My Baltimore's Next: Brian Sierakowski
I love the concept of low hanging fruit, which represents a goal that is within reach. So much so that when I try to solve a problem, the way I start it is to ask what is the easiest thing that can be done right now. You may recognize a similar sentiment in the Patton quote "A good plan violently executed right now is far better than a perfect plan executed next week" -- I promise that's the extent of our similarities.
A particularly low hanging fruit here in the Baltimore technology and entrepreneurial scene is building a better awareness and celebratory culture for successful companies. Not just previously successful companies that have been sold, but companies that are currently in the process of being successful. There's a special energy associated with watching a company in motion, it's a bit like screening a movie as it is being made. Along the way you can see their goals, failures, and victories in real time.
Retrospectives are nice, but everyone "knew" their crazy strategy was going to work when you ask them after the fact (they were probably guessing at the time). The reason why we haven't been celebrating these companies to date is that they have to be found through search, their leaders are too heads-down building the company to self promote. The community does not know that they exist, so they aren't compelled to search, therefore these individuals must be brought to the forefront!
The process involves taking these existing companies and bringing them into the public eye. We have to amplify the true successes here, and not just the "newsworthy" oddities. Too often the celebration becomes one based around the concept "This is unusual!" The twenty-something entrepreneurs raising twenty-something million dollars and the social network for a niche group hits a hundred thousand users. These companies are not being celebrated due to their hard work, they're being showcased due to the unlikelihood of their existence. (No, we do not need Facebook for Dogs.) Once we get the sustainable, visionary, and world changing companies into the public perception, the next steps of getting new companies created locally becomes much easier.
Ultimately, the goal is to establish a more vibrant entrepreneurial culture in Baltimore. So let us feast on this low hanging fruit by recognizing and celebrating these talented and visionary teams! In doing so, we bring about one of the environmental factors that will cause more individuals to consider starting their own company, or joining one of these companies that are changing the world.Brian Sierakowski is the Director of Business Development for the Greater Baltimore Technology Council, and is also involved as a curator for the Baltimore Startup Digest. Aside from those two, he enjoys Product Management, programming in Python, Interaction Design, and very short walks on the beach. His tweets can be found at twitter.com/bsierakowski, and his newly started blog ThingsILearnedYesterday.com would love some company. Comments? Questions? Find us on Twitter, visit our Facebook page, send us an email, or rate us on NewsTrust.
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Photos by Arianne Teeple