Jan 23 2013

When You Know It’s Impossible, Do It Anyway….Or Win A Contest.

Guest Post By Adam Sager – Canary – (CEO & Founder) 

Canary Logo - ColorIt would be fair to call this Guest Post a page from the journal of a couple of entrepreneurs sailing unexplored waters as countless others have done before us.

As is typically the case, the blessing and the curse of birthing and bringing to market the next great thing is the eternal conjuring-up of navigational options:  To somehow find a way to burst through the clutter and rise above the rest.

Never let it be said that the land of new ideas is an un-crowded space. Or that finding a way to do the impossible is a day at the beach, cyber or sandy.  And while there is plenty of company, too often it feels like we’re hiding in plain sight.

In our case, we’re setting out to redefine the home security industry.  Reinventing it with a cheaper, simpler, more effective, portable and socially integrated software solution rather than the conventional hardware dead-end and call center black hole. An inclusive, affordable solution that gives renters security options that until now simply didn’t exist.

If you’re a kindred spirit, you’ll understand our gratitude to Brad.  As well as our appreciation – and wonder – at winning last fall’s Startup Communities: Building an Entrepreneurial Ecosystem in Your City contest.  We were rewarded with ninety minutes of face time with a man that would understand us; or at least help us to better understand ourselves.

Hey, start-up community guidance counselor-gurus, at home with software wrapped in plastic visionaries and true to an investor-entrepreneur morality code we embrace, are hard to find.

Long before the contest, we were Brad Feld fans and committed to meeting him, willing to settle for a cameo in Colorado, but never imagining ninety minutes on our home turf in NYC.

We had done the little things, taken the small steps to try.  Hundreds of 2nd and 3rd degree LinkedIn connections while helpful, seemed too impersonal, distant and ineffectual.

Chris spoke briefly to him when he came to speak in New York, but in no way did that suggest that we were any closer to the personal, interactive discussion we sought.

We considered devoting time to playing who-do-we-know-that-might-know-him roulette, but soon realized it was at best a stretch that would lead to an awkward Who-are-you? introduction.

Then we learned about the Startup Communities contest.  All we had to do was win – but how?

Most of us learned long ago that it’s better to be lucky than smart. Especially true when the strategies employed to win a contest are plucked from the Take your chances lottery ticket playbook.

But a lesson gleaned from Startup Communities is the imperative to take action, and so we did.

Brad was picking a winner from both Amazon and Barnes & Noble, so we bought books from both sites to improveour odds, hopefully increasing them more than buying multiple Powerball tickets.

Brad inspired us.  So did winning, and Chris then initiated what he calls Random Acts of Entrepreneurship, donating the extra books to other entrepreneurs, hoping it might help them.

What goes around, you know.

We acted, bent the rules by thinking outside them, and caught a break. Onto Brad’s new book.  Now let us check our Powerball numbers…

Adam Sager @SagerSpeak & Chris Rill @ChrisRill are co-founders of a “software-wrapped-plastic’ startup based in New York City.  Our company changes the way people connect to the physical places and people they care about the most.  www.forcefieldlabs.com