One of my early investments goes public! Go TWTR!

Yes!  Today is indeed an exciting day and the PERFECT day for my inaugural blog post.  Why?  Way back in 2007, I made an investment (my third early-stage investment after Say:Media fka Videoegg and Kidzui) in a quirky, quixotic idea called twttr.  Today, TWTR began trading on the New York Stock Exchange.  I’ve invested in 17 early-stage companies since I started in 2005 (the list is here), and Twitter is the first to go public.  Hugely exciting!  I cannot describe my elation today.  I was moved to tears. I am so grateful to Ev, Jack and Biz for letting me join their adventure, and so grateful to Dick, Adam and the Twitter team for managing such an incredible expansion. I am so grateful to the universe. Wow!  Deep breath.

Twitter launched when I was running a web development and digital marketing agency called Organic. I loved the idea and wanted to find a way to use Twitter to help one of our clients connect their rabid fan base using mobile phones.  Hey, mobile connectivity was a novel idea back then. Biz kindly listened to my pitch and generously shared his ideas but told me Twitter needed to focus on making the service work and wouldn’t have time for a bespoke project.  Ah, the power of focus!  Good call Biz 🙂  I felt the promise of Twitter and I could not let it go.  So, I went back and asked the guys if they’d take an investment from me.  The answer was yes.  Six years later, here we are.

I’ve been wanting to blog for awhile but I didn’t want to be that blogger with “a big hat and no cattle,” as they say in Texas.  So I’ve been waiting for the moment where I felt I’d earned the right to opine and I think today’s liquidity event for Twitter is as good a moment as any.

I decided to call my blog Quixotic Ventures.  Why?  My grandmother loved art and  Salvatore Dali was one of her favorites.  She had that seminal engraving of Don Quixote you see everywhere (it wasn’t quite so trite in 1969).  I remember her telling me the story of Don Quixote at six.  As I was thinking of names for the blog, the first thing that came to mind was Don Quixote…tilting at imaginary windmills, hence Quixotic Ventures.  Early stage investments are quixotic:  “Foolishly impractical.  Marked by rash, lofty, romantic ideas.”

Yeah, that’s early stage investing all right — especially the way I do it.  I look for founders who have lofty, romantic, impractical ideas.  Transformative ideas.  Ideas that change an industry and in some cases — like Twitter — the world.

Thank you for your time.

@markis

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