Explaining &work 26 Feb 2013 01:49 pm

A sunshine moment.

Sunshine momentHello friends.

What a ride! It’s been fun! It’s been challenging, but now, it’s time for something new.

I have just completed a transaction with Dimitris Tsigos and his StartTech group transferring all of my shares in coLab to them.

One key tenant in coLab recently told me “everyone who’s anyone has graduated from coLab or is about to”. I agree, and now, it’s time for me to graduate too.

The last 2 years of my life have been precious. In building coLab, I invested almost everything I had. Money, time, family, tears, everything. Yet, we built it and together, we built a community around it. With sacrifices. Through the crisis. Without (much) investment other than the investment from customers who trusted us. coLab was never meant to return huge profits financially. It did however return huge profits in social terms.

We built our corporate brand as well as our respective personal brands. We had hundreds of events and thousands of readers of our newsletter. We helped and were helped by many. I can’t count the number of kudos emails I received because of what we were doing.

Giving someone a chance in business is so important and all of you gave that to me and Spiro. We gave it to each other. It wasn’t always rosy but it was always fulfilling. I have taken many lessons from this past period. Lessons about commitment, about trust and about integrity.

Selling coLab! I know, shocking isn’t it? Well, they had it coming. The deal is pretty sweet and gives me the ability to continue along a new track.

Spiros will remain in coLab together with the StartTech team. I wish them all the best of luck. I hope you will give them the chance they deserve in this new beginning. If I can part with one final piece of advice to my past collaborators it would be this: service is more than saying, “Yes” and taking care of the customer. Above all, great service needs personality.

Now, on to the terms of the sale: There’s a small catch. The terms of the sale contain a non-compete clause with coLab so and while I will never consider coLab as a competitor but rather a collaborator, I will be going into coworking stealth mode for a short time. Let’s call it a hibernation from coworking. I will not be running a new coworking space immediately. I will be running events and some of them may be in coLab or elsewhere or some may be in a new event space I will likely set up soon(ish). It will NOT be a coworking space, at least not in the short term.

In parallel, I will continue the fun work I’m doing with StartupDigest, facilitating Startup Weekend in cities around the world and helping co-organise SW in Greece and further afield. I am about to complete my accreditation as a SWNext facilitator and the next cohort of SWNext will begin imminently. Also, I’m in discussions about a new track of work I may be tasked to do and as always, as someone who always has more than one pot of tea brewing, I have a few more things up my sleeve as well. Stay tuned to learn more.

By now, you all know my strategy. I announce something and then do my best to implement it. The announcement acts as a promise to deliver and a reminder to me that my reputation is at stake. Not delivering amounts to failure and while failure is acceptable, it is certainly not desirable. I fucking hate failing.

So, on to new things. Remember, I’m only an email away!

Stavros Messinis
coFather of coLab

5 Responses to “A sunshine moment.”

  1. on 26 Feb 2013 at 2:02 pm 1.PanosJee said …

    Good luck Stavro and thanks for all the fish!

    I think we have many talents and if you focus on just one thing that could be a tech startups by itself you could make it fly! So, yes I suggest, start your own tech startup! You have what it takes!

  2. on 26 Feb 2013 at 11:35 pm 2.Stavros Messinis said …

    Pano thank you for your kind words. It’s guys like you that helped us get off our feet and get shit done. Regarding the tech startup, I will do that too I think. I just need to get off the rollercoaster for a bit. Only for a bit. I promise.

  3. on 27 Feb 2013 at 1:10 am 3.PanosJee said …

    No that too. This thing only is the correct answer :)
    Greek startups need cosmopolitans like you. Period

  4. on 27 Feb 2013 at 11:58 am 4.Adriane Thras said …

    Wow Stavro! This is gutsy and thus (from the tiny bit I know about your life) totally in-character! One thing I learned from my mother is that life is about re-inventing oneself every so often; I think that pretty much sums it up for all of us (startups and geeks and dreamers alike) … best of luck!

  5. on 02 Mar 2013 at 4:47 pm 5.YourMan said …

    Best of luck!

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