What Makes a Crush Object For Steve?

Here at fan to pro, we talk about our Crush Objects, what goes into the Resume-Worthy Roundup, etc.  But we don't explain our philosophy about it.

Well Bonnie and I don't exactly have a unified philosophy about it, but here are the things that makes me crush on a company – and make me think that you might want to send that company a resume.  Next time you see a News of The Day or a Resume-Worthy Roundup, here's what I'm thinking, in no particular order, and not that every company has to meet all these requirements:

  • Bright Idea or Right Idea.  I want a company with good ideas, either really innovative, really stable, or both.  If a company can innovate and have a stable, reliable idea then I'm bang alongside it.  Just remember sometimes a dull idea that works is better than an unsure brilliant idea – and a brilliant idea may be better than a dull, plodding approach.
  • Right location.  This isn't always important to me, but some locations seem more promising than others because of prominence, recruitig opportunities, and the fact investors do seem biased to some physical locations.  My biases tend towards Seattle, the Bay Area, Greater Boston, Toronto, Vancouver, New York, Baltimore-DC, and Chicago.  The megaregions, in short.
  • Money.  The company should be financially stable or have some great Venture Capital.
  • Venture Capital.  Steve's Rule is that if someone invests $10 million or more in a company, I pay attention.  It's sort of an intuitive thing with me.  $10 million is the magic number – though in some cases, less is OK if there are other good factors.
  • The right person.  You hire some CEO or innovator with a good record, and I'm going to pay attention.
  • Savvy.  I want to see smarts, an edge, something clever – or something so functionally dull I can't deny it works.  I also want to see that you've addressed concerns before others raise them.
  • Communication.  This is amorphous, but I like companies that can communicate their ideas and are open about what they do (though in the case of stealth startups I know that doesn't always happen).  Tell me and others why you're good, talk to us.
  • Demo.  If you can show me why you're good, even with a prototype, I pay attention.
  • Right Time.  Are you coming in at the right time, or planning for a time that's right in the future?  Then I pay attention.
  • Survival.  I admire companies that ride out bad times.
  • Personality.  This is amorphous, so I think it's obvious.  I do like a company with a human side and that is "itself."

So that's what gets companies to crush object status with me and/or gets them into the Resume Worthy Roundup.

Now, feel free to argue – or tell me your standards!

Steven Savage