This article was published on September 28, 2014

Famous founders and investors: A blessing or a curse?


Famous founders and investors: A blessing or a curse?
Boris Veldhuijzen van Zanten
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Boris Veldhuijzen van Zanten

Founder & board member, TNW

Boris is a serial entrepreneur who founded not only TNW, but also V3 Redirect Services (sold), HubHop Wireless Internet Provider (sold), and Boris is a serial entrepreneur who founded not only TNW, but also V3 Redirect Services (sold), HubHop Wireless Internet Provider (sold), and pr.co. Boris is very active on Twitter as @Boris and Instagram: @Boris.

Biz Stone launching Jelly, Sean Parker launching Airtime, Ashton Kutcher investing in your company, Ray Ozzie launching Talko.

Having a world-famous, previously successful, founder or investor doesn’t give you any guarantees of success. In fact, I’m starting to suspect that once the extra attention you get for being able to name-drop someone famous, it will work against you.

People love supporting the romantic idea of a young entrepreneur hacking away on a genius product from a garage. That’s the dream you want to support.

A millionaire team with seemingly unlimited resources that can throw a luxurious launch party and afford to hire the best designers? You’re going to adopt a platform to make a bunch of rich people even richer? I just don’t think that gets our sympathy vote.

If you are rich and famous, or are about to attract a rockstar informal investor I would keep it quiet until your product becomes popular on its own merits, and maybe then you can subtly hint at the famous people involved.

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