As an investor, founder, CEO and business book author, I write about startups, design, how to build a good business, and I like to muse about culture in any form.

Geraldine Laybourne just made my day

So I am sitting on the (never again) Mega Bus returning from making a pitch in New York.  I was in the city for a final practice run before being on stage later this month at the ALLTHINGSMEDIA VC forum.  I’d never presented this new, improved pitch outside of our office walls,  and I was nervous.  Visibly so, I am told, by some of the dozen  investors and entrepreneurs in the room.  I can frequently be too low key in a presentation, but I am not often visibly nervous.  However,  every once in a while, those voice wobblies creep up on me.  Making me mad, to tell the truth.

But I guess the nervous energy went over positively.  I finally got the scale and story of Daily Grommet across clearly, to an impartisan audience...another brick in the reality wall.  I’ve gotten clearer in the story telling because Joanne and some great advisors have gotten me to pare it down to the simplest, and most powerful, level.  Joanne says,

Jules, sometimes you are just too cerebral, and go too deep, and people can’t follow you.

I love that she tells it to me straight, and believe me I studied both Biden and Palin with that lens last night!

All the panelists made on-point and useful comments.  It was such a relief to get past needing to clarify the business idea, and instead get incisive advice.

But the comments made by Geraldine Laybourne really blew me away.  Being a cable industry pioneer, and creator of Oxygen Media, Nickelodeon, and Nick at Nite, Geraldine has more than earned her entrepreneurial accolades.  So it meant so much to me that she understood Daily Grommet at a very high level.  She saw the idea as being very big.  And I am going to definitely use this line she gave to me.  She told me to tell people,

When I tell you about this idea it is going to seem so simple, and so obvious, that it must have been done before.  But it hasn’t.

She even explained why the company name, Daily Grommet, is perfect for the vision–saying something like “The name takes a degree of unfolding and discovery. It doesn’t matter that people might only have a vague notion of what a grommet is. It represents a higher concept of an open vessel, a receptacle, and that is perfect for this business.”  She put it better than I could, and generally delighted me with her rich and deep insight on what we are doing.  She even said that, while hearing my pitch,

I wanted to write you a check.


This feedback more than made up for the pain of this cramped, hot bus ride (including a long unscheduled stop for an accident and flat tire–another chapter in the unglamorous life of a hungry and thirsty–I mean literally and figuratively–startup founder).   I have no idea when this terrible vehicle will get me home, but I am riding on air.

3 Responses to “Geraldine Laybourne just made my day”

  1. joanne

    Jules…what a story! I have successfully clicked through to your blog from the Daily Grommet Alpha Site. A number of bricks added today. Joanne

  2. Barbara

    What an inspiring story! I especially like the way Geraldine Laybourne not only made your day, but also put the perfect words around why Daily Grommet is the perfect name for your your awesome new venture. Here’s hoping you are no longer hungry or thirsty…


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