The Silent Killers: Entrepreneurs That Just Do It

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By Brad Feld (Managing Director, Foundry Group)  

On my run yesterday in Central Park, I was thinking about the characteristics of some of my favorite companies. Suddenly a phrase popped into my head about what ties all of these companies together – they are the silent killers.

When I look at the Foundry Group portfolio, we’ve got a bunch of them in it. They don’t spend a lot of time trying to get written up in TechCrunch. They often are not based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Their CEOs don’t run around bloviating about what they are going to do some day.

They just do it. And suddenly they are $10 million, or $20 million, or even $50 million revenue companies. Before anyone has really noticed. Without any real competition. They are the unambiguous and dominant market leader.

Sure – their customers and partners know who they are. Other entrepreneurs, especially ones who work with them in some way know who they are. Smart technical folks know who they are. And the geographic community that they are in know who they are since they are often the leaders of their startup communities.

But they sneak up on you. They don’t waste their time hyping themselves. They don’t run around trying to get VCs interested in what they are doing.

Rather, they just do. Their Twitter streams are filled with substantive stuff. Their blogs are about their product and how it is used. Their people are everywhere they need to be, and spend almost no time being places they don’t need to be.

These are the silent killers. And I love them.

This blog was originally posted at Feld Thoughts.

Photo credit: yannconz on Flickr.

About the guest blogger: Brad Feld is Co-Founder and Managing Director of Foundry Group. He has been an early stage investor and entrepreneur for over twenty years. Previously, he co-founded Mobius Venture Capital and, prior to that, founded Intensity Ventures. Brad is also a co-founder of TechStars. Brad has been active with several non-profit organizations and currently is chairman of the National Center for Women & Information Technology. He blogs at Feld Thoughts and Ask The VC.