The Thundering Herd presents:

Starting Up, Part Deux

Introducing Herd Works, Inc. A Portland, Oregon-based startup building pocket-worthy productivity tools for people-people. Coming soon to an iPhone near you.

Hello, world. 👋 It brings me great pleasure to announce the formation of Herd Works, Inc., a new business venture focused on building productivity tools for people-people.

A people-person is someone who enjoys or is particularly good at being with-, communicating with-, or otherwise interacting with- other people. Developers1 are people-people. Makers1 are people-people. Community leaders are people-people. Influencers are people-people. Your friend who likes to cook is a people-person. If you don’t identify with one of these examples then I’d ask: “have you ever started a new group chat?” If so, you are a people person!

People-people are the creators & contributors in the “1% rule of internet culture”, which states that only 1-10% of people within a given community actively create, add, or update content.

Pie chart showing the proportion of lurkers, contributors and creators under the 90–9–1 principle. Source: Wikipedia

Pie chart showing the proportion of lurkers, contributors and creators under the 90–9–1 principle. Source: Wikipedia

There are 1.8 billion active iPhones, iPads, and Macs connected to the Apple App Store. We think that gives us between 18-180 million devices (1–10%) that belong to the people-people as an initially addressable market.

Oprah said it best. Source: Apple

Oprah said it best. Source: Apple

This time, it’s personal.

For many people there is a moment in life where you discover a community that not only welcomes you in with open arms, it feels like you’ve been a part of it all along. If you’re fortunate, you may experience this phenomenon more than once in life. One such experience for myself came shortly after I became a “first-time founder”. In the process of raising a seed financing from one of the most well-respected venture capital firms on the planet, I found my people: the entrepreneurs2.

Even though I had found my ilk, there was still a lingering sense of imposter syndrome. I was just getting started with my first entreprenurial venture, but many of the founders I was meeting were on their second, third, or fourth such venture. They were battle tested serial entrepreneurs.

Most entrepreneurs you’ll meet will acknowledge the risks inherent to starting up. For that reason, to repeat the journey as a serial entrepreneur used to make me think of the idiom “fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me”. From the outside looking in, someone who isn’t an entrepreneur hasn’t yet taken the entrepreneurial leap of faith might conclude that the lesson to learn would be to avoid starting up altogether. It’s too risky! But the very definition of the word ‘serial’ is “repeatedly committing the same offense”. For the serial entrepreneur, the foolish offense lesson learned isn’t usually the startup itself — it is that they could/should have avoided some error in execution. The logical course of action? To try again. So here I am, committing myself to make new mistakes, with no one else to blame but myself.

I literally couldn’t have survived my first startup without the support of my wife, Brooke. So this time we’re making it official, as Co-Founders of Herd Works, Inc!

Let’s do this. 📈

NOTE: this post was back-dated from our website launch date for purely sentimental reasons. November 21, 2022 is the official registration date of Herd Works, Inc as a Delaware C Corporation. We look forward to reflecting on our progress each year, so back dating this post will make it easier to link to the official formation date of the company.

  1. Contrary to popular opinion, not all software engineers are introverts. Modern software development is highly collaborative, and the most successful developers are excellent communicators. And developers are just people who make tools for other people↩︎ ↩︎

  2. Specifically including the truly unique collection of people that makes up The Foundry Network, but also almost every startup founder I’ve ever met. ↩︎

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