The Day our investors came to see the office
Posted by Pierre de la Fortune on January 13, 2015 @ 12:09 a.m.
Written by Ryan Angilly
It wasn’t as awesome as it may sound. Sitting on a couch or at a kitchen table on a laptop all day, day after day, really starts to suck after not that much time. I seriously was getting on Jen’s nerves. Their dogs got on mine. And we originally joined the ski house to party; the fact that we were now working did not stop anyone else from pursuing that original goal.
So we decided to get office space. We didn’t go crazy. We kept it cheap: renting a windowless 150 sq. ft. office from a biotech company in Worcester. We bought a couple used desks, a locking file cabinet, and some chairs from a used office supply warehouse next door. We got a whiteboard and a couple 21” monitors from Staples. We didn’t put our name on the door. The wireless internet that we shared w/ the biotech company was always going out. It was a perfect startup cliche.
Scot and I would spend most of our time there. We had CJ coming in regularly after a while. Greg would stop by one or two days a week. Tanya would come in one day every week or so. There were a couple conference rooms that we used to have brainstorming meetings, code reviews, or calls with the DEMO people. It felt very “office-y.”
One day we decided we should have our investors come visit. We were going to give them a demo in the conference room, show them the space we worked in, and give them a state of the business report.
They called Scot when they showed up. He went out to greet them. We had spent days getting everything ready. Making sure we had the presentation down to every last detail. Scot had all the cashflow numbers to show them. These guys cut us pretty substantial checks, and we wanted to show them what we were doing with it.
I was pretty nervous. They were always super nice and friendly, but I hadn’t seen them since Scot picked up the checks. Since then, this had become a REAL business, and I had never dealt with that before. They came in, and I forget exactly what was said, but I can remember that I was standing in the back corner of our office. I was facing them — they were all standing as well — explaining to them the state of the technology and where we were at when one of the investors cuts me off.
Investor: (in a serious tone) I have one question for you… Investor: (3 second pause) Investor: (breaking into a huge smile) … Are you happy?
I don’t know if I was able to keep my eyes from watering up. I know that I didn’t need to give him a verbal answer. It was all over my face. Of course I was happy. I was literally living a dream.
To this day thinking about moment really gets me. That day is a good explanation of why I love startups so much. Because I get to meet people like that. And some day, one of these startups might end up putting some cash in my pocket. And then I’ll be able to cut checks to some young kids who have nothing but some brains and a dream. And I hope some day I can stand in a shitty subletted office, look across at those kids and ask them: Are you happy?
I hope it’ll have the same effect on them that it did on me.
Ryan graduated from WPI with a BS and MS in Electrical Engineering. He previously founded MessageSling, a voicemail transcription company. MessageSling failed in 2009 after almost 2 years in operation. For the last two years, he was a lead developer at Punchbowl.com. Ryan Angilly moved to Boulder on August 2nd, 2010 despite never having been here. He loves to ski, hike, and build things on the Internet. You can find him at any of the tech events around town, and online: Blog | Twitter
For more info please visit: http://thedayseries.com/ and http://ryanangilly.com/
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