I’m in NYC today and had an open timeslot, so I stopped by Ordr.In, a TechStars NY company from 2012 that has an open API that makes it easy for people to build apps to, you guessed it, order in food. I got the quick rundown in person (the CEO David had already sent a great investor update recently), but mostly I crashed on a couch to get through some work and set up my new Android phone. (Yep, I’m working on going bilingual, Android and iOS both. Since I’m a tech investor and a SaaS company founder, I can rationalize having lots of toys, yes?)
But what struck me was how much I could learn by just hanging out. Besides seeing the team socially at the group lunch (and I like teams that eat together, we need to do it more at BuysideFX,) I was able to watch them just crank through the work–people were upbeat but crunching it. I also got pressed into being the dumb beta user on a new interface (yes, I could get to an ugly error page when I typed in the wrong box…happy to oblige, people).
There used to be a term called MBWA–“Management By Walking Around”. While I’ve been lucky with a few exits where I never actually saw the team in action, and I have had flops where I knew and had visited the team, I still think that I can make a more informed decision shortly when they go to raise another round by having just seen the group in action. And in this instance, I can recommend them to others wholeheartedly should they be looking for new investors instead of just doing an inside round. (BTW, I’m ALWAYS a fan of having new blood in a new round. I’m doing exactly that with BuysideFX right now.)
So let’s start a new practice: AFIDAWA: Angel Followon Investing Decisions After Walking Around. Maybe the acronym is too long, but take time to see your companies on their premises, not just in meetings in conference rooms.
Hey, Ordr.In: Countme.In