So far, one of the most fun things about starting a company is telling people about it for the first time. At first, it was a challenge to figure out how to explain what I’m doing. Early on, I would tell people “I am starting a company that starts companies.” I quickly realized that this didn’t really explain anything, especially to anyone who wasn’t in the Internet industry, so I had to modify my 20-words-or-less job description. Once I decided that the name of the company was going to be Pure Incubation, I also had to figure out how to explain that I wasn’t hatching any eggs or doing any science experiments, so I changed the short answer to “I’m launching an Internet incubator – which is a company that starts Internet companies.” This doesn’t usually satisfy anyone, either, but so far I haven’t come up with anything better that’s under 20 words. I think it will get easier once I actually launch something, but until then, I’m open for suggestions.
After I get through the initial description, the typical reaction is that people think it’s a little bit crazy although they are supportive. Some of the reactions that I’ve gotten so far:
“Wow, two entrepreneurs in the family” (This is by far the most common reaction – Chris started SpineFrontier last year. I think that by this people mean “You two are insane.”)
“That’s great! Dinner’s on me.” (An acquaintance who was at dinner the night I quit my job – thank you H.!)
“Thank God Chris has a job.” (My mom)
But really the big lesson that I’ve learned from this experience is that people are not always going to understand what I’m doing and why I’m starting this business but that it’s OK. And I am gathering some good stories in the process.