Inspiration: Mixergy Interview with Ryan Scott – What Happens after the Startup’s Exit
What would you do if you built a tremendously successful (and profitable) internet company and sold it?
I interviewed Ryan Scott to find out what he did after he sold Netcreations, the email list management company that he co-founded. (Curious about how Netcreations was built? Listen to this this interview.)
Ryan is now an angel investor and the CEO of Causecast, an interactive community for people and brands that want to leave a positive impact on the world. Here’s some of what I learned about his post-sale journey:
“Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous”
Isn’t this the part most people dream of: throwing great parties, buying fun toys, hobnobbing with celebrities? Ryan got to enjoy it all. There was a part of him that did that to overcome some lingering insecurities from when he was a nerdy kid.
Eventually, he says, the “Rich and Famous” lifestyle wasn’t for him because most of the people it attracted were either after something or just wanted to be around that environment.
Igniting the entrepreneurial need
After being disenchanted with the easy life, Ryan refocused on what got him started: the need to build something. I think there are two kinds of entrepreneurs: The “wannabes” try to build companies so they’d never have to work again. But the “real” entrepreneurs build companies when they don’t have to work.
If you download my interview with Ryan to find clues on how to build your own success, notice how many times he says he wants to build something that lasts.
He also started investing in companies like Tesla Motors, Mahalo, and Intent.com.
If you’re reading this site, there’s a good chance you’ll either need an angel to invest in your startup or you are an angel investor. So I asked Ryan how he make his investment decisions. He said he looked for ideas that have legs and can leave an impact on the world.
He also said that he considers the personality and reputation of the entrepreneur behind the company. Will s/he crumble in a crisis? Do people think s/he is a jerk? Is this someone I want to work with? (Peter Pham has more on that.)
The power of celebrities
The aha moment that led Ryan to create his newest startup, Causecast, came when he realized that celebrities are powerful attention magnets. They make it easier to draw traffic to a web site. I always forget about the power of celebrities because I’m much more interested in business stars than movie stars, but the rest of the world doesn’t think that way. Ryan realized that there was an opportunity to work with celebrities to pull together a big community that supports causes.