I was feeling extraordinarily proud of Idée last night when I saw that they received glowing coverage on TechCrunch. It is well deserved, and it seems like they are just getting started in terms of press coverage. They recently had a huge profile in the Financial Post, written by David George-Cosh (who has been getting more and more connected with the Toronto community as of late). We have been tracking Idée for a while now.
Then as I kept flipping through my news feeds, I came across an embarrassing update about MediaScrape, which Heri and Mathew Ingram both covered well. When we first posted about MediaScrape, Tyler Cavell, the founder, responded in a much more succinct way than he did to TechCrunch’s latest post. Heri had even convinced me to lay off and see how things work out.
I almost feel like I am doing Idée a disservice by mentioning them in the same post as MediaScrape. Where Idée has focused on perfecting their technology and winning customers, MediaScrape seems to be prone to distraction and tends to make simple matters much more confusing and difficult than necessary.
Heri made the point in his post yesterday that when entrepreneurs are disconnected from their local community, they seem to be more likely to go off the rails. I think Heri is on to something that investors need to take in to consideration when investing.
Again, Leila and the crew at Idée are a great contrast and example of how to do things right. While Idée is possibly the busiest startup in Canada, and one that is spending its own money (ie: they have no time to waste), they still manage to be tightly connected to the community here in Toronto. Leila is constantly organizing, co-organizing or speaking at events, and when she isn’t doing that, she spends a lot of time each week mentoring other startups.
Capazoo and MediaScrape, according to Heri, have never made it out to a single Montreal event and have generally kept a distance from their local startup community.
Perhaps one of the measures that investors, both Angels and VCs, take in to account when deciding whether they want to put money in to a startup or an entrepreneur should be whether or not that person has been able to take the time to connect with a community of startups. That way you know they have a social and professional circle that will keep them accountable, demand progress and that will criticize their execution, rather than patting them on the back and telling them they are going to be rich.
If your friends tell you that you will be rich and famous, then you have the wrong friends.