I'm the Co-founder and CEO of The Grommet. We launch undiscovered consumer products. It's also the birthplace of Citizen Commerce. I write about design, cultural anthropology, and start-ups, mostly.

Boston is good to our business, and to me.

574184-boston_skyline-bostonBoston is not known for birthing successful consumer internet companies.  Most of them get a little traction and then either die, or move.  But I think we can defy the odds with this one—I am finding it to be a terrific place to build this business.  We have unparalleled tech talent, a vibrant (if temporarily paralyzed) investor base, and there is so darned little competition for the consumer talent in town.  We have the pick of the crop, with our clear and novel concept.  Like it or leave it, it is easy to understand what Daily Grommet does and what we stand for, and we have incredible people knocking on our door (and more importantly, already behind the door, working).

Beyond that, as a CEO, I am finding the local entrepreneurial culture terribly warm and welcoming.  This is a somewhat unexpected discovery, as it can be such a direct contrast to to the rushed and clipped public persona of Bostonians—a reality that is prominent in my mind having just spent a day in open and friendly Madison WI.  I love that Midwestern vibe—truly, madly.

Since returning to Boston in 2005, I’ve put a fair bit of effort in getting to know people in the tech, investment, social media, and startup circles in this town.  I am starting to feel something I had only ever experienced while living in Dublin…feeling connected and part of something bigger than myself.

On that note, two remarkable things happened to me recently, as a potentially lonely entrepreneur.  Two prominent and accomplished local startup leaders reached out to me to say, “How can I help you?”  One, Jeff Bennett,  I had never met.  Another, Mike Troiano, I had crossed paths with only in group settings.  I was floored and deeply touched.  It can be isolating to start a company.  Even more so as a woman in a male- dominated space.  But boy these two people (and the generally helpful response our company receives, locally) really make me delighted to be in Boston.

Both of these men said, “We Boston internet entrepreneurs have to stick together.”  Amen.

6 Responses to “Boston is good to our business, and to me.”

  1. julespieri

    OK Mike. Now that you “outted” yourself I put your name in the post. Didn’t think you were truly shy, but I was careful….no more! I am going to tell anyone who will listen that you are Da Man.

    Reply
  2. Jeff Bennett

    We can build great consumer Internet companies in Boston and New England. It is happening every day at NameMedia, DailyGrommet, TripAdvisor, CSNStores and many more. We have smart and committed entrepeneurs and talent. We have the universities to tap into. It takes a village – we need to help each other. By doing this we will all get stronger and succeed faster. Rock on Jules!

    Reply
  3. julespieri

    Very true Jeff, about the local standout consumer internet companies…I’d be honored if Daily Grommet ended up a star in the firmament you describe.

    Reply

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