Almost all of our marketing and sales was educational. We just thought, “We’ll teach people stuff, and some tiny fraction of those people will become our customers.” It seemed to work just as well as running ads, which were a hard sell and kind of empty and a waste of people’s time. In this case, nobody could ever say that we wasted their time.
—Philip Greenspun, interviewed by Jessica Livingston, Founders at work : stories of startups’ early days, 2008.
Livingston: What do you think about technical founders versus businesspeople founders?
Schachter: I have never had a great deal of trust for people who don’t execute on core ideas. I understand the value of needing someone to deal with that kind of stuff—someone’s got to do the VC pitch and there’s got to be a CFO, etc. But the guy who says, “I have a great idea and I’m looking for other people to implement it,” I’m wary of—frequently because I think the process of idea-making relies on executing and failing or succeeding at the ideas, so that you can actually become better at coming up with ideas. It’s something you can learn. It’s a skill, like weightlifting. That failed; that worked; continue. You begin to learn how to make ideas. So if you are someone who can’t execute and all you can do is come up with ideas, how do you know if they are any good? You don’t really know if it’s a good idea until you’ve executed it. You need to understand the cost of execution and so on.
—Joshua Schacter, interviewed by Jessica Livingston, Founders at work : stories of startups’ early days, 2008.