The other day i had a brilliant flash of inspiration. It’s no longer about serial entrepreneurism, it’s about being a parallel entrepreneur. What a brilliant turn of phrase to explain the activities of friends like Shervin Pishevar who build companies, advise world leaders, inspire students and raise a family.
Googled the term and found i was late to the party. The #1 result for “parallel entrepreneur” is a 2006 blog post by Fred Wilson. I guess this means i’m as insightful in 2010 as Fred Wilson was in 2006. Hmm, four years late although compared to Fred’s proclivity for early insights, i might still be ahead of the curve.
In re-reading his post, there are some great quotes re: Evan Williams/Odeo and Kevin Rose which in retrospect suggest true largescale parallel entrepreneurism is a challenge.
Ev talk about Obvious Labs being a place where they will spin off projects. Fred notes how they’re able to work on projects like Odeo and Twitter at the same time.
Similarly, the post recounts speculation how Kevin Rose is going to build Revision3 while still running Digg.
So looking at those two examples, we might draw two conclusions about parallel entrepreneurism:
1. In the Obvious Labs case, when you’ve got a project of meaning, it often requires you to forget the dreams of multitasking and do one thing really well.
2. In the Kevin Rose case (and i don’t know him at all), he was able to build Revision3 but was it at the expense of Digg? If he’d remained CEO of Digg would it be something even greater today instead of the challenges they currently face?