised its last round valued at $1 Billion. 

Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA downtown city skyline at dusk.

Cherwell Software also started in Colorado Springs – you can hear my interview with Sam Gilliland, founder on PROCO360.  John Street, founder and CEO of Pax8 (interview on PROCO360) is from Colorado Springs and started his first company there.  Proximity is based in Montrose (interview with CEO Josh Freed).  I’m rooting for more tech growth in the Springs, and across all of Colorado!   If you know someone perfect for PROCO360 who helps that cause, please let me know! 

More Colorado Collaboration Cited in Success

climbers at the top of a pass with backpacks meeting the sunrise in the mountains

In the episode featuring Sheets & GigglesCEO Colin McIntosh, says that The Colorado community is literally the reason that this company exists and we try to give back as much as we can as a thank you.”  As an example, Colin shares the story of when starting the company he reached out to Chris White, the CEO of Shinesty – a Colorado company selling collection of outlandish clothing (and featuring Ball Hammocks for Father’s Day!), for advice about warehousing and shipping.  Chris offered to have Colin begin shipping out of the Shinesty warehouse to get things going.  In my last blog post I mentioned that Colorado’s entrepreneurial brand includes collaboration, and on cue, Colin McIntosh supported that in his episode of ProCO360.   

Can Colorado’s Brand have a CAUSE?

This is a big question.  

It came to me after my interview with Johnny Le Coq, founder and CEO of Fishpond.  Patagonia is a products company that supports the environment.  Athleta is a products company that supports the advancement of women.  Both companies are examples of authentic and effective support for a cause that aligns with customers.  Fishpond seems to go further – Fishpond seems to be coming very close to using sales of its products as a mechanism to support river conservation.   

 Image courtesy of the Fishpond website 

Johnny: “Our brand has become a voice for the environment… It’s not what we sell that I’m most proud of – it’s what we stand for.”  He means it. 

 That made me think about Colorado.  Can Colorado have a CAUSE that ultimately becomes interwoven with our brand?  That’s tough, but I think Colorado’s entrepreneurial community DOES – it STANDS FOR supporting opportunity for those who strive, collaborate, innovate, and mutually appreciate the rich lives that people wish to have in our great state.  

I am in the Tribe: “Buffaloes”

I was following a car driven by someone who wasn’t particularly focused on moving along.  Clearly, the driver was texting, or in some other way distracted from the business of getting where she was going.

I was miffed.  Then I saw a CU Buffs sticker on her car and I relaxed.  I’m a Buffs football season ticket holder and both my sons, my wife and I have degrees from CU.  I recognized my dismissal of frustration because of the sticker – and thought, “this is weird.”

Maybe not.  Coincidentally at the time this happened I was (really!) re-listening to the book, Marketing Rebellion: The Most Human Company Wins by Mark Schaefer.  And as I write this, I recall Seth Godin’s book, Tribes, and I’m reminded that as I seek to do business with someone new, it’s so important, and gratifying, to explore how we can authentically connect. Go Buffs!  #GoBuffs  @CUBuffs

 

 

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