Being a founder is kind of like being a mom. You incubated something and it wouldn’t be here without that time before it was real, those moments when it was only inside you, that back pain.
And yet, founders rarely create projects on their own. Kinda like moms. Maybe there were doctors, another mom, a dad, etc involved with those early days. Or, post birth, people can become parents and adopt something, nurturing it to life.
Ok. I’ve taken this metaphor as far as possible….
My point is that I think founders are not about a moment in time. They are about being a nurturer. They carry the culture of a company. They influence the business model or brand.
We turn 5 years old this month. And today I’m announcing a co-founder here.
Crisis Text Line wouldn’t exist without Bob Filbin. In so many ways he helps lead culture here, from naming our conference rooms and bathrooms (all Harry Potter-inspired), to signing our weekly newsletter with a personal note and fun voice. Bob has done dozens of media interviews and speeches as a brand ambassador. And in addition to pushing our voice externally, he is an internal champion of systems thinking, testing, and growth mindset.
Every day he makes us better. We all love working with him. (Personally, if there is anything I’ve ever said that sounds smart–I probably borrowed it from Bob.)
All of this praise is the kind of stuff you hope to be able to say about your Chief Data Scientist–or, really, any member of a team! So why make him a co-founder?
Jeff Lawson (co-founder & CEO of Twilio) once told me that founders are different: they are vampires. Long after staff leave and long after even the founder leaves, the vampire’s legacy remains. Founders are permanent. A culture is shaped by its founders, forever.
So officially noting Bob as a co-founder here is about cementing him as a permanent part of this culture. We hope to forever reflect his quirkiness, his curiosity, his work ethic, his spirit, his love of Harry Potter.