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"I’ve met a number of employees and investors through our site."

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Two things strike me as I read the NYT interview with StumbleUpon founder Garrett Camp.

First, it takes a long time to achieve startup success. In StumbleUpon's case, between 4 and 5 years from start to "taking off":

"We set up the corporate entity in October 2001, and on Nov. 5, I came up with the name. We finished the prototype in 2002 and I worked on it part time until 2005 when I met with angel investors who provided financing. The company took off, and in 2006 I moved to San Francisco to be near the start-up scene."

Second, the best way to recruit is through people using the product or service.

I’ve met a number of employees and investors through our site. Our first angel investor sent me a message through StumbleUpon and said he liked what we’d done. I met him for dinner and he introduced us to other angel investors. We hired our first business development specialist from Google; he left when eBay acquired us. But when we spun out from eBay, he became one of our investors who helped us buy the company back. I literally stumbled upon our chief scientist when I was on our site and landed on a page that he had added. I realized I had based one of the chapters in my thesis on his work. I contacted him, then hired him.

I also enjoyed the line, "I’m interested in sites that help people find information and filter what’s available. The Internet is so big that no one can stay on top of everything."

Filtering is going to become more important going forward. There's already so much happening; how do we find the best stuff?

Well, there's the answer. You find a group of like-minded people, but not so similar that they follow exactly the same feeds and sites you do, and collaboratively share and filter information you find so that you help each other stay on top of things you want to know/know about.

The same principle seems to apply to Hacker News, Quora, Digg, Slashdot, and Wikipedia.

And yet it's the real free-for-all sites like Twitter and Tumblr where the real magic happens.

Something that everyone who is starting out better be acutely aware of - "It takes a long time to achieve startup success"

There can only be so many Facebooks in a given decade (i.e. launch and the next day you know that you have an absolute winner!)

Plus you know why I like "filtering is going to become more important going forward"!

Thanks for posting it.

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