There’s one funny bit in the history of starting up Directed Edge: I have no idea when I decided to do it. I don’t really know when the idea first crept into my head seriously to start a company. I did a little reconnaissance on my e-mail and file archives and put together some of the critical moments:
- October 25th, 2005: Mailed Paul Graham asking about books on startups
- July 1st, 2006: Moved from working at the SAP LinuxLab in Walldorf, Germany to Native Instruments in Berlin
- January 29th, 2008: Ordered “Competitive Strategy” and “Harvard Business Review on Entrepreneurship”
- February 5th, 2008: Joined Hacker News
- February 19th, 2008: Ordered “Founders at Work” and “Fundamentals of Database Systems”
- February 28th, 2008: Last edit to list of 31 possible startup ideas
- February 29th, 2008: Asked Valentin if he’d like to co-found
- April 3rd, 2008: Notified boss at Native Instruments that I’d be leaving at the end of June
- April 16th, 2008: Ordered “Art of the Start”
- April 23rd, 2008: Went to first local founders event (Business & Beer)
- March 4th, 2008: Started our intranet wiki to begin organizing thoughts
- March 8th, 2008: Registered directededge.com
- March 13th, 2008: Sent mail to LUG where I’d gone to college asking if any other alums had founded companies
- March 13th, 2008: Got German permanent residence (meaning I didn’t need a normal job to continue living here)
- May 23rd, 2008: Went to TechCrunch Meetup Prague
- June 11th, 2008: Went to TechCrunch Meetup Berlin
- June 20th, 2008: Attended Mini-Seedcamp Berlin with Valentin
- June 27th, 2008: Full-time on Directed Edge
It was a little surprising to me that I’d apparently thought over starting a startup as early as 2005. That was, notably, only a few months before I quit at SAP, and getting the itch to move on was presumably the trigger. That went into remission once I was settled in Berlin and working for Native Instruments. I don’t remember when, exactly, I started entertaining the idea seriously. Certainly for most of my time at Native Instruments, I was not. It would appear that circa January 2008, with the prospect of German permanent residence at hand, that I began the motions of learning more about what it would take.
It’s also hard to self-evaluate and say if I moved slowly or quickly — obviously I’d been toying with the idea for 3 years by the time I went full-time, but from starting real research to giving notice at work was only two months.
Having done the research, I thought I’d make it here, both to preserve it for memory-lane and on the odd chance that it’s interesting for anyone else.