In search of things new and useful.
Guest Post: What Boston’s First VC Platform Role Means to Me
(This is a guest post from Jay Acunzo, NextView’s director of platform and community and our newest team member.)
This post is about new beginnings, specifically mine as director of platform at NextView (about which I’m unbelievably excited). But I want to focus on goodbyes for a second.
Have you ever received a farewell note, whether you’re ending a project or a job, that makes you step back and appreciate the other person on a deeper level? I’ve only moved on from a handful of organizations in my career (Google, Dailybreak, and, most recently, HubSpot), but the phrase that always sticks with me in someone’s good luck email is, “Let me know if I can ever help you in the future!”
Simple, right? You let a colleague know that you’re embarking on a new adventure, or maybe thank them for getting lunch that one time and wish them well, and they respond with that sentiment. Not, “Great working with you,” or, “See you around,” or even, “I’d love to keep in touch,” but rather, “I’m here to help.”
It always strikes me as a powerful statement despite, or maybe because of, its simplicity. It reveals a lot about their character. (By the way, thanks to all my great former HubSpot colleagues who sent me that exact sentiment!)
Back to NextView’s Platform
As far as we can tell, this role is the first of its kind in Boston, though precedents exist elsewhere. And while you can describe it through whatever buzzy phrase you like — paying it forward, adding value, knowledge transferring…scalable entrepreneurial mind meld summits, or whatever else — to me, this role has a simple but powerful core. It’s about help.
With that in mind, the NextView platform we’ll develop will be a natural extension of the genuine desire that Rob, Lee, David, and I have to focus on the needs, growth, and success of seed-stage companies. That includes both the NextView portfolio and the larger community. Anyone who’s ever had the pleasure of meeting the NextView partners knows they’re incredibly genuine in their work with entrepreneurs and desire to see this community succeed. (Having been operators and leaders at tech companies like PayPal, LinkedIn, eBay, and About.com, they “get it.”) In joining NextView, I’m excited for the chance to work alongside them, but also many of you.
Putting in The Work
As someone who loves to write, one of my favorite quotes is from Nathaniel Hawthorne: “Easy reading is damn hard writing.” That’s true of anything, I think. Making something easier for others requires that you put in a ton of hard work upfront and on their behalf.
But I’m excited to put in that work and to keep NextView more in-tune than ever with early-stage entrepreneurs. The goal is to build a platform that’s actually meaningful and useful to you, whether through resources, content, events, or other educational or business development opportunities. In the end, we’re all focused on the same thing: growing exceptional companies and building an exceptional community of early-stage startups right here in town.