As the year draws to a close, I wanted to personally say thank you to each and every one of the myriad of Alder Growth Partners' friends. What started early in the year as an experiment has grown to feel like a movement. And we wouldn't be anywhere without your input, votes of confidence, challenges and ultimate support.
It's truly humbling to think of the 26 organizations that have given us a chance to provide capital, consulting and/or advisory services in 2014. Each of you placed a bet on our burgeoning concept and suite of services. And we're forever grateful for your early, first year work with us. We can't thank you enough!
Looking ahead to 2015, we see continued growth -- both for us and for you -- on the horizon. Our frameworks continue to improve through real-world implementations. Our approaches deepen through the wisdom of passing time. Further, our perspectives on what to avoid broaden as we constantly learn what doesn't work via rapid, iterative efforts at innovation.
With a relatively healthy macro environment and strong optimism in key technology sectors, 2015 is a great time to pursue additional growth -- both for your team as well as your business. And we're looking forward to providing a bit of leveraged assistance along the way!
Alder Growth Partners
Idea in brief: might accidental collisions that fuel innovation thrive outside of the traditional work environment?
There's a ton of emphasis lately on the power of creative collisions. As a refresher, creative collisions occur when two or more people spark an idea during an unplanned encounter. The traditional office coffee machine is a classic catalyst for coworkers to riff on problems, initiatives and solutions. Many great ideas are born from seemingly random encounters between colleagues who help each other.
Marissa Mayer, CEO of Yahoo!, is big on communication and collaboration fostering innovation. So much so, that she's changed her work from home policy to encourage more encounters in the office. Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos, also espouses accidental, creative encounters, and is working on transforming Las Vegas to stimulate chance meetings that produce meaningful results.
From our take, what's been missing from the dialogue recently is how powerful creative collisions with non-coworkers are. There seems to be an underlying thesis among many that innovation mostly happens within organizational walls. We challenge the idea.
For example, accelerators and incubators stimulate environments where many people are working in parallel on different initiatives, yet also have opportunities to help one another. Coffees, beers and lunches with aligned friends, who care and have the capacity to listen, can also stimulate innovative thinking. Time in nature, with art, and/or with family can also spark new approaches to problems. Exercise does wonders to flush cortisol and tune the brain-body for creativity.
Fundamentally we'd argue that as long as one is out in the world with other amazing people, location is less important than mindset, energy and environment.
Of course, if teleworking means sitting at home in a locked, small, sterile office for 8-10 hours, creativity will dwindle. But if our new, multithreaded world of work means that we're out in multiple locations with multiple people, creating porous borders in our lives for innovation to spark, we'd offer that creativity has the chance to flourish even more.
True, coworkers may speak a common language that enables more rapid progress on creative endeavors. And incentives may align deep, time-consuming sessions. However, if our goal is quality and quantity of innovative approaches, embracing the broader world is full of promise.
Take, for instance, companies like GLG, where employees are encouraged to work with startups and constantly meet industry thought leaders. Work is heavily externalized and the best new ideas can come from anywhere.
Or look at the Linux Foundation, where all employees work from home offices. The non-profit is incredibly innovative, turning up a dizzying set of training, event, and collaborative projects with a small, dedicated team. Further, people love the empowerment and flexibility that the firm provides.
So, what do you think? Do accidental, creative collisions have the best chance to occur in the office -- or might they also occur in the broader world around us?
Let us know too if you've found insightful perspectives on the subject. We'd love to learn more!
12/1/14, Austin, TX. Today, Alder Growth Partners announced that it has participated in the seed round of Experiment Engine. Experiment Engine provides a SaaS conversion optimization platform powered by human expertise.
“Via mentorship time during the Techstars program, I got to know Experiment Engine Cofounders Claire Vo and EJ Lawless well,” stated Steve Semelsberger, Founder of Alder Growth Partners. “From the onset, I’ve been consistently impressed with their expertise and execution. And I am a big believer in the market they’re addressing. Overall, I’m thrilled to continue to support them.”
“Steve Semelsberger of Alder Growth Partners has been closely involved in Experiment Engine’s journey from the beginning of the Techstars program,” said Claire Vo, Cofounder & CEO of Experiment Engine. “He’s rolled up his sleeves and helped us with multiple strategic and tactical growth levers.”
Other participants in the $1M seed round for Experiment Engine include Mercury Fund and Founders Collective. To learn more about Experiment Engine, please view their Techstars presentation (introduced by Steve Semelsberger) and visit their website.
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Steve Semelsberger is the Founder of Alder Growth Partners.